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Debt Specifics


For the new readers, I’d like to give a quick recap on my debt specifics. As you can see from the info on the side bar, I started this journey with a lot of debt.  I still have a lot of debt but I was able to pay off the little ones and then obtain a consolidation through a credit union signature loan.  Then my husband moved out on Labor Day weekend and my debt was further reduced by a car loan going with him and the selling of my newer vehicle got rid of my car loan. We divorced on Dec 14, 2012 and I was left with what you see in the debt column.  That was my pre-marital debt.


The three debts break down like this:

$13,210 USAA @ 11.9%

$18,110 Bank of America @ 12.9%

$9,844 credit union @ 11%


I have an excellent income that I’m working hard to use more responsibly than I have in the past.

So if you’re new here…welcome!  I have a long way to go but the new year has motivated me to get even more focused on being debt free!




Born and raised in Texas.I've at least driven through every state in the US courtesy of a roadtrip loving Dad.

I'm single with two children and a good parenting relationship with their father.

I am a "life is just half full of funny" kinda gal.Humor is my saving grace and I am thankful for it every single day.I have a strong Catholic faith and am thankful for that foundation.
I read a lot for a living but still enjoy a good book.I love biographies but in recent years have found the need for fun fictional books--sadly, for a long time I just didn't enjoy fiction!
I love live theatre of any kind--from local productions to Broadway.
I love to scrapbook and pride myself in my kids' albums.
I love being a mom but also love my career.I'm blessed to have found a balance allowing me to be at everything my kids need and want me to be at--while also having a career.
Favorite Quotes:Well behaved women rarely make history.
Behold the turtle.He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. -James Bryant Conant

Latest posts by Claire (see all)


  • Reply Steve S |

    Wishing you a Happy New Year Claire!

    Have you explored with the Credit Union the possibility of borrowing more money there at 11% to pay off the hated BOA at 12.9%?

    Best Wishes!

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks Steve! Happy New Year to you! The Credit Union wasn’t willing to loan me anymore at the time I got the $11,000 loan from them in April, jointly with my now ex-husband. However, when I paid off the car note with them in September they mentioned my being in a position to borrow more at a good rate. It’s on my never ending “to do” list. 🙂

  • Reply Theresa |

    Those are awful interest rates. I can’t remember if you have looked in balance transfers. Is your credit good? I would seriously consider going to Citibank or Discover with one or more of those balances. We have good credit and regularly get offers for 3% or less.

    • Reply Claire |

      I know those are bad interest rates. I have good credit–last report was my credit score was 725 but I haven’t had any luck getting lower interest rates. And if you look back toward the beginning of my posts, you will see these ARE better. Sick, I know but I’m doing better than I was and I will do better tomorrow.

      Discover will never get a penny from me ever again. They wouldn’t budge from their 18%.

  • Reply Janelle C. |

    Hey Claire – Have you considered giving us a payoff date goal? I’d love to see that. If you can average $2,000 extra per month, you’d be debt free in about 20 months. Not long when you see it like that, huh?? I think its good to set that goal so that you have something to shoot for.

    Our snowball goal is this November. From what the books are looking like, it’ll be 14 months, but ya know, I’m will to shoot for 11 months and see what happens!

  • Reply debthaven |

    You are doing GREAT Claire! But, since you’re human, LOL, you can probably do even better!

    Have you looked into balance transfers? You probably should. Also, call your cards and try to renegotiate the rates. Ask to speak to a manager.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that you’re just chucking / shredding / burning letters from your bank or credit union, but maybe you should look into it?

    Every little bit helps!

  • Reply debthaven |

    Also, why the advanced dates on your debt payoffs? At this point you’re at 2 Feb. Why?

        • Reply Claire |

          Delayed response here debthaven–I think that might just be the way the picture shows up as I don’t do anything to the graph directly. When I input numbers the graph does its thing so perhaps just a “graphics” issue?

          • debthaven |

            No problem with the delayed response Claire! 🙂

            In that case it must certainly be the way the graph has been set up. Thanks for answering, I’ve always wondered about that! (DH is a graphic designer).

  • Reply Emily |

    You have made wonderful progress! And now that you have a better income, you will probably be able to pay the rest of it down much faster than the first half.

    Happy new year! 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer |

    Just curious how you sold a new car? Did you do it on your own? Trade it in? Did you loose a bunch of money? Just curious about that because I have a new car that I would like to get rid of (now that I’m serious about being completely debt free) but I don’t want to loose a bunch of money either.

    • Reply Cathy C. |

      Do you have a CarMax near you? They offer very competitive pricing especially on newer cars. The best thing to do is to sell it privately, but people expect something for nothing these days and waiting for a buyer to pay your asking price could take a long time, not to mention the paperwork hassle and finding a buyer that can pay cash or secure a loan.

  • Reply debthaven |

    Also, Claire, another thought. Your interest rates are very similar (11%, 12% and 13%). Financially, you’d be better off paying extra to just ONE of those debts, and the minimums on the two others.

    I only say this because I know you are concentrating on one of those two CCs, yet you paid extra to the CU loan too.

  • Reply Chris |


    Gosh, you have cleansed your life this past year!

    As you are learning, getting out of debt is all about routines and keeping things simple.

    Have you figured out how much money per month (or bi weekly) you can apply to the debt as a debt snowball? Set the amount and don’t subtract from it.

    Throw all you have at the smallest debt (credit union), while paying just the minimum to the other loans. Once that loan is paid, roll that payment into the debt snowball and attack the next debt.

    I wouldn’t try to refinance anything, just get the heck-out-of-debt.

    Keep it simple and routine.

    Blessing to you and family.

  • Reply Amy |

    I’m a new reader and just wanted to stop by and say hi! I also am working on getting rid of my debt and I’m excited to find others on a similar journey!

  • Reply Alma |

    I found your blog surfing on the internet about good methos to get rid of debt in the long term. I think you have a very interesting blog here and I can only say that you are very brave to put your financial situation out on the internet. You have many good articles and I have been very inspired.

  • Reply Zevi Sternlicht |

    Thanks Claire for writing about such an important topic, people think they can borrow money and the money we’l just somehow be paid back.

    It is so hard to get out of debt, thanks for sharing your details!

So, what do you think ?