My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

Have I Learned My Lesson with Credit Cards?

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I have a confession. Brace yourselves, this is serious........After swearing off credit cards and paying for my past mistakes over the past three years, I opened a new credit card account. I did. 

Have I Learned My Lesson? Time will tell if it was the right or wrong thing for me to do, but let me explain myself:

  • I want to start rebuilding my credit score.
  • I am very uncomfortable not having any type of "in case of emergency" card.
  • I know what will happen if I misuse the card!

So, there was a method behind my madness. While my reasons may not work for everyone, I feel confident that by opening a card and asking for a low credit limit, I can control my desire to spend. 

Not that everyone needs a reminder, but every once in a while it helps to remember why credit cards are good and why they aren't so good.

It comes down to knowing what a credit card entails and whether you have the self-control to avoid the illusion of "free money." 

I believe I have learned from my mistakes and have a lot more to lose now if I don't use the card "correctly." My philosophy is that the more we know, the better off we are. 

That is why I am a BIG fan of teaching kids at the high school level more about what a credit card is and about the responsibility for having one.  Let's face it, if we don't break down to teenagers getting ready to go into the "real world" that buying a pair of $100 shoes with a credit card will end up costing them double if they can't pay for them to begin with, they may think twice about charging. 

I will (no doubt) let you know how I do with re-opening a card. 

The sacrifices I've made over the last three years have made me a little more respectful of credit cards. I feel confident that I can resist the siren song of spending....but I admit, I am nervous.  

Want to know some more facts about credit cards?  Did you know that the average credit card debt per household with credit card debt is $15,799? Here are some additional "fun" ones that I thought I'd share

Stay tuned to my blog to see how I manage my reformed credit use. 

Related Posts:

The Credit Card Dilemma

Avoiding Impulse Purchases (Even If They Are Good Deals) 
 

Katie (Simmons) Lupo

Katie is currently enrolled in the CareOne Debt Relief Services Debt Management Plan (DMP). You can read more about Katie's experience in the My Journey out of Debt blog. In her blog, Katie explores life without credit cards, living on a 'real' budget and making that adjustment from spender to saver. A newlywed, Katie candidly addresses how debt has influenced her choices in love and life. Look for older posts by Katie under the Single and Settling In blog. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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  • I did the same thing recently - I paid off all my credit card debt, then I opened a new card even though I have two that are still active. People thought I was nuts! But more available credit will help my credit score, plus I have that option (not that I want to use it) in case something catastrophic happens.

    I haven't been tempted to use the new card. I did make a small purchase on it that I immediately paid off, and I'll do that periodically, but no more shopping for me!

    Keep us updated - you can do it!

  • So far so good...although I have to say one of the best decisions I made was keep cards where they are not easliy accessable!   They taunt me when they are in my wallet.  Thank you for sharing,  you are an inspiration Andrea!

  • Oh boy I hope you do better than I did! I was $12,000 in the hole a few years ago courtesy of my ex (I admit some of it was my fault too), but I got it all paid off in a little over a year...but then I started working at a Macy's and we had to use a macys credit card to receive our employee discount....BIG MISTAKE FOR ME! They gave me a $3000 limit! At first I thought I had it under control and I kept the balance under $100...but Christmas came around and I had to use my card to get gifts for everybody...and then after Christmas I couldn't stop spending..I kept trying to rationallize all my purchases but I was just fooling myself...I mean who needs 72 pairs of heels??? AND it didn't stop at just the Macy's card...I had to open up 4 new credit cards....So here I am again...in debt....I just wanna kick myself for going down the same road again...SOOOO my advice to you is BE VERY CAREFUL....Its a slippery slope!!!

  • I have really learned my lesson when it comes to credit cards.I use to have 5 or 6 cards.They will ruin your life if you aint careful.I was 22 with that many credit cards and til this day I could kick myself in the butt.I was trying to be grown and show my parents I didnt need them and they helped me when i got in a bind and got them all paid off.Then I went back and ran them up again and I had to get myself out that time.I now have a motto that my fiancee says if I dont have the money I dont need it and thats the way I look at it.I have been in the program since jan 2009 and this month is my last month that god.Im getting excited  because now I am debt free other than a dr bill which is minor.If i can give any advice becareful with a credit card get a small one just for really important things and something that you can pay off before interest hits.Im getting married in Oct and I wanted to get out of my debt that i started before him and I am so i am soooo excited I almost cried the other day knowing that this month is my last month.If anyone ever needs to talk and need advice just messege me maybe i can help and give some positive advice.I know if it werent for these people I would still be in debit and not wanting to get married.

