Home > Our Six Figure Debt

Our Six Figure Debt

February 6th, 2021 at 01:03 am

Debt List

Hello everyone! I thought I'd join this community to connect with like-minded people, build genuine connection, and hopefully get motivation to keep going on this debt free journey.

A bit about myself, I'm a thirty-something-year-old woman living in Alaska with her husband who's in the ARMY and 3 children (16yo girl, 13yo girl, and 4yo boy). I'm a Dave Ramsey enthusiast although I do disagree with some of his teachings (for example, saving $1,000 for emergency fund). My hobbies include photography, working on my planner, and making excel budgeting sheets. 

Anyway, I was curious. Is there anyone here other than me that has a six figure debt amount? If so, how do you plan on tackling the debt?

25 Responses to “Our Six Figure Debt”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    Welcome. I used to have debt close to that, but started blogging here in 2006 and shared my journey to debt freedom. We became debt free in June of last year. It was hard and required a lot of sacrifice, but the snowball method really works. And yes, I did not like having just a $1000 EF, either. We had too many medical issues, so I felt better with a higher amount. Ended up making a Medical Fund as well as an Emergency Fund.

    If you don't get a lot of comments today, it is because of the site having issues with their security certificate. Usually a bunch of people will jump in to welcome newbies, so don't be discouraged if no one else responds until they fix it. I just know how to circumvent the security issue and post anyway.

  2. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Welcome! Many people on the site have had that much in debt. If you post on the forums you'll get lots of advice!

    Personally not six figures. We did owe close to $80k on DH's student loans MBA and we have had car loans intermittently. We also have a very currently large mortgage.

  3. Frugal_Cheap_Pants Says:

    Welcome! I've been here since 2006. I find the accountability and support of the folks here to be the most helpful. I love your hobbies. Mine are the same, especially spreadsheets. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I keep finding ways to use them at work too.

  4. terri77 Says:

    Welcome! I love the success stories in this community & I can’t wait until you’re able to share your journey to debt free story. Have you considered doing a 0% card balance transfer? There is a fee, but it’s a lot less than the interest rate you are paying.

    I love my Excel spreadsheets & Clever Fox budget planner. I’ve turned into a huge budgeting enthusiast!

    Have you ever called into the Dave Ramsey show?

  5. Lots of Ideas Says:

    I don’t know what your income is, but I notice you have four vehicle loans - Prius, van, camper, Truck.
    That accounts for almost half your debt. Any chance you can sell some of these to get a head start?
    Is there anything you bought with the credit cards that you can sell?
    Understanding what you are charging is important for you - if it’s food or medical, you have a different issue than if it’s entertainment or impulse purchases.

    Would you like to post a budget? I wonder if you are able to sustain living expenses and this debt on your income.
    If you have federal student loans where interest is suspended, I would direct that to higher interest debt. Hopefully, some student loan debt will be forgiven!

    If nothing else, if you are eligible for the stimulus payment, I would target the Best Buy and potentially the Capitol One Debt as they are your highest interest rates. You might be able to eliminate Best Buy to get a snowball.

  6. james.hendrickson Says:

    Guys - some of the other commenters here have more practical advice than I do, but I wanted to take a minute to encourage on your debt payoff journey. Its hard to confront one's own stressful financial situation, so my hat is off to you for taking charge and making it happen.

  7. disneysteve Says:


    The blogs are great but I'd also recommend you post to the forums, especially if you're going to post more details like your budget and income info. It's easier to reply to individual comments there so it makes for a much more organized discussion.

    It's fantastic that you've paid off 21% of your debt so far. How long has that taken?

    In order to give meaningful advice and suggestions, we really need to see the income and spending info so I look forward to you posting that.

    I'll withhold any other comments until I see the numbers.

    Thank you and your husband for your service.

  8. Cam Mitchell Says:

    Welcome to the group! Thanks for sharing! I do not have this amount but have too much! 😀 I am working along with everyone else to pay off my debt. I

  9. disneysteve Says:

    Without the budget info, there are a couple of things that stand out.

