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The Biggest Losers (of Debt): How a Family Shed $106,000 in Debt
Five years ago, the Hildebrandt family of New Richmond, Wis., was juggling more than $100,000 in credit card and personal debt. Through frugality, determination and hard work, they are now -- other than a mortgage -- debt-free.
At the time, Russell and Kandy Hildebrandts' credit card balances totaled about $89,000, and they owed $17,000 to a family member. While they were current on all the payments, the card companies had begun raising their interest rates, adding hundreds to their minimum monthly payments. Kandy acknowledges that they presented a higher credit risk, given how their balances had ballooned. Even so, with the bump in the required payments, covering the monthly payments was a struggle. "We had to change," Kandy says.
Change they did. For their debt-fighting prowess, the Hildebrandts were on Tuesday night named the winners of the Professional Achievement and Counseling Excellence...