Whether you just bought a home, a car, graduated college, or have a long history of credit card usage, you probably have a considerable amount of debt you need to pay off.
For many, a mountain of debt can be so overwhelming that they don't want to think about it. But ignoring your debt won't make it go away.
Instead, you need creative ways to pay off debt that won't stress you out. Try to tackle your debt head on with these 8 simple methods for paying off your debt!
1. Restructure Your Budget
If you're a long-time reader of the Atlas Credit blog, you know how important we feel it is for you to keep a careful budget.
You should be able to easily change the values in that budget to allocate ever so slightly more money to your debt repayment. Cut a little from your extra expenses like entertainment, snacks, and whatever else you can handle reducing.
So if you already have that budget in place, great! If not, check out our other blog posts on how to make and keep one.
2. Stop Spending So Much
This one speaks for itself: if you need less debt, spend less money. Especially if you're adding that money to your ever-growing credit card debt.
There's a political term called austerity you should learn here. It's when a country's economy recognizes how poorly it's doing and takes measures to cut spending wherever possible.
If you apply some of these strategies of austerity, you can save money every month that can be applied to shrinking your debt.
3. Take Advantage of Bonuses
Do you have a job that occasionally surprises you with a small bonus? Do you have family members that sometimes contribute money to your wallet?
Any extra money that you didn't expect or calculate into your monthly budget should not be spent frivolously. Instead, use that money to pay down your debt.
4. Use the Snowball Method
An age-old tactic in debt reduction is the snowball method. First, identify which of your debts is the smallest. Say you owe a small sum of money to the bank but have several larger credit card payments.
By paying the smallest debt down first through above-minimum monthly payments while maintaining the bare minimum payments to the other debts you owe, you'll successfully pay off the smallest debt faster. Then, with the money that you would have paid each month to the smaller debt, you can start paying above-minimum payments to the next smallest debt, and so on.
Seriously -- if you weren't already using the snowball method, give it a shot ASAP.
5. Use the Avalanche Method
The second way to approach paying off debt is to focus on the debts with the highest interest rates rather than the lowest balance. This will save you money over the course of your loans because you eliminate the debt with the most interest. Pay the minimum monthly payment on the other accounts with lower interest rates. When you have eliminated all the debt on your highest interest rate account, move to the next-highest, and so forth.
6. Start a Side Gig
If you're paying down your debt on the regular but feel like you aren't making as big a dent as you'd like, it's probably time to consider finding an additional income stream.
What are your talents? Are you secretly a talented writer, a craftsman, or good with children? Try freelancing, creating useful items you can sell, or babysitting once or twice a week.
The extra money you earn from your side gigs can be applied to anything -- not just debt. And fortunately, almost everybody has something they're good at that they can do on the side.
7. Consolidate Your Debt
The best way to pay off debt is often to consolidate it, so you are making one payment to a single source with a lower interest rate than you were paying on multiple accounts. You may choose to take out a personal loan to cover this, or you can take advantage of balance transfer offers on credit cards. Just make sure when you consolidate your debt that you find the lowest interest rates — it can work against you if your interest rates end up higher.
8. Decrease Your Monthly Bill Payments
The fastest way to pay off debt is to put more money toward paying it off. The less you pay for utilities, a mortgage or rent and child care, the more money you will have to put toward your debt. Look for ways to decrease your monthly bills, such as:
- Switching cable or cell phone companies to take advantage of new customer offers
- Refinancing your home at a lower interest rate or moving to a new apartment with lower monthly rent
- Paying more attention to your electricity, heat and water usage to lower those bills
You can use these simple ways to pay off your debt to make your life easier and less stressful. Remember: Once you've paid your debt all the way down, you can finally start spending again in peace. The incredible weight lifted from your shoulders after you erase your debt is a monumental relief, and it allows you to continue your life the way you want to live it.
A personal loan from Atlas Credit can also help you get ahead when you need it. Apply online or visit any of our Oklahoma or Texas offices.