4 things no one tells you about paying off credit-card debt, from someone who's done it
- Credit card debt can be overwhelming and stressful, and many stories found online paint a glossy picture of the process of becoming debt-free.
- The journey to being debt-free is not always a straight path - it takes vigilance and adaptability to keep yourself on track with your plan.
- Here's what no one tells you about paying off credit card debt.
I racked up this debt in spite of the fact that I was working hard to earn money. From my second semester at Boston University through graduation, I worked two to three part-time jobs in addition to my full course load. (In fact, those jobs are what allowed me to qualify for a credit card in the first place.)
My spending habits weren't reckless, but life is expensive, and plastic just seemed like the easiest way to fund the parts of my college life that weren't factored into my financial aid package. This included a coffee addiction, a semester of studying abroad in London, and the various expenses of taking on two unpaid internships.
I tried not to think about the long-term costs I was racking up with every purchase. And for a long time, I didn't even look at my statements - I just paid the minimum amounts due every month.
I knew that keeping a revolving balance meant paying interest (to the tune of over 15%) on my debt, but I didn't want to add more pressure to my life by worrying about it.
Once I got my first post-grad job and got serious about getting out of credit card debt, I managed to pay it off over the course of a year and a half. Even so, my path to getting out of that debt was a far cry from the glossy debt-free stories that I read online. And I found that the psychological impact of paying off debt was greater than I anticipated.
Here's what happened and what I learned along the way about paying off credit card debt: