The Best Way to Eliminate Debt
Credit Card Debt has a nasty way of sneaking up on you. It begins with charging a new jacket on sale or a bargain for the latest Smart TV. The next thing you know you are drowning in $40,000 or $50,000 worth of debt. Maybe job loss or family illness contributed to the debt balances, but somehow it got away from you. Whatever the reason, bills piled up and now those once low monthly minimum payments have ballooned to hundreds or even $1,000.
The concept of low monthly payments can suck you into enrolling for a new credit card. Low interest offers or 0% interest for a few months encourages overspending. In the end you are left with high interest rate payments that can be difficult to manage. Stopping the bleeding and addressing the issue as soon as possible leaves you with the most options.
Late payments and collections limit your opportunities very quickly.
Where to Start
Any effective strategy for debt reduction or debt elimination must start with controlling spending, living within your means, and changing spending habits. The following steps are designed to help you get your financial situation under control, today.
Assess The Situation. Gather all your bills and look at what you are dealing with. To get started, a simple evaluation of who you owe, what interest rate you are paying, your monthly payments, and the total balances due help put things in perspective. Compare this information with your income to see what you have left for a debt reduction strategy.
Create a Budget. Look over your living expenses and see where your money is going. From there create a budget that is based on your current cost of living. If there is not enough money to go around, look for ways to save: Cut back or eliminate cable, trim your cell plan, or reduce eating out and entertainment. Whatever it takes to get your spending in line with your income.
Establish a Payoff Strategy. One strategy might mean making minimum payments on all but one bill and then paying extra on the lowest balance or highest interest rate card. If this is all too discouraging because your debt payments and interest rates are too high, you may qualify for a consolidation loan to get the rate and payments down. Work with a professional financial counselor to review options.
Stop Using Credit Cards. If you are serious about retiring debt, now is the time for cash and debit card usage. Never mind the points and rewards. Put the cards in a drawer or safe deposit box to eliminate access and reduce the temptation to overspend. If you don’t have the money, do without. Living like a college student may not be attractive, but reducing expenses to essentials have great long term rewards.
Get A Second Job. If you are unable to adjust your budget to meet the minimum payments you currently have, a second job may be necessary. A second job will also give you additional income, increasing your chances of qualifying for a consolidation loan, which can offer more immediate relief. Either way it will enable you to reduce debt faster and more effectively.
Put Windfalls Towards Debt. Whether you received an inheritance, end of year bonus, or tax refund, put any extra money towards debt reduction. Consider selling items you own but no longer use: Clothes, sports equipment, appliances, and tools are common things taking up space in your home. Turn these into cash to eliminate debt faster.
Set Goals and Change Behaviors That Sabotage Success. Do you want to be debt free, put more in retirement, fund college accounts for your children, or plan a dream vacation? Whatever your financial goals are, let them be a catalyst for action. You will need motivation to eliminate debt that has accumulated over the years.
Look at Short Term Options
There is more than one way to eradicate debt. Not all options require living on ramen noodles for the next 10 years to ensure you won’t retire broke. A Debt Consolidation Loan can offer immediate relief in the form of lower monthly payments and a lower interest rate. If you want to be aggressive with your debt elimination strategy, continue to make the same payment amounts on the consolidation loan to retire the debt sooner. Either way you could save thousands of dollars in interest, eliminating your debt in a few short years.
Apply today and see how we can help you get your financial house in order.