Forum: Advice / Secrets PG-13

Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:12 PM

I realize that some people are gonna be like "oh yeah" and others are going to be like "no not at all" b/c people have different amounts of debt. I'm just really worried that this is too much. I come from a family that pays off any credit in full every month and has always been super paranod about debt so I can't ask them what they think (I'm afraid my parents will be really mad). I am making payments when I can afford it, but I'm a full time student and I can only work so many hours. I've also stopped using my card as much as possible. I just want some opinions, so maybe I can feel a bit better?

19 Replies to Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?

re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:23 PM
In my family, any debt is bad debt, since we're Dave Ramsey followers. Pay it off ASAP and don't use it again. I know that as a student, money is tight. However, downsizing (downgrading your cell phone, buying less expensive groceries, going out once a week instead of two, etc) is well worth being debt free.

I will say that $900 is far less than a lot of people have debt-wise.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Brittanymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:27 PM
$900 is less than a lot of people I know, but more than others.

But I'm with Kekoa...I've just always been raised to believe that any debt was bad debt since my parents had to file for bankruptcy a long time ago.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:42 PM
Definitely pay it off as fast as you can. If you're trying to look to just feel better, then there's a few questions you need to ask yourself:

Did you NEED to use that credit, or was it frivolous purchases that wracked up that debt?
Is there any way you can change your habits to cut down on your spending?

Honestly, it doesn't matter if you have $50 or $5000 of debt. It matters what your attitude toward it is and WHY you've accumulated it.*

*I know for some that's not true, but it's more to make a point.

So take care of the debt you have, and don't do it again if you can help it.

Good luck!
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster
On Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:47 PM
^^^ Most of the purchases on there were from a trip I took. Well worth it as it was lifechanging, but still. I'd say the rest is mainly school stuff like books, with a few frivolous purchases but nothing major. I know that its not GOOD to have debt, so I guess asking if its bad wasn't really a good way to word it. I'm really just curious how I would compare to others my age and in my situation (full time grad student, living at home, working as much as possible w/ school, etc.) I am working on paying it off, slowly but surely. Its just frustrating because its taking so long!

Thank you all for your advice, you've definitely made me feel a little better.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By MissErinDmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:57 PM
I'm a full time college student, living on my own (with my boyfriend) with little help from my parents. I have about 900 in debt as well. I say that if it's for a trip, or for school then it's "good debt". Just make sure you're AT LEAST making minimum payments, if you can, just put away $100 a month to put towards your credit card and make sure you don't use it unless you absolutely have to.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Lovesongmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:35 AM
I'll be 23 in January, and I've accumulated, in total, somewhere along the lines of $20 000 in debt, and being in school and NOT qualifying for student loans because my parents made too much (but not enough to pay for me) it's going down very slowly (in fact, sometimes it seems like it's going up).

So to me, $900 really is nothing. I'd love to be $900 in debt, compared to where I am now.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By tty80111
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 01:08 AM
Edited by tty80111 (59351) on 2009-10-31 01:09:53
Edited by tty80111 (59351) on 2009-10-31 01:10:15
Edited by tty80111 (59351) on 2009-10-31 01:10:36
I don't think 900 of debt is bad for any age. At least its not four digits yet!

I got junk mail for credit card applications and some of them give you frequent flyer miles for every dollar spent, but read the fine print, the annual fee just to have that card is $85 a year! Thats like paying for a service that tries to keep you in debt... and don't tell me "oh just pay it off on time"... look at how much debt there is in this world.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 01:41 AM
Trying to judge your level of debt against the debt of others is a trap so many people fall into. A large majority of people have debt. In this case, the norm is a bad thing. Generally speaking, for most people, if you can't afford it, you don't need it. There are exceptions where a person has no options, and must use a credit card to eat or go hungry. However, it doesn't sound like you're in that situation. Trim all excess and pay off that $900 as fast as you can. In the future, don't go on trips you can't afford to pay for upfront, don't pay for extras you don't have the cash for, and get your books used online. Then, throw the credit card away.

For comparison sake, I have no credit card debt and never will. I have $5,790.77 exactly in student loan debt, and I am paying it off as quickly as I can, paying more than the minimum each month. Other than my future house, I will remain debt free in the future, barring any extreme circumstances.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By moomintrudemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 04:51 AM
Edited by moomintrude (59118) on 2009-10-31 04:57:04 early mornings + cough medicine = MOOM not being able to spell!!
Well I'm in the UK so mine might not be th best comparison but I thought I'd throw it out there.

