Starting the New Year with a pile of debt is not a good situation to be in, but it is a common problem. If you are serious about getting ahead financially, then getting rid of debt should be one of your top priorities. Here are five steps that will help you get rid of debt faster:
Step One – Don’t add to the debts you already have. Debt arises when you spend more than you earn. You can avoid adding to your debts by living within your means.
Step Two – Confront your debts by making a list of them. If you have many small debts you might be surprised at what they add up to. Rank your debts in order of priority for payment. Some people prefer to pay off the debts with the highest interest rate first, and some prefer to start by getting rid of the debts that have the shortest repayment period so they feel like they are making progress.
Step Three – Check on any penalties or fees for early repayment. Contact each lender to determine how quickly you can repay your debt without incurring penalties or fees.
Step Four – Consolidate and/or refinance. Look at options for consolidating your debt and/or refinancing it at a lower interest rate than you are currently paying. If you are struggling to keep up with payments, this may also allow you to repay debts over a slightly longer period of time to make the payments more manageable.
Step Five – Set up an automatic payment to make additional voluntary payments on the first debt on your list. Leave your other debt payments at their minimum level. When the first debt is paid off, start on the next one on the list and keep working through until all debts are repaid.