    The low interest debt seems to have decreased by a lot more than the high interest debt, but that could just be a timing issue. For example, the truck loan (3.99%) has dropped by $18,000, but the BestBuy balance (27.24% - ouch) has only dropped by $2,000.

    Make sure that you are putting every spare penny toward the debt with the highest interest rate and just paying the minimums on everything else. That's the system that will get you out of debt the fastest and save you the most money. I know Dave Ramsey says to focus on the smallest balance first, but it doesn't look like you've been doing that either.

  10. crazyliblady Says:

    I saw in your post that you disagree with saving $1000 for emergency savings. Just out of curiosity, what approach do you plan to use when life happens? We are all occasionally besought with small and large problems, such as flat tires, engines blowing, illness, job loss, or the fridge or furnace dying. These are just a few possibilities and if you don't have emergency savings, you might resort to using credit cards again.

  11. Petunia 100 Says:


    Welcome to Saving Advice.

    Don't be afraid to use balance transfer cards, just make sure that the math works in your favor with any balance transfer fees. A lot of people think that these offers include deferred interest, but they do not. When the promotional period ends, the regular rate is applied from that point forward. In the interim, if you have reduced your debt significantly, you are that much further ahead. If you can transfer the balance on one card to another with more favorable terms, feel free to close and cancel the original card. That way, there is zero chance that the balance will be run up again.

    I see that you are planning to live in a camper; my SO and I live in a 5th wheel. I am getting close to paying off the debt on it and am so very excited about that. May I ask about your current living situation? Do you own a home you plan to sell, are you renting, etc.

    And is it you were able to add a picture? I have been trying for MONTHS to add pictures to my blog and cannot. If you would like to email me directly instead of answering here, please feel free.

    Best of luck to you with your goals. I am looking forward to following your progress.

  12. rob62521 Says:

    Nice spreadsheet!

    Welcome to SA. We never had that kind of debt, but we never made a whole bunch of money either. Lots of good ideas, advice, and camaraderie here.

  13. GOAT03 Says:

    You need to get SCRA/MLA benefits applied to Best Buy, Amazon and Capital One cards. That drops down to 4-6% interest and they’ll refund the amount you’ve paid over that since opening the card.

  14. GOAT03 Says:

    Apple Card as well, they’ll do 4%.

  15. Chris B. Says:

    If the student loans belong to your husband he can apply for public service loan forgiveness and they forgive the rest after 120 payments (10years). Then try to get them to lower the rates and monthly payments due to the military service which caps them at 6% I think. The the payment are based on income. But currently no payments are required in federal student loans and the current $0 payments each month count towards the 120 payments for forgiveness. Use this to your advantage and start putting that money somewhere else. I would also consider selling the Prius or the van, or you could sell both the van and camper. These steps could save you almost 25% of you monthly debt expenditures then that’s $1000 to start aggressively throwing at other debt.

  16. disneysteve Says:

    "The credit cards are what I'm having an issue with since my husband is charging things on it even while I'm trying to pay it off... I'm struggling trying to get my husband on the same page and not spend what we don't have."

    This is priority #1! You will never make any progress if you don't fix this. The first rule when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.

    You need to sit down with him and review the situation and the numbers. Show him how much is coming in and how much is going out.

    Your monthly debt payments come to $58,000/year. I don't know how much you earn but I'm guessing that's a big chunk of your income. He needs to understand that he can't keep spending money you don't have to buy things you don't need.

  17. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I would consider selling the prius and the minivan. How old is each? You don't need to do doordash if you need a new car to do it. Buy a dirt cheap $5k civic if you really want to. That'll save you some $$$.

    Also for the minivan? Is it new or used? Buy a 5 year old used van and drive it for 5 years and I bet if you get an american brand you can get it for like $10k. That'll save you $30k in debt.

