19k in Debt Can’t Get Out

Amazon OntheMove-
Apr 22, 2018 40 Comments

In my few years of being a “professional” not too long out of college I was able to rack up nearly 19k in debt. I pay my bills on time but outside of the monthly payments there is not much I can do to add to each account. I don’t live extravagantly and do not spend much money. But I still can’t seem to get these numbers to go down, every month after I pay it seems like the balance just goes back up when it’s time for the next month.

Anyone have any advice? Has anyone gotten out of this jam before? What did you do?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 40 Comments
  • Facebook Lolololo
    What kind of debt is it? Mortgage, car, school? Focus on fully paying off the highest interest loan first (and only pay the minimum EMI for other loans until then)
    Apr 22, 2018 5
    • Amazon OntheMove-
      OP
      Credit card : (
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Facebook Lolololo
      I would suggest selling off your car and stuff to pay down credit card debt completely ASAP. Those are the most toxic debt at 17%+ interest rates.

      Also since your past experience shows you lack spending discipline with credit cards, I strongly suggest you close out all credit card accounts and rely only on cash and debit cards for every purchase.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Amazon Bot'sBot
      Get a card with zero percent interest and do a balance transfer. Balance transfer fee is 2-5% and the zero percent can be for 12-18 months depending on the card. So you pay 2-5% and don't pay interest for a year or more. You should have a plan to pay off by the time zero percent ends.

      Park some debt in zero percent cards and pay down higher interest debt first. Pay down every bit of it aggressively.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Amazon OntheMove-
      OP
      I am lucky in that I only have 1 card that is higher than 17%. I think I will unfortunately just sell a couple of stocks and be done with it. This upcoming trading window and the next and then I will be debt free.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      lena33

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Salesforce
      lena33more
      If you are alone move to the cheapest appartment, don't pay to TV, internet should cost 30-40$, the same for the phone. And no Starbucks:)
      Apr 22, 2018
  • Netflix Johnny5
    You are spending far too much money. When I was your age I made it work on $40k a year.
    Apr 22, 2018 2
    • KPMG
      G(. Y.)GLE

      KPMG

      PRE
      Deloitte, Accenture
      G(. Y.)GLEmore
      40k in 1985 was a lot
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Netflix Johnny5
      Lol! It was more like 2005
      Apr 23, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon OntheMove-
      OP
      I am going the RSU best route.. After the next two trading windows have opened I will be done with this debt. Just didn’t want to go that route but I need to do what I need to do.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Harmar
      That's a fine plan, just make sure you keep the credit cards fully paid off every month afterwards.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Amazon OntheMove-
      OP
      That is my plan! I will “lose” them and the only thing that goes on them will be bills that I already pay every month.
      Apr 22, 2018
  • Amazon golly
    You have a spending problem. Add up where the money really goes any cut your spending.

    No expensive car. No luxury apartment. Stop eating every meal in a restaurant. Stop spending on every latest gadget.

    Given you work at Amazon it's a small debt and if you can't manage it your spending is out of control.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Twitch howquaint
    Hard to understand without knowing your debt to income but my gut feeling is that you’re simply spending more than you earn.

