OK, this is tough advice — and if you don’t believe it from me, I’ll say upfront that you can contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227. They are a non-profit and you can trust them. And they’ll say the same thing.
You are absolutely correct that you are not making a dent in your debt. That’s how the “game” is played. The interest charges overwhelm the cost of the initial purchases! So here is the formula for getting out of credit card debt in less than 3 years. But you have to follow it and not cheat — even once!
Take this month’s minimum monthly payment and DOUBLE it! Write down that amount and pay the exact same amount every month. (Not double the NEW minimum!) That card will be paid off in less than two years — if you don’t charge another penny on it!
Try it with TWO cards at once. Yes, that requires more money. And while I admire a stay-at-home Dad (or Mom) you need to bring in more money! So Dad needs to get a weekend job — waiter, Uber driver, anything — to make that extra money to pay extra on your cards.
That is the ONLY way you’ll get out of debt in this lifetime. And after you finish your credit cards, start on your home equity loan. It is going to bite you — either when it comes due in one big balloon since you’re likely paying interest-only, or if rates ever rise. You can do this all by living frugally (which you likely already are) and by BRINGING IN MORE MONEY! I’m not being frivolous here — I know it’s tough, but consider every extra hour in the week as an earning opportunity! You CAN do it!