When you’re deep in debt, it can feel like the whole world is against you. While being stuck with unsustainable interest payments can be brutal, there are many strategies consumers can deploy in order to improve their situation. You’ve maybe seen or heard of some options for paying off debt. But what if they don’t sound realistic to you?
Here are a few easy ways to pay off debt you can start right away:
- Budget your money – Budgeting is one of those things that sounds so obvious, it can actually be overlooked and pursued with less-than-optimal approaches. However, creating a budget needs to be the first step for anyone who’s serious about paying off their debt. If you haven’t done this yet, start today. Utilizing some of the more effective budgeting tools can help you realize your goals sooner rather than later.
- Know what debts to repay first – Many people go into paying off debt without a plan. This is a huge mistake, as there can be a lot to gain in taking a strategic approach to debt repayment. There are two main schools of thought in here: pay off your least substantial or highest interest rate debts first. Each route has its advantages, so it makes sense to choose the one that you believe fits best with your personal situation and stick to it. Paying off your lower-balance debts first is called the snowball debt repayment plan, as getting a few early wins can help build momentum for more challenging accounts later down the line. Alternatively, the avalanche approach has you shoot for your highest interest rate debts first, regardless of size. This way, you’ll be able to get out of debt by paying less since you’ll accumulate less interest over time.
- Utilize a balance transfer – When looking for an easy route for paying off debt, balance transfers come in at the top of the list. A credit card balance transfer is almost like refinancing your revolving credit card debt. You find a balance transfer deal that offers a low introductory interest rate, hopefully at zero percent. You can then utilize this time of paying no interest to substantially pay down your balance. It’s important, however, you don’t just rest on your laurels during this period, as you will start accumulating interest again eventually. You should also ensure you understand the fine print before signing up for anything.
While these three strategies can help many people with paying off their debt, others will need to look for more substantial measures. Sometimes, seeking outside help is essential for getting out of debt.
Utilize Credit Counseling or Debt Relief
For those who need extra assistance in eliminating their overbearing debt, working with a credit counselor or debt relief agency might be the right choice. Starting with a credit counselor is typically going to be the best move. Their basic services are free, and they can help you with budgeting and understanding your debt with educational materials. They can even set up a debt management plan for you.
However, credit counseling often isn’t going to be enough for those who are really deep in debt. Some consumers will want to seek out the professional assistance of a debt relief agency. These are organizations that have the expertise and relationships with creditors to either consolidate or settle your unmanageable debts. Check out Freedom Debt Relief’s complete guide to debt relief to get a better understanding of whether these services might be right for you.
Change Your Relationship with Money and Spending
While the previous advice mentioned can all be classified as “easy” to a certain extent, it’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. All actions have consequences, and if you’re wanting to get out of debt, it will ultimately require changes on your end.
Adjusting your relationship with money and spending to be more realistic within your means is a key part of getting out of debt—now and forever. If you don’t take this critical step, you’re likely to keep falling into the same patterns again. While this isn’t necessarily easy, adjusting your lifestyle to match your income will make you financially and mentally healthier in the long run.