Raise your hand if you’re thrilled to have any kind of debt in your life.
Hand not up?
Yeah! That’s what I thought.
Let’s be real, having any debt to your name is kind of a necessary evil. We need it at desperate times only to pay it back in a series of smaller payments later with an extra interest amount.
To some, it sounds like a pretty fair deal.
But only the ones having any debt to their name actually realizes the extent of distress which comes with it.
Paying off debt is not easy for anyone. And it is even tougher if you’re dead broke.
But that surely doesn’t mean it is stuck with you for the rest of your life.
There are quite a few strategic ways that can help you get rid of your debt, big or small, single or multiple if you follow them accordingly.
Of course, you can’t expect these financial improvements without a few changes in the way you approach your debt.
So here are the step by step ways to kill your debt for good,
Here we go!
Step 1: Track down How Much Debt You REALLY Have
Take a piece of paper or a spreadsheet and write down how much debt you have exactly.
Write down all the different debts to your name, how much you owe on each one and it’s payment period, our rate, EVERYTHING!
If you don’t know the exact numbers, straight up call the company and ask:
How Much do I owe?
What’s my interest rate?
And what’s my minimum monthly payment?
Most people usually skip this step and just head down to pay whatever the minimum payment is. This indicates that people are not ready to confront the reality of the situation.
Because they feel guilty about their debt.
It’s rather easy to bury our heads in the sand than to face the situation head-on. And this exactly what loan and credit companies want- for you to just blindly send a minimum payment every month.
What most people don’t know is that when they pay just the minimum, they drive their payment term for the longest time possible. Paying more than just the minimum can reduce the duration of the payment term significantly.
Just think about that!
Step 2: Approach Your Debt With a Strategic Plan
Now that you have all the raw data to yourself, how do you approach your debt?
Well, there are two options here:
Single debt: If you only have only one debt then try to pay it every month with more than the minimum payment amount.
The math behind this technique is that when you pay even $50 more than the minimum, it decreases your term duration significantly.
Let’s say you have a $10,000 debt with an interest rate of 6.8% and a 10 ear repayment period, If we go with the standard repayment procedures, you would pay around $115 each month.
But check out how much you can save per year if you paid just $100 or more each month.
Multiple debts: When you have multiple debts to your name, you can use the “Debt Snowball” method.
In this method, you take all the debts you have and pay the minimum amount to each debt every month except the one with the smallest debt amount. In the one with the smallest debt amount
You pay the debt with the smallest amount first, clearing a particular debt one at a time.
This method lets you make incremental growth and you can see yourself knocking debt after debt after debt.
Kind of like a Financial Freedom countdown 5…4…3…2…1 (Bam!)
And since you can physically see yourself making progress, it will make you feel good about your financial situations. And will motivate you to prioritize important things.
Step 3: Create a monthly budget
Creating a budget will allow you to maintain and track your daily and monthly expenditures earnings and all things in between. Related: The 50/30/20 Budgeting method Explained
Step 4: Freeze Further Credit Card debt
If you ever expect to pay down your debt, don’t add more to it. It is that simple!
Once you realize that paying off your debt can be a whole lot easier if you just freeze all your credit card debts.
Here’s what you can do:
- Hand over all the credit cards to your spouse, friend or whoever you trust to hold onto them until you’re out of debt
- Sleep on every thought that makes you tempted to use your credit card (even for pretty small purchases).
- Remember your goal every single time, WHY you’re resisting any temptations in the first place?
- You can also freeze them in a container of water in your freezer, which will literally freeze your credit card debt.
- Take a scissor and just cut them off.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be that extreme, but the point is to prevent you from any temptations.
Hey! Whatever works, right?
Step 5: Refinance Your Rates
What is Refinancing?
Refinancing actually replaces your old home loan, student loan, auto loan or any other debt with a better deal and possibly a lower interest rate.
Refinancing can be time-consuming and sometimes expensive, and a new loan might be missing attractive features that an existing loan offers.
However, refinancing an existing loan has several potential benefits:
- Save money. A common reason for refinancing is to save money on interest costs. To do so, you typically need to refinance into a loan with an interest rate that is comparatively lower than your existing rate.
- Shorten the loan term. Instead of extending the repayment term, you also can refinance into a shorter-term loan.
- Consolidate debts. If you have multiple loans, it might make sense to consolidate them into one single loan, especially if you can get a lower interest rate
For refinancing, my personal favorite and #1 recommendation is Credible.
Credible’s Student Loan Refinancing: If you’re looking to get a better interest rate, or maybe lower your payment for your student loan debt, one of the best options is to refinance your student loan.
Credible consistently comes in at the top of our list of best places to refinance student loans and places to find the best student loan rates. The reason is simple – they make comparison shopping for student loans easy, so you get the best deal quickly
I have been a fan of Credible for a long time for this specific reason!
Credible also provides top-notch refinancing for Mortgages.
Step 6: Tap into the hidden potentials of a Side Hustle
I’ve always been a believer that there is a certain limit for saving money on something, beyond which even basic necessities become hard to get. But there is absolutely no limit on making money.
I repeat, “NO LIMIT”. Use that to your advantage!
And moreover, making more money really helps in paying off your debts sooner, and of course the sooner you’re able to pay the debt the less you have to pay.
Imagine how an extra $5000 monthly can do to your bills?
Final Action Words…
Look I get it,
At times we are overwhelmed by the thought of paying off our debt, scary even. But taking the right financial steps will ensure the repayment of debt in the cheapest, fastest and easiest way possible.
Once you get into the mindset of knocking down your debt, it will create a domino effect and you can literally witness your debt being repaid more easily.