Money Management

Purchasing Your Freedom (Part I): The Debt Trap!

Did you know that you can ask your credit card company to lower your APR?

Okay, I’m going to get very personal because I want you to learn from my mistakes and provide hope to those who may be going through a financial crisis.

MY STORY

I got my very first credit card when I was a freshmen in college.

Thankfully our President at that time, Audrey Manley, stopped banks from coming unto our campus and offering students credit cards. A move that I commend her for taking. However this decree didn’t prevent banks from offering credit cards when students went to their branch.

So I go to a bank and open up my very first bank account. Do you know what they GIVE me not OFFER but GIVE? A credit card with a 500 limit.

Growing up I heard run away from credit cards. I was frightened but I took the card because they somehow convinced me that I may need it. But my intentions were to never, ever use it.

Those intentions shifted to “okay, you can use it but you have to pay the entire balance off each month.”

Crazy, I follow Drake on twitter and he (@drakkardnoir) tweeted:
“Bad decisions…good intentions.”

And that’s exactly what happened. My intentions were pure but I wasn’t mature enough to handle that responsibility. And I wasn’t spending on necessities rather I was spending on clothes, shoes, bags. Stuff I had too much of and didn’t need.

Back to the story . . .

My balance gets bigger and bigger. Where I can’t pay it off monthly. But instead of stopping my spending. I continue spending because they increased my limit. You get credit by spending. And I was going in a downward spiral. My balance was about to like 2,500. And then I got another card where I owed about 2,500. So in total I was 5G in the hole.

So there I was 5G in the hole and making more than minimum payments but my balance was not showing what I was paying them. Why? Cause my interest rates were soooo high.

One of my cards had a 25% APR. Yes! Crazy high. The other was maybe 15%.

Anyways I started doing some research to figure out ways to get out of this hole I dug myself into . . .

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