Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

3 of 5
BACKNEXT
John Wilder
John Wilder
John Wilder, 59, is a marriage and relationships coach and author in New Castle, Ind.
Went cash-only: 3 years ago

My challenge: Reserving travel accommodations

I decided to free myself from credit cards because the companies were so aggressive with late fees, and those really downgraded my credit rating. I had become a slave to the credit card master. Three years ago I decided enough was enough and quit using my card and stopped making payments on $12,000 in credit card debt.

I still owe the money, but the credit card companies usually write off balances after seven years. It's killed my credit rating, but it was dead anyway because of my late payments.

When I tapped out my credit card, I realized I still needed one. We are forced in today's society to have a credit card. For example, most hotels don't allow you to check-in using cash, and car rental companies require large deposits.

My solution: I use a prepaid credit card, Wal-Mart's MoneyCard, which shows up as a normal credit card when I make a transaction, but it's front-loaded. It doesn't let you charge more than you have on the card; once you're out of funds, your purchases will be declined. There's monthly maintenance fee attached that's less than $5.

I've been using it for about three years, and life is much easier. I wonder why I never did it before. I will never return to a traditional credit card.

NEXT: Alex Cohen

Last updated December 08 2009: 7:38 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Homes in these ZIP codes are selling like crazy Strong job growth, growing interest from Millennials and affordable home prices are attracting home buyers to these cities. More
Working class whites & the government: It's complicated These Clearfield, Pennsylvania, residents are mad at D.C., but want more help. More
Dear Trump and Clinton: Here's what swing voters want These voices are based on interviews with American voters from the key swing states of Florida and Ohio. It's part of a special report titled "Your money, your vote," that will air on CNN on October 15. More

Special Offer