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A Smart Way to Payoff Debt

It is important to acknowledge that many individuals are in debt, therefore you among many struggle to get rid of it. However, debt is not essentially a negative thing. Wanting to be free of debt is an excellent goal. But since debt will probably be present for most of your life, an even better goal is to learn how to manage your debt.
Start paying off your debt the smart way by using the following tips:
It is vital that you know where you stand. Calculating your debt will let you assess your financial situation. As dreadful as it might seem, make sure to include all debt like credit cards, loans, mortgage, employee advances, car payments, even add the interest you are paying in your calculation.
Don’t be discouraged! Think by taking this conscious step you are closer to decreasing your debt and learning how to manage it. In addition, keep in mind that by doing this you will discover ways to breakdown  your debt into manageable portions while retrieving additional money to relieve your total debt.
Determine which debt is costing you more money. Some debts are more expensive than others. Unless you’re getting payday loans (which you shouldn’t be), the worst offenders are probably your credit cards. Here’s how to deal with them.

  • Try not to use credit cards. Don’t cut them up, but take them out of your wallet. Place them somewhere where you will only be able to access them in an emergency, like a drawer.
  • Review the interest rates you are paying on your credit cards and begin paying off as much as you can with the one that has the highest interest; make minimum payments on the other credit cards. When that one is paid off, work on the card with the next highest rate.
  • Make sure not to close existing cards or open any new ones. Doing this will impact your credit rating negatively.
  • Avoid additional fees by paying on time, absolutely every time and remember that even one late payment can lower your FICO score.
  • Go over your statements.  Many times you don’t realize what you are being charged for.  For example, you might be charged for that magazine subscription you canceled. It is important to review all your charges, especially with fraud being on the rise.
  • Lastly,  make an effort to call your credit card companies and ask the if they can lower your interest rates. Many times this won’t work but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Always try to make any additional efforts  to withdrawal from debt. Get a second job if you can and use this income only to pay off high-cost debt. Substitute high-cost family activities with free or low-cost ones. Sell high-value items that you can live without. Remember, if you don’t have the cash for it, you probably don’t need it. You’ll feel better about what you do have if you know it’s owned free and clear. Start using coupons religiously. Calculate the money you’re saving and use it on your debt.
Follow as many of these steps as possible and you will begin notice your debt decrease every month.

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Tax, Accounting, Consulting - Emil Estafanous, CPA, CFF, CGMA