    I personally have a used van 2015 Toyota Sienna bought in 2017. Paid $28k for it fully loaded with leather and dvd player. So sell your minivan and get an older used one. I bet you could get a toyota that's 5 years old for like $15k. It'll run forever.

  18. crazyliblady Says:

    In my humble opinion, it's pretty clear what the problem is. You are living way beyond your means. You need to create an actual budget that you stay within, pay cash for things you need, sell some stuff you probably don't need, and pay off your debts. I have some specific thoughts on vehicle loans below.

    What is the necessity in having a truck, a van, and a car? Do you actually have 3 drivers in the house? If you only have two drivers, why not sell one of them so you are not paying for the payment and the insurance cost?

    How often do you use your camper? If you don't use it a lot, then it seems like a waste to have it because it is costing you nearly $300.00 plus whatever insurance you have on it.

  19. terri77 Says:

    I was biting my tongue so to speak, but since LivingAlmostLarge brought it up, I will second her sentiments. You bought a $39k car to do DoorDash? What is your break-even point?

  20. James Says:

    Commenters - please remember, it takes a lot of guts to post this here, lets all try and be nice when we do leave our comments.

  21. mumof2 Says:

    I would suggest cutting up the credit cards, I think to get out of debt you both have to be on the same page and it sounds like you are doing a lot of work and he is continually spending so maybe sit down and have a discussion with him. Whatever he is buying add the interest up each month and ask him if he would pay $100 for something or $400 for the same thing because if you are not paying that card off each month then everything you are buying is costing you a lot more...we have "mad money" that we get each month and that is our spending money for the hubby has his own account that has a card attached to it so he can buy what he wants....but if you get rid of the cards you can't use them and then you can really start tackling them...
    We have several accounts for what we need, so we have an everyday acct, an ice acct (emergency), a POm acct (yearly/quarterly bills we put a certain amount each month), we have a medical acct, a car acct (services/tyres/rego/ins etc), our mad money accts and an acct for our house deposit...this is our main priority to buy a house. Once we buy a house we will start putting money away for a car again as we pay cash for our cars...we have no debt...and hopefully the only debt we will have again will be a mortgage...
    I don't know if you work or anything but any extra money you have some say put on the higest interest rate, but many like paying of the smallest then moving into the next one one...I wish you luck and I would suggest that you include the whole family in the budgeting discussion, it is great for the kids to learn as well...I wish you the best of luck....make a plan..plan some goals and start the journey...In australia we usually use the barefoot investor, he does it for families as well as adults as we do things a bit different here!!

  22. terri77 Says:

    Thanks for the reminder, James. I think everyone has been both kind & thoughtful in their comments. Coming from someone who has just completed paying off a large amount of credit card debt, I’m glad someone that cared enough asked me the frank questions that helped me to get there.

  23. Petunia 100 Says:

    BTW, I would love to hear more about your planner. I'm afraid I have a bit of a planner problem. I keep buying one, then another. I have put the brakes on that, as I don't want to waste money on planners I don't use. I have purchased different types of Erin Condren, Plum Paper, and Mead. I think of those I have purchased, I like Erin Condren the most.

  24. AJ Says:

    Hey there! Best of luck on your journey. Just being here and sharing is a great sign that you are focused and ready to tackle this. I’m sure others have pointed this out but you have several vehicle loans. With a family you naturally have to have transportation, just curious if you would consider selling the camper or van and buying it later when you’re debt free? It would make a huge dent almost immediately. Keep up the good work, we’re rooting for you!

  25. J Says:


    I think you are very cool for posting finances and seeking resolutions to your debt.

    I do not know the whole situation but do you own a home. If so I was also in 16k credit card debt and 12k on a car loan. I refinanced my house and paid off all these loans with cash out from refinance which brought my debt to 3.5 interest rate and I think it really improved our situation.

    Also I planned a date with my husband and we had sort of a business meeting about finances where we both agreed to save 2k a month in a savings account which has been working very well just by making the time and intention to do it.

    Best of luck with it and things can change quickly sometimes

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