I would want to know some more information before making a decision such as:
1) Do you have some sort of emergency fund set up?
2) If you pull out the 7K in retirement is there a penalty?
3) What are the interest rates on the various debts?
1) Yes... and by the end of Jan it will be over $500. Not a lot I know, but it's getting there. By freeing up the 448 I could easily have it up to a grand in a couple months time.
2)No penalities involved with this money
3)This is the next debt on my debt reduction plan. At this point in the game I'm not concerned with interest rates. Freeing up the $448 will really help me put a dent in the other debts really quick. For full disclosure this debt is a signature loan at 12%
1) Without an emergency fund setup (at least 3-6 months) I would not pay more than I had to. Some may disagree but my reason is a solid emergency fund buys you time in case things don't go as planned and it's a great peace of mind knowing you have the cushion. Rash decisions are made when there is lack of time or money.
2) If its a credit union loan (auto loan?) which most likely has a good interest rate, why would you want to pay that off before tackling the credit cards which most likely carry much higher rates. I understand freeing up the $448 per month is huge but if its comparing a 6% loan to a 19% loan I'd tackle the 19%. If its an auto loan I'd think about driving a less expensive car.
3) Seriously analyze where you spend money and skimp on the little expenses (coffee, eating out, movies, etc) as they always add up to more than what one thinks. Use that additional money to help pay off debt.
1) I agree with the emergency fund... but it's going to take me a long time to get to that timeframe point. Right now my min payments are close to 3 grand a month.
2) My higher interest cards that I could pay off only opens up $127 a month. I figured I'd have a much better rate of return by paying of the other one that opens up $448 a month even though the interest is lower.
3) I have a journal thread in that section... .I have cut out most every bit of my extras on this journey. I got rid of my cable and blockbuster by mail... don't have a house phone, etc.