Case Studies

By now, you're beginning to grasp how complex figuring out the right debt repayment plan can be. We'll use two fictional characters, Stefano and Ingrid, as examples to explore further the necessary trade-offs people need to make when figuring out their plans of attack.

Stefano and Ingrid have many financial details in common: They both have a mortgage, a student loan, an auto loan, and credit card debt. Both have a child they want to send to college, and both are somewhat behind in saving for retirement, although they're contributing enough to their workplace 401(k)s to get the full company match. Yet their situations—and debt repayment plans—are quite different.

Stefano is married; he and his wife both work outside the home. They ...

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