I'm 25 (almost 26 :O), I'm a full time student living at home - although still paying rent to my parents. I don't currently work due to my schedule and work load, although i did up until a month ago. The only debt I have is my student debt, which I think is currently about £3000 but will probably be about £7000 by the time I graduate. This will come out of my wages monthly at the same time as tax once I graduate and get a decent paying job (I think the threshold is currently £15k a year) so I dont really see it in the same way as owing to a bank,etc as I cant really 'just pay it back' so to speak.

I hardly ever go out, if I do I drive to save money on drinks, My only 'extra' thing is two dance classes a week which comes to £10 a week roughly. I pay £115 a month on car payments and everything else for my car is payed yearly. I allow myself £50 a week at the moment although this is flexible as I try to save what I dont spend.

roll back to being 21 - I was working full time, living away from home, earning a semi decent wage. I had a £900 credit card debt and an £800 overdraft. I was in deep deep doo-doo really! I went to my parents, explained the whole situation to them and they paid off the debts for me, and I paid them back monthly minus the interest I would have paid the bank. I know that I am so lucky that they would do this for me, my dad had just been made redundant so had a decent sized pay out and they had a healhy chunk of savings. I paid them back every penny that I owed and it realy made me pull up my socks and think about what I was spending. I would sit down every month with my mom and go through what I picked up, what needed to be paid out, saved and how much I could 'reasonably' live on.

Could you maybe sit down with your parents (or someone else you trust) and work out exactly how much your incomings and outgoings are every month? I even gave up my card for the first six months so I wasn't tempted to 'put it on the card' :? just a thought.

as long as you accpet that you need to pay it back thats a good start. Dont hide from it like I tried to do

MOOM
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Staceymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 05:11 AM
I'm 22 and $27,000 in debt...but only because I'm financing my 2009 Honda Civic...my credit card debt is $650 but that's because I bought a Nikon D3000 camera the other day...but I have the money it just takes awhile to transfer it from my savings account.

That was a really long sentence. Anyhow, just make sure you meet the minimum payment for each month.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By IrishLizzymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 08:48 AM
I know people in their 20's living at home in well over $30,000 of debt with creditors calling twenty times a day. So, you're not really in a lot of debt compared to them, but still any kind of debt is bad.

Try paying it off as soon as possible and don't just make minimum payments if you can avoid it because the interest will accumulate quickly.

I'm just going to echo some of the previous posts, but try cutting down on your expenses. Rent a movie instead of going to the theaters or find a cheaper cell phone plan and eat at home instead of going out.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By ballerinatwirler
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:12 AM
I'm totally in your boat expect I'm about $1,000 in debt on one credit card and about $100 on another. I'm constantly stressed out that my parents will open my statement or because I have only like $50 a month right now to put on it.Most of what I bought on the card were food (because my mom rarely grocery shops), clothes ( because of a weight gain none of my old clothes fit), books for school about $200 worth, and that's about it. Well when I got to school I paid about $800 or so for text books.I commute to school so I'm spending double on gas per week. I don't even have any money to hang out with friends anymore.

Well since I'm in school I'm working about half as much as I had in the summer and last spring. So before I always had enough a month pay my bills no problem. Now I'm struggling to pay them on time. Now I'm literally living on $10 a week with gas. Thank god I live at home.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:03 AM
I personally don't think $900 is bad AT ALL.

I feel like debt is simply unavoidable for some. It happens. I don't think that there's no such thing as good debt, I think it depends on how you control your debt and what you're going into debt for.

There's a difference between being truly strapped and buying crap you don't really need. I'm 23 and $1400 in debt. There were two separate occasions where my car needed repairs and that sent my balance way up fast. I had no choice but to charge the repairs to the credit card I have through my bank. I have one other credit card, the Victoria's Secret Angels card and I only rarely charge anything to that. I'm sure to pay off the balance in full. I mostly have it for the free panty coupons lol. If you stop using it, the coupons stop coming.

