BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Utah woman shares how she erased $20,000 in credit-card debt in less than 2 years

May 12, 2022, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:33 am
Photo: Adobe Stock

SALT LAKE CITY — How do you get out from under that mountain of credit card debt you are carrying around? A Utah mom tells how she dug herself out from under a mountain of debt.

  • On average, Americans carry $6,569 in credit card debt, according to a 2022 report by Lending Tree.
  • New Jerseyans have the highest credit-card balance, averaging $7,872.
  • Kentuckians have the lowest credit-card balance, averaging $5,441 as reported by CNBC.
  • Utahns on average carry a credit-card debt of $6,279.

For all credit cards, the average APR was 14.56% in the first quarter of 2022, according to Lending Tree.

Ted Rossman, who is the credit-card senior industry analyst at Bankrate, says paying the minimum amount on a  credit card debt of $5,525 on the average rate (above) will take more than 16 years to pay down to $0. What’s more, he said, you will end up paying more in interest ($6,200) than what you borrowed (principal).

To avoid interest charges for 21 months, Rossman recommends a 0% balance transfer credit card.

Goodbye, credit-card debt

Evelyn Cox, who paid off $20,200 in debt in 21 months, told KSL NewsRadio’s Debbie Dujanovic and guest host Taylor Morgan how she freed herself from her financial burden.

The first step, Cox said, was taking a hard look at her spending, including the $2.50 she owe the library.

“I was only paying the minimum. I didn’t feel that I had money to pay any more than that,” she added.

After looking at her monthly spending, Cox found she only had $20 extra to add to her minimum payment. She said she knew that savings alone was not going to get her out from under her $20,200 debt. 

She began to sell items on eBay.

“I decided to — instead of just finding things from my home — I would search scratch-and-dent stores, thrift stores. I would purchase things that I could then resell,” Cox said.

She also became a Door Dash delivery driver.

“I even did things like surveys online… But if I had a spare minute here or there I fill out a survey and earn 25 cents,” Cox said.

How do you keep credit-card debt away permanently?

“How did you get a grip on your family spending, Evelyn, so you didn’t run those credit cards back up again?” Debbie asked.

Cox said she cut off all her subscriptions.

“My kids were so upset when I got rid of Netflix, but it had to go. It was a subscription that was not necessary.”

Everything her family ate was from home, and Cox wouldn’t buy anything unless it was on sale.

“I would plan my meals around those items,” she said. “I owned one pair of jeans during that time. And I wore that out until it was gone.”

Cox’s advice: know your spending numbers, then plot your course.

“How could I set a goal for myself if I didn’t know what I needed to do?”

Related: Seven ways you can save some money

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Utah woman shares how she erased $20,000 in credit-card debt in less than 2 years