I made time today to call Discover in an effort to get that awful 18.24% interest lowered. There’s about a $7,000 balance on this stupid card but with a good pay history and a long relationship…I thought I might be able to get some interest knocked off. After making it past their first layer of defense I was sent to a “specialist.” I explained to her that we have implemented an aggressive financial plan as of 1/1/12 and lowering this interest rate will dramatically help in the debt reduction plan. She reviewed my account, praised me for my on time payments, advised that this card is best used for regular monthly expenses that are paid during the grace period so the cash back benefit can be best utilized. After the reminder of what I SHOULD have done was over, I let her know that my credit union had made a good offer on a balance transfer option–at 10% I threw out there–but I wanted to end things well with Discover so our future relationship could be protected (or something like that) and she politely said “no.” I was bluffing because honestly I didn’t think the credit union would extend any credit to us! Allrighty then. I reworded my request a couple of different ways but nada! This created an internal reaction for me that I can’t really describe—I wasn’t offended but I guess both frustrated and irritated! I likely would have been happy with 5% off taking it to 13.24% but to offer nothing simply motivated me!
The next thing you know I am on our credit union’s website completing a “signature loan” application! I double checked with the hubs of course. I’ve banked with this credit union since 1985 and my Dad since long before that year–the 1950’s I believe. My husband and I opened our joint account there even before we married as we saved money for our wedding trip with the kids. He had banked with traditional banks in the past and liked what he saw with the credit union. We have a very good history with them and they have always been very good to us—this doesn’t mean they’ve always given me the credit I’ve asked for (thank goodness!) but always very fair. We asked for $11,000 to pay off 4 credit cards. Within 2 hours we received the email letting us know we were approved!!! While not the 10% I envisioned, we did get 11.4%!!! It is a 48 month pay off but that makes the minimum payment $280 and we already pay $340 on those cards each month. Taking that $340 (and yes, we plan to pay more than that) this credit union signature loan would be paid off in 40 months. If we pay $500 per month (completely doable barring any unforeseen issues), we are looking at 25 months to payoff. We did some quick calculations–taking just the minimums on these 4 cards…if we had never started paying attention and just kept paying the minimums, we would have paid $26,230.46 in interest!!!!! Barf. If we go with the $340 “minimum” that would be $2,356.13 and if we do the $500 per month…that amount goes down to $1,485.15! That’s an approximate $25,000 savings!!!! And as I type this my husband is saying that we will do $800.00 a month and that means 15 months and only $893.14 in interest. UNBELIEVABLE!
We’ll finalize this loan this coming week. I am feeling very, very thankful for the options I DO have. Please know none of this is lost on me. I am so grateful that we have options—and so, so grateful that my path led me to this blog and that I was selected to share my story. 🙂 Thank you to everyone who has nudged me via comments. While I may not be able to respond to all, I read every single one and truly take the advice to heart. Is there an emoticon for “beaming!” ??? Thank you!