One More Hurdle Down

It's been quite a while since I've had a financial post, I think (about my finances, not just credit stuff). And that's partly because there has been nothing to really report. Things have been getting paid as much as they can and progress has been slow.

In this year's annual cycle of tax refund + goalsharing bonus, we made some significant progress on debt though. We debated a bit on what to use the money for - like pay off her car (biggest monthly liquidity impact of our options), pay off a 401k loan (low interest, paid to myself), or work on some (high interest) credit cards.

Ultimately the credit cards won - which we really could have based upon interest rates alone. We put about $3200 into my Citi card to finally pay it off. I've had this card since 1999 - yes, 15 years. It was the first card I got in college and has probably had a balance on it since I got. It even almost went to collections at one point in 2006. But now it is gone. Completely. It will remain open - and we may even use it in the future for points or rewards or whatever, but it will be paid in full every month if we do.

I kind of wish there was an easy way to figure out how much interest I might have paid over the past 15 years... but I'm not sure I'd really want to know. I'm also curious to see the impact on my credit score. The credit utilization percentage should take a really nice nose dive.

Between the two of us, we do still have 2 more credit cards left to pay off - embarassingly almost a $10k balance between the two. One of the cards is likely to be paid with a personal loan in the near future - just to avoid the interest charges. The other we should be able to take care of in a reasonable amount of time. Then comes the 401k loan and possibly some focus on student loans - after building a bit more of a savings anyway.

It's strange to be making real financial progress - especially after just buying a house. We both find it odd to have some amount of money in the bank for an "emergency fund." It's not a lot, but it's more than either of us have ever had that wasn't immediately earmarked for something else. And we're trying to keep it that way.


Some possibly related posts...