There isn’t a major trick or tactic to get you out of debt.
Getting out of debt as fast as possible really comes down to this:
There are just two ways to get out of debt….
- Make more money so you can pay off debt faster
- Cut your monthly costs enough so your monthly income is greater than your monthly costs
That’s it. Ideally, you will do both. But at least one needs to be done in order for you to start getting out of debt.
What you’ll find here is a list of financial ways to get out of debt fast. This isn’t a list that tells you to “ask for a raise” or “spend less money”. You already know these things.
This is a list of financial tools you can use to help you either make more money or cut your expenses/payments down so you can actually manage your debt, make consistent monthly payments, and eventually pay it all off.
11 Proven Strategies To Get Out Of Debt
1. Create A Budget
The first thing you need to do is to create a budget. It’s not complicated but takes a few hours.
To create a budget, all you need to do is two things:
- Calculate how much income you receive each month
- Calculate all your costs (expenses) each month (groceries, car payment, gym fee, leisure costs, utilities, etc)
You NEED to have income greater than expenses.
Let me say that again…
YOU NEED TO HAVE INCOME GREATER THAN EXPENSES!!!!!
So make sure you do this exercise to see where you stand. If your income is greater than your expenses, you are on the right track. If it’s not, then you really really need to find ways to make more money and reduce your expenses (keep reading this list for more ideas).
2. Make More Money
How would an extra $50 a day change your life? How about $100? Both would help you significantly pay off debt faster right!?
That’s the power of making more money. There’s nothing more helpful to getting out of debt than making more money. You can pick up an evening/weekend job a few times a week. This is a reliable way to earn extra income.
On the other hand, there are many work from home jobs that pay you very well and the huge benefit is of course staying at home. On top of that, here’s a list of high paying ways to make more money I’ve compiled for you.
3. Lower Your Bills Dramatically
There’s a very high chance you have monthly bills you just don’t really need. You need to get rid of them ASAP.
It doesn’t mean you’ll never have these luxuries again.
For now, as you dig yourself out of this hole, you need to make sacrifices. Those magazine subscriptions, Netflix, gym memberships, etc, can go. Find free ways to replace these items until you get out of debt.
To lower bills, you can use a service like lowermybills.com (it’s free).
They specialize in lowering monthly home payments, as well as lowering other payments like credit card payments, car payments, and life insurance payments.
LowerMyBills is free to use. They can dramatically lower your expenses. Click here to learn more.
4. Consolidate your debt
“Consolidation” means to combine everything into one.
Consolidating your all your debt into one bill can dramatically help you get out of debt.
Three main benefits of consolidating your debt is:
- Lowers your monthly payments (which makes paying bills more manageable)
- Lowers your interest rate (which saves you money in interest payments)
- Makes managing all your bills easier (because you’ll have just one bill to pay every month)
You only want to consolidate your debts if it can do at least one of the above. If you can do all 3 of the above, it’s a no brainer.
If you have high interest rates, high monthly payments that you have trouble keeping up with, and way too many bills to manage each month, a consolidation loan may benefit you greatly.
You can consolidate all kinds of loans. Car loan, house loan, personal loans, credit card debt, etc. ALL of it can be combined into one easy to pay loan. Or you can consolidate only the high interest loans.
SuperMoney is an online website where you can check to see what types of consolidation loans you qualify for. They work with many of the big loan companies and show you which one will offer you the lowest rates – so you don’t have to visit each individual loan company to check.
5. Refinance Your Mortgage
“Refinancing” is when you get a new loan that pays off your existing loan.
Why should a person refinance? Basically, if refinancing saves you money, it’s probably smart to do it.
Two main reasons why you should refinance your mortgage:
- Your mortgage interest rate is high
- You are having trouble paying your mortgage on time
A refinance loan can both lower your interest rate AND lower your monthly home payments.
Most people refinance onto a new loan to lower their interest rate. If interest rates are low right now, and you got your mortgage when interest rates were higher, you may want to refinance.
The process of refinancing your mortgage is similar to getting a brand new mortgage. There will be paperwork to fill out. Once it’s approved, your new loan pays off your old loan (you will have only 1 mortgage payment). You begin paying your new loan that should have a lower interest rate and/or lower monthly payments.
