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
10 of the best beaches near airports Wait out your layover in the transit lounge? Or grab some sun, sand and surf? More
World's Top Employers for New Grads For an exclusive CNNMoney list, research firm Universum Global surveyed business students at colleges around the world to see where they most want to work. More
A White House press briefing as told by CNN's sketch artist The White House started banning cameras during some briefings, so CNN sent in sketch artist Bill Hennessy. More

Special Offer