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Ok – So I just got married & seem to be in debt (imagine that)!! There is $1,500 in our savings account & $4100 in my 401K. How should we pay off this debt? Do I use the savings/401K to pay towards one of these?? VISA = $6100 10% interest, MC = $ 750 16% interest, CITI = $ 4160 9% interest, Furniture = $ 2300 0% until Feb. '08, House down payment from parents = $1500 0% can pay back whenever. Which would you pay back 1st & how would you pay it? PLEASE HELP!!!!
DON'T use the 401k. You will get a huge penality for doing this and some will say do a 401k "loan" but if you leave your job (fired, laid off or quit) before you pay that back you will get a huge penality and taxes taken from it. Keep $1000 in the savings for emergencies. Use the $500 to get the most of the MC paid off. Then work like crazy for the last $250. Then use the MC payment you were paying each month on the next lowest debt, which is mom and dad. Pay them off FAST!! (borrower is slave to the lender, you don't want to be slave to parents. Even though they said "whenever" it will make a difference in your relationship if you don't pay them back fast.) Pay off the debts from smallest to largest debt amount. The interest rate doesn't matter. The faster you can pay off debt the more you are motivated to pay off more. Each time you pay off a debt, you use that payment and move it to the next payment. Called a "debt snowball." Example (I am using 10% minimum payments): MC = $75 Parents= $150 Furniture =$230 (MAKE SURE YOU PAY THIS OFF BY 2/08; send in a payment each month even though you don't have to, if you are a SECOND late you will get charge interest back to the day you bought the furniture). CITI= $416 Visa = $610 So use $500 in savings to pay down MC, have a garage sale or ebay some stuff and get the MC paid off. Then take the normal $75/monthly payment from MC and add it to your Parents monthly payment of $150 (150+75=225) and get them paid off. Then when they are paid off, then take the $225 and put it on the Furniture payment of $230 (230+225=455) and pay that off by Feb 2008; then take that payment $445 and add it to the Citi payment of $416 (445+416=861) and when that is done then add the $861 to the Visa payment off $610 (861+610=1471). Do you see how the payments roll over to the next bill and you gain momentum and get things paid off quick! (I realize your minimum payments may be different, you can plug your own numbers in and see the same results). If I were you starting in June, I would pay a min of $287.50 (if you haven’t paid anything yet) on the furniture each month to MAKE sure you have it paid off by Feb. Personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge; you need to arm yourself with a little knowledge about debt and savings and then change your behavior. Paying off the little debts first will psychologically keep you motivated to pay off all the debts. I suggest you and your hubby go to Financial Peace University (FPU) by Ramsey. Go to Dave Ramsey's website to find a class near you. You both have different ideas about savings and debt, this class will help you understand each other and get on the same page. My husband & I went through it last year and wish we would have taken the class when before we got married 7 years ago, it would have saved A LOT of fights!
Since the loan from your parents is interest-free and you can pay it back whenever, don't worry about it for now. You've got until February to pay back the furniture with no interest, so you want to make sure you have the money to pay that back by February so you don't get socked with interest. BUT--what will the interest rate be at that time? Will you have to pay interest on the whole term? If so, make that a priority. Don't pull the money out of your 401k if you can avoid it. There are pretty high tax penalties associated with doing so, and you may regret doing it when tax time comes around. With the credit card debts, make a debt elimination chart. You'll want to pay off the master card first, because it has the highest interest rate, then the visa, and then the citi. As you get the first card paid off, apply that payment to the next card. The increase in payments means the next card gets paid off faster. And then as the second card gets paid off, take that whole payment and apply it to the third card. And the third card will then get paid off extremely quickly. Then you should be able to rapidly pay back your parents with little pain. Good luck!! And congratulations!!
