How to get out of debt fast super fast!
How to Get Out of Debt
Getting out of debt and staying out of debt is not easy. Chances are, you're reading this article because you've already amassed a fair amount of debt and are thinking it will be impossible to ever get out from under it all. Learn how to stop incurring new debt and change your life forever.
Lower your interest rates.If you have good credit, contact the credit card companies and ask to have your rate lowered.That's an excellent way to lower your interest expenses and will save you money every month.
Pay off your high interest credit cards first.If you can't get your interest rate lowered on some high interest credit cards, then pay those off first. That way, you'll reduce your interest expense over time by lowering the balance on those cards.
Consider a debt consolidation loan.If your credit is good, you can consolidate your credit card debt into one debt consolidation loan. You'll find that it's easier to manage one payment per month than many payments. Plus, it's often the case that debt consolidation loans have a lower interest rate than credit cards.
Stop using credit cards.To ensure that you get out of debt, you'll need to stop increasing your debt.Switch from a credit card to a debit card so that the money you spend goes out of your account immediately.
Pay more than the minimum when possible.Credit card payments are structured to keep the cash flowing to the credit card companies for as long as possible. Avoid falling into a trap that hurts your financial position and helps your creditors by paying off more than the minimum payments whenever you can.
Managing Your Money
Create a budget.If you're serious about getting out of debt, you need to track your income and expenses, so that you can discipline yourself to spend only what's necessary for any given month.
- Make a list of all your sources of income. Include every way you earn money, whether it's from your job, investments, interest income, etc. Tally your various income streams by month.
- Make another list of your monthly expenses. Be sure to include everything you pay for every month, including utilities, groceries, gas, eating out, tuition, etc. Tally these expenses by month as well.
- Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income. If you have more income than expenses (and that should be the case), then the remainder is your discretionary income and can be used for debt relief or savings.
- Every month, be sure to stay within your budget. If you go outside of your budget, you'll have less money for debt relief or savings.
Earn more money.To tackle your debt effectively, you're going to need more income. You can do that by either getting a second job (if you're a salaried employee) or earning more commissions (if you're in sales). Yes, this will take time away from your personal life, but it's necessary to get out of debt.
Trim your expenses.Look for ways to reduce your expenses every month so that you have more money to pay off your debt.
- Are you eating out too much? Save money by cooking your own food.
- Can you reduce your utility bill with a more efficient use of energy? For example, does the downstairs area really need to be air conditioned while everybody is sleeping upstairs at night? Are there electrical devices left on all the time that shouldn't be?
- Consider extreme couponing to save money on your groceries.
Seeing Professional Debt Relief Options
Consider a debt settlement.If your debt is totally out of control, your creditors might realize that some money is better than none. In that case, they might be willing to accept less than you owe rather than receiving nothing at all. In that case your debt to companies that accept your settlement will be eliminated entirely. For this option, you'll also need the assistance of a debt counselor.
- Be advised that this option will adversely affect your credit score. It will show up like a seriously delinquent payment or charged-off credit card debt.
File for bankruptcy.One of the least attractive options to get out of debt is to file for bankruptcy because it severely impacts your reputation. However, you'll receive protection from your creditors and a judge might just make your debt go away entirely.
- Consult with a professional bankruptcy attorney about this option.
- Keep in mind that you'll have a black mark on your credit report for about 7 years if you go this route.
QuestionI am behind on several accounts and only work part time. What can I do to settle my debts?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFor your immediate circumstance, try to get a second job as soon as possible. Long-term solutions would be to network and earn a degree.Thanks!
QuestionI have a few credit cards that are maxed out from when I was younger and I currently do not have a job, I'm a stay at home mom. What are my options of getting out of debt?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere may be some credit counselling organizations that can help you negotiate repayment terms. If there is no money at all to make payments, another option would be to declare bankruptcy. This will affect your future ability to obtain credit, but so will having outstanding credit card balances.Thanks!
