Foolproof Tips To Pay Off Debt Fast

Blog | July 18th, 2019

Having oppressive debts handing over your head and affecting your every financial decision can be stressful and disheartening. Working to pay off that debt amid your other expenses can feel like an uphill battle, too, especially if you pay for high-interest rates on those debts. However, we’ve compiled some creative methods to tackle your debts here that can help you get rid of them once and for all!

The Avalanche Method

When you have a lot of debt, starting to tackle it can feel like an impossible task. However, with this method, it should always be your priority to hit your highest-interest debts (after paying the minimum amount due on all of your accounts first). Regardless of whether these high-interest debts are large or small, getting rid of them right away will keep interest from compounding your debts further.

Take some time out of your day to make a list of your debts, going from highest interest to lowest interest. This will be your to-do list for tackling your debts. Tackle the top entries on the list first, and go down the list until you’ve eventually reached the end! This can take months or even years, but take heart in the fact that you will eventually get to the end.

The “avalanche” method is often considered the “best” way to get rid of your debt if it’s a method that works for you. The reasons why are:
  • Eliminates your interest payments fastest
  • Keeps you from accruing more debt
  • Acts like an “avalanche,” where you see the most effect towards the end

The Snowball Method

The “snowball” method is like the avalanche method that we mentioned above but different in that its focus is to eliminate your smallest debts first. The appeal of the snowball method is that it makes you feel successful right away as you pay off your debts, and this can be important for people who suffer from motivational troubles.

However, the snowball method is not as effective for paying off your debts. With this method, you will end up paying more interest over time than you would with the avalanche method. However, despite that, it’s still a viable way to pay off debts, and it may still be a good solution for people that need extra motivation.

The snowball method does excel in one situation: if you have many small debts to pay off, but not many large, high-interest debts, it may be better to tackle them from smallest to largest instead. After all, if you have many small debts to pay, high-interest rates will have less of an effect on the accounts anyway. Paying off your small debts first helps you focus your efforts on having fewer debts, too.

Ditch Your Credit Cards

It’s never a good idea to cancel your credit cards because doing so can affect your credit score, but if you have cards with high-interest rates that frequently add to your debt, do your best to stop using them so much! Instead, use those credit cards for small purchases that you know you can pay off at the end of the month. Do not use them for large purchases that will take time to pay off.

If you already suffer from a large amount of credit card debt, you can think about transferring your debt to a credit card with a first-year 0% interest rate. This balance transfer will give you time to pay off your credit card debts without adding interest on top of it, but only do this if you know you can pay off your debt within that introductory period! If you don’t, you will be right back where you started.

Balance transfers are a great idea, but remember that you will likely need to pay a transfer fee for this method. Make sure your interest savings outbalance the fee you’re going to pay, too.

Debt Consolidation

If you’re someone that has many debts to pay, the sheer number of bills coming your way can sometimes feel overwhelming. Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the stress caused by numerous debts and put everything toward one bill every month. This debt-elimination method is called “debt consolidation,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like: pooling all your debts together into one.

With debt consolidation, you usually use a personal loan or a specific debt consolidation service. These services give you money to pay off your current bills, and you pay the money you borrowed back to the lender over a predetermined amount of time. Interest rates for these loans aren’t the lowest out there, but they usually beat credit card loans, meaning they will likely save you money on interest payments.

Debt consolidation is also an excellent option for several other reasons, such as:
  • Reduces your debt overload when there are multiple sources
  • Personal loans are good for your credit (credit card debt isn’t)
  • Paying for a personal loan on time every month improves your credit score

The downside with a debt consolidation loan is that it puts you in charge of a lot of money. If you don’t feel like you can use your consolidation money responsibly – that is, putting it towards your existing debts instead of purchasing new things – it may not be a good option for you. Also, there will be fine print around the terms of the loan, so make sure you’re fully informed before signing any contracts!