Debt is everywhere. Be careful not to drown in it. Seriously, with student loan repayments, medical bills, car payments, credit card debt, and home mortgages, it’s rare to find a soul who hasn’t acquired some debt. In fact, the most frugal and conscious consumer owes approximately $4,075 according to a survey by Credit-Land.com, a leading credit card industry website.
If you are in debt, you are more than likely looking for quick ways to get out of it. While debt elimination is usually never a quick or painless process, you can follow a few tips that can make debt removal a little simpler for you.
Get a Credit Report. By getting a credit report you can see exactly where you stand. Try a website like www.freecreditreport.com. If you know where you stand, it’s clear to see how much money you need to repay. Also, once you get your credit report you can see if there are any mistakes that are negatively affecting your credit score. Once you carefully review your credit report, you can set up a payment plan and time schedule, so you can commit to paying off your debt by a certain time.
Cut Out the Extra Stuff. After checking your credit report, you can see where you end up spending the most of your money or using the most of your credit. If you end up spending more money at restaurants or when at Bloomingdales‘, then try to accommodate that by actively reducing your spending at those locations. Later on down the line, when you become familiar with proper debt repayment schedules, you might want to check out a good rewards credit card that offers cash-back or points based on transactions made in certain categories.
Prioritize Debt. Organize your debt in a hierarchal fashion. Pay the debts that have the highest interest rates, even if they have lower balances. Removing debt from high interest cards first is your best bet, because it helps you focus on other debt. Even if your focus is on your high interest credit card, don’t fall behind on payments on your other cards. After you pay off the highest interest rate cards, pay off those cards with high balances and medium interest rates. And once those are paid and closed, pay off credit cards with the lowest interest rates. Continue on this pattern until all debt is removed.
Try a Transfer. If your debt is spread out among several credit cards, it can be hard keeping up with the amount due on each card and the interest rate. If you’re looking to eliminate debt quickly, then apply for a credit card with a zero balance transfer. These credit cards allow you to combine all of your debts into one card. Once the transfer is made, most cards have an introductory offer of zero percent for the first 12 months. No interest rates mean that it’s easier to pay off debt, because you are not subject to interest payments that don’t go directly towards your total balance. Be careful which card you choose, because some cards may subject you to a balance transfer fee, which is usually somewhere close to three percent of the total debt you are transferring.
If you let the introductory offer expire you will be charged interest rates that are way above industry standards. Some interest rates go as high as 25%, when the industry average is closer to 15%. Only commit to a balance transfer credit card if you are serious about your commitment to quick debt elimination.
Everyone has debt, and everyone is trying to get out of it as well. It doesn’t have to be as hard as you think it is. If you commit to a few simple steps, you can be out of debt in no time.