Its not over yet, its not perfect, I'm sure I could have been more strict with it but, I do have some tips. I will list the ones that were suggested and are great to help go debt free fast, the others I did and I'm doing pretty good, not debt free but I am not dependent on credit cards any longer.
1. Cut them up but for 1 card and then drop the credit line as low as possible, $1,000 is a good target.
a. I cut all of mine up and closed them all out, I was terrible with credit, but my wife was not so we had hers to fall back on.
2. Start an emergency savings, goal is 6 months of living expenses, when you get to $1,000. Either cut up that last card or freeze it in a block of ice.
3. Call your creditors, if you are in trouble, or have a hardship they may work with you to develop a 5 year payoff plan.
a. Yes there are Credit consolidation services out there, but do your homework on them. Biggest tip is to find one that is a non-profit company. Beware of fees and added costs, so do your research.
b. I have worked with USAA, Discover, Bank of America, and Chase. All worked with me.
c. USAA was able to defer or adjust payments on my equity loan, car loan and credit card to help me get on my feet, and build up that emergency fund. these were not permanent but they helped tremendously. Also they were able to offer the same deferments over a set amount of months, but they can only do that a certain amount of times so be cautious in using.
d. Bank of America, I closed the account, and it was at 12.99%. They offered me a fixed payment amount for 5 years and dropped the interest rate to 6%. Minimum payment went from 180 to 110.00 per month. Saved thousands, and that account is now closed.
e. Chase bank, same as above, min payment was 120.00 and became 65.00 per month for 5 years.
f. Paypal account, closed it, and used the money saved in month payments above to pay off in 2 years.
g. Discover took some time, they were not easy to work with at first, but keep trying, i had been trying the past 3 years and last month I called to ask if I could move my monthly payment a few days to hit my next paycheck. That discussion ended up with them lowering my 27.99% interest rate to .99%!!! and they refunded me over 3,000 in past interest payments, which dropped my monthly payment from 160.00 to 79.00 per month for 5 years.
Now with the above, I didn't do this fully, which if I did I am sure my debt would be way lower. Order of paying off cards. There are 2 theories, and I think it depends on the type of personality you have. If you like quick results and feelings of accomplishment, then payoff your lowest balance first. You feel great when you have one less bill to pay or check to write. If you look forward to the future and want to save the most amount of money, then start with paying off the highest interest rate first. It may take longer, but you will pay less in the long run.
When you pay off a card, take that amount and apply it to the next card in line, etc, etc, etc. I did my calculations and being in over 250,000 in debt. If I stuck to that plan with my current situation, I would be 100% debt free in 15 years. That includes, credit cards, car, student loans, equity loan, mortgage. I would own everything 100% Meaning every single penny coming from my paycheck goes into the bank, and pays for living expenses only. How great will that be to look forward too.
Hope that helps some and can give some inspiration.
In 5 years, I have paid off 3 of 5 CC's for over a total of 12,000, which without the above, I'd still be paying the minimum payments for 25 more years.
You can do it, it is possible, you just have to stick with it, and think twice when you pick up something you really want to buy, pay 50 in cash, or pay up to or over 100 with credit.
Good luck to you.