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Finally, something other than the challenge to blog about....

April 11th, 2008 at 08:20 am

I am thinking the unthinkable.... I am thinking of dipping into my vast savings to pay down my debt. Specifically, I am thinking of paying off my United Mileage Plus card, which has a balance of $23,867.86.

Why this sudden change of heart? Well, basically, I'm tired of Chase trying to set me up to fail.

Yes, I'm have decided that Chase -- the bank behind the card -- would love to see me not be able to make my monthly payment on time and in full. Thus bringing more money to its coffers in the form of late fees and increased finance charges.

You see, yesterday I got a letter from Chase saying they were raising my interest rate. I called and politely asked "WTF?" and they transferred me around to four different people -- disconnecting me altogether at one point. I finally got Jamie, who I have to say was one of the nicest, most helpful credit card employees that I have ever spoken to.

I nicely walked him through my situation (nicely always being the key when asking credit card companies to play fair). He then walked me through Chase's situation. I then nicely pointed out to him that Chase was setting me -- and others in the same position -- up to fail and dig a deeper hole for themselves. He said he fully understood my situation/point and even admitted he's in the same boat himself. He then walked me through my options. And, without outright telling me what to do, suggested highly what I could do to get Chase to lower my interest rate even more instead of raising it.

As we were chatting, he took some info from me and said he was going to submit a request for a lower rate for me. He said it's unusual for Chase to accept the request on the first try, especially considering my current state (which I won't bore you with the details). I said I appreciated him at least trying. He said if it didn't go through to make sure I call back monthly to see if I could eventually get it approved. I said I would. He then said he'd have an answer for me in the next 48 hours.

Then I obsessed about it overnight and I decided if Chase doesn't agree to at least leave my interest rate alone then I'm going to take the plunge and dip into my retirement funds to pay off the card, and be rid of Chase and credit cards forever. (Yes, Chase is my one and only personal credit card debt.)

I have already figured out that I can save the money I was putting toward the card and in 5 years have the total amount I withdraw from my retirement fund paid off. I will have to investigate my investment options, though, since I'm pretty sure my husband and I have priced ourselves out of the Roth IRA market. But, that's a minor inconvenience for something that will ease my mind greatly.

I am still digesting it all while I wait for Jamie to call me back. Even if Chase does agree to leave my interest rate alone, I'm kind of leaning toward just cutting my ties with them altogether.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking do I really need this financial news when I just gave notice at the office job to focus on building up the booming side business even more?


Now, tell me what you would do and explain your reasoning? Also, tell me what you know about the Roth IRAs income limits. (And, be nice! I'm not in a very good mood here. I'm having a bad hair day. ...)

3 Responses to “Finally, something other than the challenge to blog about....”

  1. Caoineag Says:

    Well, its hard to say. I don't know your credit score or other important factors. If you are talking a 401(k) loan that you pay back completely, then that may be your best option. If your credit score is good, you might want to consider a consolidation personal loan instead. This also keeps you from a credit card (though I suspect by now you know to cut cards up as soon as you finished with them).

    I would rather do the personal loan than touch retirement its easy to mess up and lose alot of money when messing with that. And its impossible to really catch it up. As to Roth IRA's, you can do partial contributions up to $159,999. The main way to get your income low enough for that is pretax 401(k) contributions.

    Though honestly, if you make good money, don't be afraid to do a taxable account with an efficient index fund. I plan on doing this since I want to retire early and you shouldn't touch retirement monies till after a certain age. First however I would deal with the $23k issue at hand. Best of luck with everything!

  2. Caoineag Says:

    sorry, the ROTH IRA limit changed, goes up to $166k now for partial.

  3. toyguy1963 Says:

    If you don't have all your savings in your retirement funds I would say pay off that credit card. But I personlly would never touch the money thats in IRA or 401K type accounts cause of the penalties.

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