It sounds like you're being wise about your debt. You seem to understand the big picture and the fact that you're concerned about less than $1000 debt tells me you're being mature about it. Don't sweat it and pay it down as you can. It doesn't sound to me like you're interested in racking up any more, so I don't need to tell you this, but just don't use the card till the balance is gone. Having a family member hide if from you is is never a bad idea.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Incarnadinemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 01:19 PM
How “bad” you’re debt is = totally relative.
It all depends on how able you are to make payments consistently (at or above the payment required) and the ability to pay it off in a decent amount of time. I mean, for someone who makes $1,000 a month- $900 is probably a lot of debt to handle. If you’re making $3-4,000 a month then it might not be so hard if you otherwise live within your means and aren’t adding to the debt. You know? also I think what the debt actually IS makes a big difference too.

In general, I’m with the others, $900.00 is pretty small compared to a lot of people’s debts.
If you can make a little bit over the minimum payment every month I think you’ll be in good shape. I don’t use credit cards anymore but when I did I always tried to make more than the minimum payments. Another thing that helps is doubling up on payments. Pay the minimum, then send an extra payment two weeks later when you get your next paycheck (or put the money aside to pay off a larger lump sum the following month… either way, just contribute more than required each month- even if you’re up to date or the next bill isn’t due yet. The longer you take to pay it off, the more you’re going to end up paying in the long run.

I’m in grad school too and I currently have just under $20,000 in debt. However, that is 100% school loans- nothing frivolous. That money covers my entire education (including books, supplies, etc.) up until I graduate, plus I’ll have a bit left over to keep me on my feet if I can’t find a job right after I graduate. I’m not stressed about it though because it’s an investment in my future and that debt is what will allow me to get a good job. The job I’ll get post-grad will more than make up in income the measly $20,000 it took to get a degree. You know?

Now, if I had $20,000 in debt because I bought tons of crap (clothes, nights out drinking, music, etc…) I’d be crapping myself right now.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 02:19 PM
It's not that bad. It could be a lot worse...and really, when I was working almost full time during the summer, it would only take me 6 weeks to make that.

But I agree with the statement that any debt is bad. It's better only to buy what you have the money for/will have the money for within a month or so.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By xBallet_babex
On Sat Oct 31, 2009 03:52 PM
I think how "bad" your debt is, is related to how much money you are or will be making. If you have $900 in debt and have no income, I could see that being a problem. I think you could pay off that debt with a fairly modest income though. As long as you are able to manage the payments and pay it off, it's okay. A lot of people get into debt and then can't get out of it. I have a credit card for emergencies...but that's ALL I use it for. I have no credit card debt, but I DO have student loans.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By tty80111
On Sun Nov 01, 2009 03:49 AM
Edited by tty80111 (59351) on 2009-11-01 03:51:40
Edited by tty80111 (59351) on 2009-11-01 03:59:51
I remember reading an article in a magazine why so many young people are in credit card debt. They typically have less self control over spending, are exposed to so many fads and trends with new "gotta have it" toys, and will always run back to mom and dad to bail them out and the kids pay it back interest free. Credit card companies know this... and they don't care.

On a much larger scale, this is part of the reason why America fell into a recession. Too much careless spending and easy access to get a loan on a dream house you couldn't afford in the first place. Its sad, really.

I know a lot of people are in debt from medical bills, I think that's the only uncontrollable factor of being in debt, but the hospitals will jack you up too.

900 dollars is nothing when you see people who defaulted on a loan and have to foreclose.

I'm not trying to put guilt on those who are in debt from other things. But this whole thing thing was to make you have that urge to spend. I'm so glad I removed myself from the mailing lists of all credit card applications that came in the mail. I haven't recieved one in two years.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
By moara
On Sun Nov 01, 2009 04:25 AM
Whether it's bad or not depends on what you spend it on, and how it compares to your regular cash flow.
If it's gotten that high because you're living outside your means, then it's bad.
If it's gotten that high because of school expenses, then it's more reasonable. But, credit card debt is just about the worst debt to have. The interest rates are terrible. Cards are really not meant for carrying long term debt. They're for unexpected large expenses that can be paid off in a few months. If you're looking at a few years, until you graduate, until you can pay it off properly, then you should look into getting a proper student loan from a bank. The interest rate and payment schedule are much more reasonable. You'd need your parents to cosign, though. But in the long run, it's definitely a better deal.
I don't know how bad it is in the states, but here in Canada, it really is quite simple to arrange.
re: Is 900$ in credit card debt bad for a 22 year old?
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