No matter what type of debt you’re in — whether it’s credit card debt, student loan debt, car loans, or something else — it’s important to know there’s a way out. It may not happen overnight, but a debt-free future could be yours if you create a plan — and stick with it long enough. Here are some tips to start living a debt-free life faster.
How to Get Out of Debt
- Pay more than the minimum payment. The faster you pay off the debt, the faster you become debt-free!
- Pick up a side hustle. There are plenty of ways in today’s digital age to pick up a side hustle that can make you serious passive income. If you have time, this is a great option to save money to put towards your debt payments.
- Create (and live with) a bare-bones budget. It’s time to rid yourself of excess. Make a budget and stick to it!
- Sell everything you don’t need. It’ll feel good to get rid of the clutter in your space and you’ll make a profit that you can put towards your debt payments.
- Get a seasonal, part-time job. Find a job that you can dedicate the earnings specifically to paying off your debt. You’ll work more, but become debt-free faster.
- Ask for lower interest rates on your credit cards. Also, negotiate other bills. If you have a solid history of paying your bills on time, there’s a good possibility of getting a lower interest rate.
- Consider a balance transfer. Move credit balance from one card to another with a lower interest rate. This will save you money on interest as you pay it off.
- Use ‘found money’ to pay off balances. Any extra money you gain from bonuses at work or from your tax return, for instance, put right into paying off your debt, rather than spending on luxuries.
- Drop expensive habits. If it doesn’t suit your lifestyle, don’t add it to your life.
- Step away from the temptations. If you know you have a hard time staying away from food delivery, Amazon, online shopping, and other money-taking splurges, delete the apps off your phone and remind yourself that this is a temptation that you don’t actually need in your life.
Various Methods for Payment
You can also use specific methods to pay back your debt faster. For instance, try the snowball method. The debt snowball method is a debt reduction strategy where you pay off your debt from smallest payments to largest, gaining momentum as you knock out each balance. When the smallest debt is paid in full, you roll the money you were paying on that debt into the next smallest balance.
The major advantage of the debt snowball strategy is faster wins. If you have a lot of debt, it’s going to take you some time to pay it off. With the debt snowball method, you’ll gain momentum and stay motivated as you see smaller debts drop quickly.
You can also use the avalanche method. The debt avalanche method is a way to pay down debt by getting rid of your balance with the highest interest rate first. With this payoff strategy, you make minimum monthly payments on all your debts but pay extra toward your debt with the highest interest rate until it’s gone.
In the debt avalanche method, you pay your debts from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate, regardless of balance. Mathematically this makes the most sense. You will pay less in interest if you tackle your debts in this order. Saving money on interest means you will pay your debts off more quickly.
Try out a combination of these tips to escape your debt faster and more efficiently pay off your loans and other payments.