12 easy ways to pay off debt


© (Getty Images)Wide angle view of young woman making monthly budget at table. The woman is writing on paper while sitting at home. She calculates the expenses.

Are you in debt and don’t know how you’re going to pay it back? You’re not alone. If you’re looking for easy ways to reduce your debt, including intuitive adjustments to your debt repayment strategies and habits, take the advice of these experts.

Before you start paying off debt, take a moment to identify the type of debt you have – whether it’s credit card debt, student loan, mortgage debt, or whatever – and determine the amount of your debt. Understanding the type and amounts of your loans can help you build a personalized debt repayment plan.

Here are 12 easy ways to pay off your debt:

  • Create a budget.
  • Pay off the most expensive debt first.
  • Pay more than the minimum balance.
  • Take advantage of balance transfers.
  • Stop your credit card spending.
  • Use a debt repayment app.
  • Remove credit card information from online stores.
  • Sell ​​unwanted gifts and household items.
  • Change your habits.
  • Increase your income with a little help.
  • Consider debt consolidation.
  • Avoid resuming bad habits when you reach your goal.

Read on for more information on each easy debt repayment strategy.

1. Create a budget

The first step in relieving debt problems is to create a budget. To track your expenses and income, consider a budgeting app. “(They) may seem difficult to set up at first,” says Deacon Hayes, personal finance expert at the Well Kept Wallet website.

2. Pay off the most expensive debt first

Sort your credit card interest rates from highest to lowest, then tackle the card with the highest rate first. “By settling the balance with the highest interest first, you increase your payment on the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate while still making the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards. “writes a former contributor to the US News My Money blog. Hitha Herzog.

3. Pay more than the minimum Balanced

To reduce your debt, you need to pay more than the minimum balance on your credit card statements each month. Courtney Nagle, Associate Marketing Director of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says, “Limiting your debt payments to minimum monthly payments is an expensive way to manage debt and is not a recommended long-term solution. She recommends paying off the balances as quickly as possible to save money and give your budget “a bit of a break.”

4. Take advantage of balance transfers

If you have a high interest card with a balance that you are sure you can pay off in a matter of months, Trent Hamm, founder of TheSimpleDollar.com, recommends transferring the debt to a card that offers an interest-free balance transfer. “You will have to pay off the debt before the balance transfer expires, otherwise you are often hit with a much higher interest rate,” he warns. “If you do it carefully, you can save hundreds of interest this way.”

5. Stop your credit card spending

Want to stop accumulating debt? Remove all credit cards from your wallet and leave them at home when you shop, advises Sabah Karimi, former My Money contributor. “Even if you earn cash back or other rewards with credit card purchases, stop spending with your credit cards until your finances are under control,” she writes.

6. Use a debt repayment app

“A good first step in managing your debt is knowing the balance details of all of your accounts, which are shown on your credit report,” says Chris Gatz, manager of CreditWise, a credit score monitoring tool offered by the financial company Capital One. Track your current debts and your progress towards repayment with the help of a debt repayment app.

7. Remove credit card information from online stores

If you shop a lot online at a retailer, you may have stored your credit card information on the site to help with the checkout process. But it also makes it easier to load items you don’t need. So please clarify this information. “If you are paying for a recurring service, use a debit card issued by a major credit card service linked to your checking account,” writes Hamm.

8. Reduce your expenses by taking advantage of agreements

Look for shopping offers and free gifts to avoid overspending. “Birthday gifts from retailers are usually small in size – think beauty samples and coupons,” says Kristin McGrath, purchasing, business and personal finance specialist. “However, if you sign up for a bunch of programs, you’ll get a nice amount of free stuff and discounts.”

9. Change your habits

“Your daily habits and routines are the reason you got into this mess,” Hamm writes. “Spend time thinking about how you spend your money every day, every week and every month.” Do you really need your daily latte? Can you bring your lunch to work instead of buying it four times a week? Ask yourself: what can I change without sacrificing my lifestyle too much?

10. Increase your income with a secondary boost

“A side hustle can create diversity in your income stream and, with luck and a lot of hard work, could turn into something you do full time,” says Jim Wang, founder of the personal finance blog Wallet. Hacks. “Even if you don’t, a hundred dollars more each month can go a long way.” But you should always consider the tax implications of a secondary turmoil and consider any deductions or requirements that might apply.

11. Consider Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation allows borrowers to pay off their debt in one loan with just one monthly payment, often at a lower interest rate. Debt consolidation can help people break the paycheck cycle when combined with other cost-cutting measures, says Holly Perez, consumer money expert at Intuit and spokesperson for The Mint. . “Check your cable, phone, and credit card bills for hidden charges, or just contact your service providers and negotiate a better deal. Consolidate your student loans and set a fixed rate, ”she says. “Take public transportation or join a carpooling service. Take advantage of 0% APR balance transfers on any credit cards you have.”

12. Reward yourself when you reach milestones

Once you’ve reached your goal, it’s important to maintain your new state of mind. “Even if you’ve paid off your credit card debt, it can be easy to fall back into your old ways. It’s important to change the way you think about credit cards so you don’t end up in one place, ”says Lance Cothern, founder of MoneyManifesto.com. After you’ve paid off your credit cards, you need to hold it up. Don’t use credit cards for purchases you can’t pay off quickly. If you find it difficult to use credit cards responsibly, it may be a good idea to stop using them altogether. “

Copyright 2021 US News & World Report


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