The Total U.S. consumer debt is at $13.86 trillion 1. As technology advances, borrowing becomes easier and the chances of living a debt free life become lower. Getting out of debt is pretty hard, as many people would attest.
Top 5 Tips to Help You Pay off Your Debt Faster
1- Pay More than your Monthly Minimums
Your monthly interest is usually charged on the outstanding amount on your debt. Paying above the minimum required payment will not only help pay your debt faster but also reduce the cumulative amount to be paid. Why? Because you will pay less interest for the next payment.
The extra amount paid goes to reduce the initial debt amount, so the overall interest paid will be lower than the original estimate for each month.
Before you start making these payments, it is important to note that some debts charge a prepayment penalty. Make sure you understand your debt policies and guidelines before applying this method.
2 – Use the Debt Snowball Method
List all your debts, arranging them from the smallest to the largest amounts disregarding interest. Each month, after settling all the minimum amounts on the debts, put all the excess cash into paying the smallest debt on the list.
Once the smallest debts are cleared, focus on the next smallest debt on the list.
This method is effective as you get the psychological wins of clearing the smaller debts, keeping you from the feeling that you cannot clear the debt that you have. If you are heavily in debt, that psychological push might be just what you need.
3 – Make a Budget (and stick to it)
When you are trying to get out of debt, it is very important to check your expenditure to avoid getting deeper into debt. Make a minimalistic budget, focusing on the necessities and cut out luxuries for the duration of paying off the debt.
Cut your premium cable subscription, start making your coffee at home, stop eating out, etc You should also look into money-saving habits like using coupons and picking up free or inexpensive hobbies. Be as minimalistic as you can be until you pay off all your debt.
4 – Generate Additional Income
Look for creative ways to make more money. Sell any household items that you no longer need, get a part-time job or start a side gig, ask for a raise at work, etc.
Paying off your debt will undoubtedly be easier if you earn more than you do now, so find ways to earn additional income. Put most of this additional income into paying your debt and avoid raising your lifestyle until your debt is paid off.
5 – Negotiate
High-interest rates are usually the biggest hindrance to paying off your debt quickly. You may not know this but renegotiating your interest rates is a common practice. If you pay your installments on time, call the credit card company and negotiate for lower interest rates. It just might work!
Debt Elimination Strategies
Too much debt can be overwhelming and one of the best ways to tackle this is by eliminating one debt at a time. Talk to one of our CaIPTH advisors about the CalPATH Home Loan Program and how it can help you increase your savings and work on your retirement plan.
About Mountain West Financial and the CalPATH Home Loan Program
Mountain West Financial is the exclusive lender offering CalPATH, the #1 home loan program for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other public employees who serve our local California communities.
You may contact our CalPATH Hotline @ 800-310-7577, seven days a week from (8:30 am to 8:00 pm). A CalPATH advisor will be standing by to answer (any & all) questions you may have about the home buying or refinance process.
We look forward to working with you soon!
Joe Moore – Branch Manager
Link to sources used
- Key Figures Behind America’s Consumer Debt – https://www.debt.org/faqs/americans-in-debt