QuestionI have a school loan in default and I'm on disability. What can I do about this loan?PaulpaquinCommunity AnswerFirst, you need to request 90 days forbearance, this is just to give you enough time to consolidate. If you don't get a 90 day forbearance, your small income that you do have could be garnished. Next, go to studentloans.gov and apply for consolidation. Your new payment on the consolidated loan will be based on your income and family size, so with a fixed income, your payment will surely be close to zero dollars per month. Each year you'll need to recertify your repayment plan by updating the loan servicer with your income proof, and you'll eventually be eligible for loan forgiveness.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I lie about owing money?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDispute everything on your credit report that is negative and claim you have no knowledge of the account or accounts in question. You can do this by just going to each credit reporting website and going to the dispute section. Half the companies will drop the negative account on your credit report because it's not worth the hassle.Thanks!
How do I get out of debt concerning medical bills?
I recently talked to a company called "national debt relief". They negotiate settlement months while the consumer stops making payments. Do you know anything about this organization?
What do I do if I have debt and can't declare bankruptcy?
What is the best credit card for people with bad credit?
To get out of debt, start by calling your credit card company and asking them to lower your interest rate. Then, pay off the cards with the highest interest rates first, trying to always pay more than the minimum. To avoid accruing more debt on those cards, make a budget for expenses and try to stick to it. Find ways to cut down on spending, such as using less energy at home or using coupons for groceries. If cutting expenses isn’t enough, you might consider getting another job to earn more income and pay down your debt.
- If you want something, save for it and then buy it. You should only finance items that are absolute necessities (home and car). Don't finance furniture, small appliances or vacations. If you can't afford to pay cash for it, then you can't afford it.
- Use cash as much as possible. Paying with cash has a more significant psychological impact than plastic. It feels like you're spending more money so you spend less.
- Don't consider debt consolidation or consumer credit counseling agencies your first stop. These should be a last resort! Although they may be tempting, if you're going to get your act together, doing it on your own will help you learn the skills you need to fix your own problem and avoid getting in this situation again.
- You are allowed a free credit report from each of the three companies every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Realize that Credit Card companies are not your friend. They want you to remain in debt paying a minimum payment on their credit cards every month for the rest of your life. (They list your credit card payments to them as one of their assets.) So you should pay off your debt to each of them and then after waiting a couple of months (without using their card again) seriously consider closing that account. It is much more to your advantage to use a debit card issued by your checking account's bank. That way you can still use the convenience of "plastic" for purchases, but the money is deducted from your checking account and you avoid any more debt. And by closing your credit card account a couple of months after paying it off, you'll keep a good listing on your credit report for it.
- Try to find unusual way to save money. Examples: use bicycle instead of car at least for some trips, cook your own food, grow your own food, lower electricity consumption by changing your appliances - an old laptop may need considerably less energy, than an old desktop; sides of fridge can be insulated by styrofoam (but, not the radiator on the back!), run your AC on full power during night when it's colder outside and switch it off during day (use time switch), etc. Check Internet for ideas like that. Some of them may be usable for you.
- Avoid the temptation of payday advance loans at all costs. It's a quick "fix" that will cause you to get into a snowballing problem of debt. Before you eventhinkabout taking out a payday loan, consider other resources: family and friends, home equity, and Debtors Anonymous.
- Be careful with those low-interest balance transfer credit cards. Their default rate will almost always get you into more debt.
- Try not to give too much personal information to a collections agency as everything you say is entered into a file. Keep the conversations short and sweet. Don't be tempted to answer personal questions and know your rights.
- Don't be hasty. Closing revolving credit card accounts may actually lower your credit score. It can shorten the length of your reported credit history and make you seem less credit-worthy. Carefully choose which cards to cancel. You can avoid this problem by keeping the older cards and get rid of newer ones. However, you will still want to take your different rates into account as you choose which cards to cancel.
- Check settlement companies to see whether they are registered with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). Examine whether there are several complaints filed against them, and whether those complaints were resolved.
- Chronic spending and debt can be a harmful habit, just like alcoholism or any other addiction. Spending can be an escape, or can be used to mask deeper issues. Consult a professional and/or Debtors Anonymous if you feel you might have a problem.
Sources and Citations
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