    Stop eating out, if you have car payments, sell the car and get a beater, downgrade your apartment, look at other costs and reduce.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Microsoft / Eng Gs4478
    figure out your month income and your expenses; if you have any savings, I’d use that to pay that debt off.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • LinkedIn Sowhatdidi
    Also check using mint.com, it will detect some ways to save for you. E.g. suggesting a better quote for car insurance, detecting extra expenses. But seriously, leave Amazon and problem solved.
    Apr 22, 2018 3
    • Amazon OntheMove-
      OP
      Why would leaving amazon solve my problem?
      Apr 22, 2018
    • LinkedIn Sowhatdidi
      Move to a FAANG except Amazon in bay area. You will be doing two things: bay area salaries are higher (so are living costs, but your savings increase). And you will be leaving Amazon, which had the worst compensation among all FAANG. Just do it, and you will see. When you move to buy, your sign-on bonus at FANG companies in bay area will pay the 19K, and you will have way more.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Amazon if(debug):
      Not always True about amazon, very lucrative if you joined amazon 1-2 years ago, stock more than doubled in value and my TC has gone through the roof for next 3 years at 400k+ for an SDE2 with 5-6 years exp
      Apr 22, 2018
  • Microsoft Devmain
    I believe that would be high interest loan, sad to see this dude, try saving more , but there is another way , Appy for a loan from lending club, typically if you credit history is good you would get it at 5% much lower than your interest. It’s peer to peer lending, there are many tech workers including myself who invest in these loans at the lending club so ppl like you can get help and we have decent interest in return.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Devmain
    You can also pm your loan ID from lending club, if your application looks good from lending club, I will see if I can fund your loan atleast partially.
    Apr 22, 2018 3
    • Amazon OntheMove-
      OP
      My credit score is s***... I have one cc with super late payments due to a roommate situation. But in the last few months I was able to raise my score about 100 points from then but it is still crap 😭
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Microsoft Devmain
      You can still apply probably your interest rate would be higher but still lot lower than credit card. No harming in applying for a loan
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Amazon OntheMove-
      OP
      I will do it now then.
      Apr 22, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng N00bSDE
    Bullshit. If you're that much in credit card debt and you "don't spend much money," you're fucking lying to yourself. Stop making excuses and cut out all unnecessary spending.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Stop letting lifestyle creep take effect. You probably earn silly money and still are in $19k CC debt! No more than 1 Starbucks for you per month for the next 10 years. And cut out all/most the other stupid waste
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • SK hynix 샴송
    Use YNAB or Mint to keep a make a budget and stick to it.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Google / Eng
    sergey

    Google Eng

    BIO
    Haha
    sergeymore
    Take a loan out of your 401k and pay the debt.
    Apr 22, 2018 4
    • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
      Terrible advice
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      sergey

      Google Eng

      BIO
      Haha
      sergeymore
      Nope. It is much better than paying credit card interest.

      Off course, the money you take off is not compounding while you don't pay it back but you pay interest to yourself on a 401k loan not to a bank.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
      It’s better than 17% credit card interest, that’s true. But if you leave your employer for any reason then you have a very short time frame (usually 60-90 days) to pay to pay it back in full. If you’re single or have a single income and low savings this becomes high risk.
      Apr 22, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      sergey

      Google Eng

      BIO
      Haha
      sergeymore
      True.
      Apr 22, 2018
  • LinkedIn Sowhatdidi
    Move from Amazon to a FAANG company except Amazon in Bay area.
    Apr 22, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Eng
      ImUglyRip

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Oracle
      ImUglyRipmore
      Depending on the transition OP would lose more on other expenses. I say FANG (F or G specifically) in Seattle
      Apr 22, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
    A lot of good advice in the thread.

    OP one thing to consider is the “rule of 72”. Divide 72 by the interest rate and roughly that is how long it takes for compound interest to double the balance. In your case that’s every ~4 years. Even waiting 2 years to pay it off will result in paying nearly 50% more than what you borrowed.

    One suggestion: if you get an offer for a card to do a balance transfer for a lower interest rate and/or at 0% for a year, it might be worth it but *only* if you fix the spending habits and get the debt paid down. Balance transfers usually incur a 2+% charge for doing so but you have to pay that up front.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Amazon shhhpeebow
    Go to reddit/r/personalfinance, read the sidebar, and make a post if you need to asking for advice. You can do it. You might have to make lifestyle sacrifices...get a roommate, sell your car and get a bike, etc etc.
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • HCL / Other jstwrkhere
    "But I still can't see these numbers to go down" It's called compound interest, pretty genius. 😆
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Amazon wwqwwq
    Wits ur interest rate on the loan
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Facebook public
    Spend less money and pay off more each month?
    Apr 22, 2018 0
  • Microsoft / Eng omw_there
    You can also try to consolidate what you can into 1 so that you are sending your money to less different places, then you can have 1 interest rate for them all and pay more than the min if it works out better that way (do research and calculations before hand)
    Apr 22, 2018 0

Join verified employees in our anonymous social network! Download the app!

close