  • my fiance is livid with me for joining this program.  I want to be debt free from my credit cards before we marry.  I raised 3 children and the past 14 years I used credit to do this.  Now I am 17,000 in debt.  As a single mom, with no child support, I had to use my income for household expenses, and used the cards for birthdays, school clothes, christmas and such.....so, dispite this debt I have excellent credit, because I pay my bills, but there is no way to get a loan or refinace my home because my debt ratio is too high.  He thinks now with my "bad" credit thro this program, we will not be able to get loans for home improvements, our garage building, etc.......it's only 4 years and I can rebuild right?  I mean I am nervous here, I hope I made the right choice joining the program.  I'm freaking out at the thought of summons and calls and dealing with that stress....what if I miss a call for settlement????  Just saying, can someone help me out here with some words of wisdom????????

  • THE CALLS WERE ALREADY COMING TO ME WHEN MY HUSBAND HAD A HEART ATTACK, JOINING THIS PROGRAM WAS THE BEST THING I EVER

    DID. I HAVE SAVED HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN INTEREST ALONE. I WILL NEVER USE A CREDIT CARD AGAIN , I AGREE WITH THE OTHER PERSON WHOSE HUSBAND SAYS IF YOU CANT PAY FOR IT YOU DON'T NEED IT.

  • Kathisue joining this program is the best thing that you could have ever do.They help you by giving you a payment you can afford and and you dont have to worry about sending checks out each month or anything they just draft it from your account.That was the best thing that could have ever happend to me and trust me you wont regret it.You just follow up on the website and if something doesnt look right call them and see what is going on they will explain it to you and all.I have checked my credit score and it wasnt never hurt by the program it actually helps the closer you get to completion.I thought it would hurt me but i got a car on my own.My credit score was 685 so its going up the closer I get to paying off my bills.I owed several thousands of dollars out and now its almost completed.Mye creditor will get it on the 12 of sept then I am free.So keep your head up everything will be ok.God wont put no more on you than you can bare.And remember credit cards will ruin your life and also cause problems with your relationship too.So becareful and keep your head up.Have faith.Good Luck.

  • I cannot say enough that I have been there, I have been there, I have been there!  I can understand why "partners" are concerned about this program becasue there are a lot of non-legit programs out there and some are very misleading.  I too was warned by family and friends before joining, but like you, KathiSue, I had good credit and paid everything on time, but it doesn't matter if you are spending more than you are bringing in.  You have to start someplace.  It does take time and patience, but credit scores come back and once you are debt free you open yourself up to so many more opportunities.  Times are different now becasue of the state of our economy.  Even good credit scores don't get you as far as they did, especially when you have a high amount of debt.  Trust the program and most importantly trust your instincts.  My friends and family thought I was getting into something that was "too good to be true" or that would end up hurting me.  Now, they are amazed at what I have accomplished.  Misshunt87....I hope I am not blogging in a couple of months about "falling off the wagon"!  This is truly my test of self control.  Great comments everyone, I love the support we can offer one another!

  • I, also, had good credit and was able to pay the mininums on time, but I was unable to make any headway--I'd pay the minimum, but then have to use the card to buy a tank of gas or get groceries because I didn't have the cash left over after paying bills, so the balances never went down. When I started on the DMP program last month, my biggest fear was not having that "in case of emergency" card and considered keeping one of the cards out of the DMP just so it would stay open.  But in talking with my parents about my decision to do the DMP, they were so happy and excited for me that to help my fears, my father used one of his cards that allows him to "add a family member to the account" to give me an emergency card.  I think this is a great solution for me as I start on this plan, because I know that I absolutely won't use it unless it is an emergency.  And there's nothing like having to call dad first to make sure it's okay--talk about guilt and feeling embarrassed.  I think right now it would be too tempting for me to fall back to relying on a credit card.  I'm hoping after going through the next few years without one that I could see that I can do without them.  But I also had the thought that when I completed the program, should I open a new card to help with the credit score?  I'd probably have to open it and then hide the card away, or I might fall back into my old, horrible spending habits.  I feel a sense of relief starting the program and 5 years seems like a long time, but its also like--there will be an end one day and I know exactly when that is--4 years 11 months from now (or sooner when I use my tax return money each year)!

  • Not me i don't want anymore cards if i can't pay for it in cash then i don't want it.

  • Now i have to try to change the date on credit cards it's so confusing to me if they already talked to them then they should know i'm doing this program.

  • I am proud to report that is exactly what I have done over the past six months. It could be that I have been successful knowing I'd have to report to you all, but here are some of the other reasons I've been successful so far.

  • Thanks for sharing your lesson with us. I hope people think about your lesson before using the credit card.

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