Don't touch the savings or 401k, that's money for the future, not to pay off debt unless absolutely necessary. The way my wife and I approach our debt is to work on paying one card off completely, in your case the easier one would be your mc because you could pay it off quickly, plus it has a higher interest rate. We also pay as much as we can every pay period on our other debt. Forget about the furniture for now. I would then concentrate on the Visa and Citi card at the same time, splitting as much as you can between the two. The real question is: is this debt causing you problems? Is it something you can work on like I've discussed or is it an immediate situation? We try about every six months to get back to debt free, but as I'm sure you know it's hard to stay that way, so just stay committed to putting whatever extra money you have to that purpose. Keep contributing same percent to 401k, same amount to savings, and any time you happen to have some extra cash, pay those cards instead of buying something you might not need. I'll tell you, you'll really feel like you've accomplished something when you've got it all paid off, still got money in savings and retirement, and best of all, you'll not want to let those cards build up so much after how hard you've worked. Good luck to you.
It will be wise if you pay your furniture; just divide the amount owed by months until feb 08. After feb 08 they will charge you all the interest you did not pay during this year. Pay your parents whenerver, so we will leave that out. Use the link below and answer the questions and that will give you the pyment amount that you need to make each month to each of the cc accounts. Usually it starts paying more to the highest interest. Hope you find this helpful, it is how I manage my monthly cc payments. and......whatever you do DON'T TOUCH YOUR 401K Montana SAVINGS!!!! 401k is very important for the future and if you withdraw the maney you will have to pay taxes and leave savings for a trully rainy day.
Consider debt consolidation. Depending on your debt standing, you should be receiving checks from your credit companies that you can use to pay off other debts. There is a fee to use these (generally 3% of the transfer), but it can be worthwhile in the long run and now you are just paying one bill for a fixed rate that may be well below the 9% rate of your lowest card. Also, call all of your credit card companies and demand a lower rate. The worst that they can do and say no. They'll usually appease you with a slight decrease. And don't fall for the old fixed rate (based on prime) trick. It's still a variable rate. Try to get a card that has an actual fixed rate. Good luck.
You payoff VISA and CITI first and nothing but minimums to all the others. Stop using the credit cards and get a debit card. Payoff $600 each month to each card if not more. AGAIN dont use the cards. Do not put money is savings or pay anything else until your cards are $800 each. Then you can manage. To be honest if you can not pay $600 each month to each card, you are really screwed big time. You may have needed to do you finances first before getting married because this is a huge hill to climb and can strain a marriage before it begins.
Leave your 401k alone Do a balance transfer first- transfer the $750 @ 16% to your citicard If you get a 0% new credit card offer for 1 year, transfer your $6100 @ 10% to the new card. Divide how much you can pay toward debt each month into 3 tiers - 60%, 30%, 10% 60% toward VISA 30% toward your CITI 10% toward your parents If you get the 0% card for the 6,100, then 60% toward Citi 30% toward your New Card 10% toward your parents
Always pay the highest interest rate first. You need to get rid of all but one of those cards, pay them off and keep for emergencies only. See if you can transfer that 6100 and 4160 to another of your cards at a low interest rate, and then keep just that card, or transfer both balances to different cards at low interest if possible, and for as long as possible. Interest is the whole ballgame. You might want to get a part time job if you can't get this under control.
1. Do not touch your 401K 2. Pay off the MC first 3. Pay off the VISA 2nd 4. Pay off CITI 3rd 5. Pay off the furniture loan last If you take a premature distrubution of your 401K, you have to pay income tax on that, which puts you in a higher tax bracket, and pay 10% penalty. It could easily cost you 30-50% of the amount.
NEVER TOUCH YOUR 401K YOU WILL BE PENTALIZED MORE FOR TAKING OUT EARLY, PAY YOUR MC WITH A 16% INTEREST FIRST THEN PAY DOWN YOUR VISA AT 10 INTEREST. ANYTHING WITH 0 % INTEREST IS OK, BUT REMEMBER THAT Montana FEB. 08 IF YOU HAVEN'T PAID THE FULL BALANCE THEY CAN GO BACK TO DAY 1 OF YOUR PURCHASE AND TACK ON INTEREST. SO WILL WILL WANT TO PAY YOUR FURNITURE OFF ASAP SO YOU DONT GET TACKED THE INTEREST. PUT AT LEAST 1100.00 DOWN ON YOUR VISA SO THAT YOU CAN BRING THE BALANCE DOWN.TO 5000.00 WHICH WILL BRING YOUR INTEREST DOWN ALSO.