You can refinance your mortgage into a longer term (adds more years to the life of your loan) if you simply are unable to keep up with your current home loan payments. Though this costs you more money overall, it may give you the benefit of at least being able to manage your monthly payments so you don’t ruin your credit score.
6. Refinance Your Student Loans
If your having difficulty making student loan payments on time, you may want to refinance them. Refinancing your student loans can lower your monthly payment so you can actually pay it on time every month.
Secondly, if your student loan interest rates are high, refinancing them can lower your interest rate which saves you money in interest payments. You can refinance just the high interest student loans you have and leave the low interest ones alone.
7. Refinance Your Auto Loan
Just like with home loans or student loans, you can also refinance your car loan. This process is the quickest of the three and easiest to go through. Essentially, a refinanced auto loan means you’ll get a new car loan that pays off your current car loan. Your new loan will have either a lower interest rate and/or lower monthly payment amount.
8. Sell Your Stuff
There is pretty much a 100% chance you have things in your home that you don’t need and would love to get some money for it. The problem is, you don’t have the time or don’t know how to sell these things, right?
Well, you’re gonna have to put in some work to get out of debt. Free sites like Craigslist work well if you’re looking for free ways to sell things.
Online websites like Gazelle is a great place to sell second hand electronics – where you’ll get an offer to buy your product in just a few minutes.
9. Set Up Automatic Savings Account
A big part of getting out of debt is to begin saving money. Saved money can be put towards paying off debt faster or for a rainy day.
The EASIEST way to save money automatically is to set up an automatic savings account – where a portion of your paycheck (say 10%) is automatically deposited into a separate account you can’t touch.
An easy way to save money is to use the Acorns app. This app takes your spare change from every purchase you make and puts it into a separate account. For example, you buy a coffee for $3.66. The purchase will be rounded to $4.00 and the extra $0.34 will be placed into a separate savings account automatically.
Acorns is a beautiful way to save money. I high highly recommend using them. You don’t even know the difference. But in 6 months or more down the road, you’ll have saved hundreds to thousands of dollars without doing a thing different. That’s HUGE.
10. Get A Very Low Interest Credit Card
Credit card debt is one of the worst debts to have because the interest rate for credit cards are notoriously high.
If you are carrying a balance on credit cards with high interest rates, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Fortunately, you can lower your card interest rates.
Here are two primary ways to lower credit card interest rates:
Get a balance transfer credit card – A balance transfer card is a credit card with a very low interest rate. Some as low as 0%. You get this new credit card that has a very low interest rate and pay off all your high interest credit cards. This way, each month your interest cost can be as low as zero! Keep in mind that balance transfer credit cards are beneficial only if you pay your monthly payments on time.
Get a personal loan – It’s very likely a personal loan will have a much lower interest rate than your credit cards. So it makes sense for most people to get a personal loan to pay off your credit cards. For example, if your personal loan interest rate is 6%, and your credit card rate is 20%, you can save 14% per year (which could save you thousands of dollars).
The ideal way to get a personal loan is by getting quotes from many companies. You can do this at once by using a website that works with many loan companies. Click here to check rates on a personal loan.
11. Get Professional Help
If your debt is simply out of control or you just don’t have the time or energy to do the things above, then you may want to get a professional who specializes in helping people and families get out of debt.
They help you by looking at your overall finances and create a plan for you that saves you money.
CuraDebt is a highly rated debt relief company that can save you money on all kinds of bills, like medical bills, tax debt, personal loan debt, and credit card bills among others.
Summary Of Paying Off Debt Strategies
Dave Ramsay said it best. If you’re in the hole, you have to act like you’re broke – even if you have high paying jobs. You need to reduce your spending to the absolute bare minimum and increase your income as much as you can.
You’ll live like a broke college student until all your debt is paid off – and then you can start building your wealth. By now, your financial habits should be exemplary and you’ll have a great chance at moving forward with everything else in life (things like buying a new car, home, investing, and saving for kids education, and retiring early).
Good luck. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below.