Sunday, August 01, 2004

Credit Card Debt Free!

At the end of the day yesterday I got notification that my eagerly awaited stock options money had been direct deposited into my checking account. A couple of phone calls and online payments later, my credit card balances are all at ZERO!

I don’t even know how to begin to explain what a huge deal this is. This time last year, John and I were slowly being crushed by credit card debt, which we had stupidly run up a lot of a while back. We eventually figured out we had a problem, and stopped using the cards. But then John got laid off from his job, and we could only afford to pay the minimum payment on each of our four cards. Which I did, every month, on time, like clockwork.

But the credit card companies didn’t care. They kept raising our interest rates, which made the minimum payments go up. Finally, MBNA, the most evil fucking credit card company there is, raised my interest rates so high that I couldn’t make even the minimum payment anymore. I won’t go into the whole long saga, but things got pretty desperate. John and I argued about money all the time. I worried constantly. And the bastards at MBNA made my life hell. Loan sharks hassling me about covering the vig would have been more reasonable. (I’m not 100% sure what “the vig” is, but I know it has something to do with borrowing money from the mob.) Note to anyone who reads this: MBNA is a predatory company you do NOT want to get involved with.

It seemed like we’d never get out from under. John sold a kidney. We made soup from old shoes. No, not really. It was much less dramatic than that -- a combination of a loan from my mother-in-law, a loan from my 401k, my entire income tax refund, pouring every spare cent we could scrape together into the monthly payments, and finally, the options check.

It feels so good to be credit card debt free. Free free free free free!

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