Getting Out of Debt: Strategies and Advice

Sometimes it’s easy to pretend that everything is fine when you’re in debt. But this is only until reality catches up with you. The only way to reduce or eliminate debt is by facing it head-on.

There are different kinds of debts including secured and unsecured debt. These debts can get out of control before you realize what’s happening.

Whether your debt is a result of unexpected expenses or overspending, you can eliminate it. Staying out of debt takes time and effort. You need to combine strategies and stay consistent to successfully dig your way out of it. This helps you to stay focused and remind you that you’re getting closer to your debt payoff goal.

Strategies on How to Get Out of Debt

Getting out of debt has never been easy. That’s because it sometimes takes all you have to keep up with your monthly bills to save for a rainy day. Then, there’s paying the minimum monthly payments on your credit card.

In short, saving while paying off debt can be a struggle. The good news is that there are many ways through which you can get out of debt. Here are some of the strategies.

1. Seek Professional Help

While it’s good to avoid debt, not all debt is bad. Many people wouldn’t afford a car or a college education if they didn’t take a loan. When you take a loan and use it to generate more income, that’s a good debt. How much debt you can afford to have is dependent on your income and the ability to pay.

There are danger signs that you have too much debt and could lose your financial stability. Some of the signs include failure to pay some of your debts and making late payments of your bills due to lack of money. When it gets here, one of the steps you can take is to consult a credit counselor.

Credit counseling is provided by professionals who can help you create a budget. They can also help you review your credit report and scores. Additionally, they can help you to create a debt management plan to pay off your debts over time. Credit counseling services will give you a personalized action plan to address your financial challenges.

They’ll help you set up a payment agreement with your creditors under a debt management plan. Chunk Finance, for instance, will help you take control of your debt. Their tools provide clients with a customized view to minimize interest costs. This kind of professional help will have you speed up your debt repayment journey.

2. Create a Budget

Creating a budget gives you a better idea of how much you can afford to put towards the repayment of your debt. So be sure to use your regular spending as a guide.

Figuring out where your money is going shows you where to cut your spending. You get to know where you’re over-spending and how you can make cuts without affecting your lifestyle.

This strategy can also help you in finding places that need changes that you’re not ready to make. Thus, you must find a balance between livability and a strict budget to become debt-free.

Note that the most important part of budgeting is to put it in writing. Mentally planning how you’re going to spend your income is a good idea, but it’s not enough. It must also be recorded and in concrete form. That’s because it’s easier to achieve your goals if you have them written down. 

3. Debt Snowball Method

This is a debt-reduction strategy that enables you to pay off the debt in order of the smallest to the largest. It enables you to gain the momentum of how to get out of a financial hole while knocking out the remaining balance.

After paying off the smallest debts, you can roll the remaining payment to the next smallest debt. This method gives you the satisfaction of seeing debts eliminated.

With this method, you must budget enough to cover the minimum monthly payment for each debt. You can now arrange the debts by balance. Be sure to do this from the smallest to the largest debt amount, disregarding the interest.

Set aside some extra money every month towards getting rid of the smallest debt. You need to do this even if you’re paying more interest on a different debt. Once you’ve cleared the smallest debt, use the amount you were using to repay it, to target the next smallest debt. Keep using this debt reduction strategy until you clear all your debts. 

4. Debt Avalanche Method

This strategy helps you to pay off debts starting with your highest-interest debt. With this method, you begin making minimum payments on your loans. But you’ll have to set aside extra money towards the debt with the highest interest rate first.

After paying off the first loan, move on to paying off the loan with the next highest interest rate. You have to keep doing this until you knock off all debts and become debt-free.

This strategy enables you to save money overall. That’s because you get to focus on reducing balances with high interests. You’re required to pay a portion of money every month towards the interest on most loans. Then pay the rest towards the balance.

By minimizing the highest interest payments, you get to use less money on the interest. As a result, you’ll have more money available to pay down the balance. 

5. Cash in Your Life Insurance

Cashing in your life insurance could be a viable debt payoff strategy. That’s especially if it will allow you to pay down the larger amounts of debt quickly. You may sometimes feel like you’re drowning in debt. At the same time, you may not have beneficiaries that need to benefit from your life insurance policy.

In such a case, it would be a good idea to use those funds to pay off debt. Note that you can’t use this strategy to stay out of debt if you own a term life insurance policy. This strategy only works if you have a whole life policy that has built up cash value.

Remember that even if you have beneficiaries, you can still tap into part of the cash value of a whole life policy. You’ll have money to minimize your debt and still leave some insurance proceeds to your loved ones. 

6. Credit Card Balance Transfer

This strategy enables you to roll over your debt from an existing credit card account to another. It helps you to save on interest charges.

If you qualify for a balance transfer credit card, you’ll get a low introductory interest rate of 0% APR. This will be on the transferred balances for a limited amount of time. You can then take advantage of the introductory period to catch up on payments. This can be done without a credit card holder worrying about the accruing of high-interest fees.

The best part of using this strategy to beat credit card debt is the 0% interest rate period. It enables you to pay off your debt much faster. That’s because all your payments go directly to the principal.

When it comes to how to beat credit card debt, remember that it isn’t the only balance that can get rolled over to the balance transfer card. Other types of debt can also get transferred such as student loans. As well as personal loans to certain credit cards. 

7. Renegotiate the Credit Card Debt

A lot of people don’t know that they can renegotiate their credit card contracts to pay a lump sum amount. That’s because paying off monthly is costly.

But do you know how to go about negotiating for a debt settlement? Well, you just need to ask. Call your creditors and ask for a lower interest rate. And for as long as your payment history is good, you stand a chance to get some relief.

Assuming that the creditor isn’t ready to work with you on a new interest rate, ask if they can waiver some of the fees. Find out if they are also open to waiving the recurring charges you face. It might surprise you to know how far a call can take you. That’s considering that credit cards are the only bills that can be lowered with a phone call.

Conclusion

Finding your way to get out of debt is possible. You only need to make some fundamental changes and you’ll be debt-free much sooner than you can imagine. Just remember that it takes planning, commitment, and a strong sense of discipline. It also gets easier with time as you build better spending habits.