I Paid Off My Credit Card and All I Got Was A Lousy T-Shirt.

That headline is a lie, because I didn't even get that!

If you guys have been following the blog closely for the past year or so, you've noticed that my goal in 2012 was to whittle away my debt and raise my credit score. Over the past seven months I've paid off over $1,000, all towards two credit cards and I've paid off one completely.

I feel like I deserve a cake. Or at least, a Snickers.

We all know that in this day and age, debt management is an incredibly important thing. Climbing down a mountain of bills and succeeding is a very freeing thing.

But the thing is, as a young person I feel like many financial institutions would much rather see me pay the minimum over the next 3 decades, incurring loads of interest, than pay the card off in full.

It reminds me of my first semester of college. I had an advising session with the Journalism department and was advised to take a light course load. I asked the advisor if I would be able to graduate in four years on the plan she outlined and she emphatically replied, "Yes, of course!"

I was a freshman. I was (relatively speaking), dumb. And I spent the next three summers in Summer School paying for the decision to take a light course load my first year.

It wasn't until later that I realized that it was in the school's best interest to keep me there for as long as possible - the more semesters I spent in school, the more money they made. Durr.

I'm sure your credit union promotes financial literacy - educating people about the best ways to make your money work for you. But do you push an end goal of the journey?

Many financial institutions give bonuses and incentives for signing up for credit - but what about important milestones? Not saying that everyone who pays off a balance should receive a toaster, but if you're pushing financial literacy, wouldn't it be a good thing to acknowledge?

What are your thoughts? let us know in the comments!

DeAndre

PS. I still want cake.