Your Car Payment is Part of Your Credit Card Debt Problem

Kathy Boudin
Feb 27, 2007
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If you are in credit card debt, you probably don't want to admit that your car payment is part of the problem. But it is. You're thinking, but I need a car and my car payment isn't related to my credit card.

In some ways, that's true. But from a cash flow perspective, your car payment severely limits your ability to pay off your credit card debt.

Sell your car. Buy a cheaper one (ideally, pay cash for the new car). Use the money that you're saving (on the car, the insurance, and everything else) to pay down your debt. You'll pay off your debt faster. In a few months or years, you'll be driving a better car than the one you have right now.

You probably have some sort of attachment to your car. Get over it. The attachment to the car is keeping you in debt.

Let me tell you my story: a year ago I bought an SUV with every feature the manufacturer made. It cost me nearly $40,000. The payments were about $600 per month. The insurance was outrageous and I felt like I was always at the gas pump. Besides that, I had a pile of credit card debt.

So I sold the car and bought a used Honda Civic. I cut my payments and insurance premium in half. And I feel like I'm never at the gas station. That simple solution alone added hundreds of dollars to my monthly budget. It sure made it a lot easier to pay off my debt.

Yes, it's painful. No, my car isn't as nice as what I used to have. But having all that extra money sure is nice. Now that I'm debt free, I just want to figure out what kind of a car I buy next.