Credit card debt can be detrimental for anyone. Roughly 77 million Americans have some sort of debt in collections reported in their credit files, and these financial issues can haunt anyone for decades.
Nerd wallet reports that Americans’ total credit card debt reached an estimated $931 billion in 2017 — a 7% increase from the previous year. It’s important to note, however, that Nerdwallet’s $931 billion estimate in total credit card debt collected is actually lower than the $1 trillion commonly cited number because the $1 trillion estimate includes prearranged overdraft lines of credit that don’t necessary belong to credit card users.
Unfortunately, not everyone can land a six-figure salary, work hard, and pay off their debt in a matter of weeks. And for freelance workers, dealing with credit card debt can be even more difficult.
It can be done, however, and we’re here to show you how.
According to The Cut, a freelance writer paid off $22,000 of credit card debt in six months.
Freelance writer Nicole Hardy took a yearlong sailing trip around the world at 42 years old. She left her freelance jobs, her teaching gigs, and all her paychecks behind as she took off to the sea. Her trip, however, ended up costing a lot more than she anticipated and by the end of the year was $22,000 in debt.
So how did she clear her debt in just six short months as a freelancer?
First, she faced her debt head on. Nicole added that she initially ignored her debt — a choice she now regrets — for over two years.
“My fear of the numbers made everything worse,” she said. “If I had faced facts six months sooner, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.”
Next, she started budgeting… diligently.
“I combed through my credit card and bank statements, categorized all the charges, and was horrified,” she added. “I had spent more on restaurants than I did on my mortgage.”
Finally, she was strategic about making her payments — and making them on time. Approximately one-third of Americans pay the minimum amount due on their credit cards each month, but that can result in catastrophic debts. Nicole is much more diligent about making her payments on time and will pay her cried card bill on her smart phone immediately after buying anything, even groceries.
“I never spend money I don’t have,” Nicole said. “I’m less anxious. I’m more in control of my health, more in control of my life.”