Conquer Your Debt With These Six Strategies From Financial Advisers

February 11, 2020

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Having debt is overwhelming and frustrating enough without having a broken record in your ear about what you should or shouldn’t do when it comes to paying off debt and actually remaining debt-free. Whether you have no idea where to start when it comes to debt or you’re just looking for some fresh suggestions on how to become more financially savvy, here are the top six tips financial experts share with their paying clients about how to become debt-free and stay that way. Use the debt ladder method. One of the best ways to build momentum in paying down debt is by paying off your payments in a systematic fashion. First, get an accurate grasp of what you owe.  Start by listing all your debt by name, balance, payment date, minimum payments and interest rate. Pay off as much as you can on the first debt you want to pay off, while making minimum payments on the rest of your debts. Once you have paid off the first debt, apply that same amount to the second (and so on) until you’ve paid off all your debt. Check your W2. If you have significant debt, consider checking your W2 and tax return from the prior year to see if you can maximize your bi-weekly or monthly paychecks so we can pay off the debt throughout the year instead of waiting until tax season to receive your tax refund. If you received a $3,600 tax refund or more last year, consider this switch since this can translate to an extra $300 a month, which you can apply immediately to paying off your debt payments. If you haven’t thought about interest rates when it comes to tackling debt issues yet, it might be time to start. If interest rates on debt are low, it might make sense to set aside money for an emergency fund—this is your rainy-day fund for unexpected bills or emergencies, which will prevent you from having to use credit cards or dip into your savings in the future. That said, if credit card interest rates are high, consider paying down the debt first. Getting a job or small side hustle may seem like it won’t make a difference, but it can! Taking on additional work, like driving for a ride share company several days a week or taking on consulting jobs here and there, can add upwards of $400 to $500 in extra cash a month. Combine your debt into one payment. While this may make it seem more overwhelming at first, it can help streamline your monthly payments. There are a ton of programs, websites and apps that help with debt-consolidation. They take all of your debt and combine it into one monthly payment that you can afford—even lowering your monthly interest rate. Sometimes seeing one payment as opposed to seven makes it easier to pay down and less stressful. Have a stack of paid and unpaid bills sitting in a corner somewhere, making you feel anxious? Make a new habit of throwing out every bill you’ve paid immediately. You will feel a sense of empowerment that you have conquered a goal which will push you to keep conquering.

SOURCE: Apartment Theray

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