Being in debt is just the worst feeling. Even when you’re in denial and still racking up the balances on your loans and credit cards, there’s that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as the bills arrive. When you come to your senses and start tackling that debt, it can seem just too big to conquer.
Well. It’s not. One of the awesome things about reading personal finance blogs is that someone out there is probably going through exactly what you are – whether it’s paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt or even just thirty grand on a really small salary – the struggle is so real it happens to nearly all of us at some point or another.
When you’re figuring out how to pay off debt, you need to use every tool in your arsenal. It’s like fighting an infection. You need to start off with a little research. There are two popular ways to tackle your debt called debt snowballing and debt avalanches.
Using the debt snowball methods is the simplest approach. You slash your budget down as far as you can and start throwing as much extra money as possible at your smallest debt. As soon as that paid down, you throw all your extra money, plus the money that was going to that debt to the next smallest. As you continue, once you get to the largest debts, you’ll be able to make the largest monthly payments towards paying it down. However, if you’re in a bind and in need of a loan, you can always leverage the equity of your home. It is important to become familiarized with Home Equity Loans.
Debt snowball is the best method for people who need to see results fast. This usually isn’t the best method financially, but if you’re a person who can’t hold out for slow and steady or who needs to some results quickly to stay motivated, this is probably the method for you – and you probably want to head to the library and pick up some Dave Ramsey reading material.
Using the debt avalanche method will save you the most money. You slash your budget down as far as you can and start throwing extra money at the debt with the highest interest rate. Once that’s paid off, you move onto the debt with the next highest interest rate. This means that sometimes you might spend years continuing to pay off all your debts, especially if your highest balance debts have the highest interest.
While you working your debt method, you want to hone your budgeting skills. The more frugally you can learn to live, the quicker the debt will get paid off. Learning frugal tricks and tips will also help keep you motivated during the long haul of paying down debt. It helps keep you actively engaged in the process, especially as your initial get-out-of-debt enthusiasm wears off. Debt repayment is a marathon, not a sprint.
Another tool that can really benefit you is to look into debt consolidation. If you have a lot of different debts, a reputable company like Fast Track Debt Relief may be able to take on your debts, negotiate lower rates with the companies and consolidate all of those debts into one lower monthly payment. You can contact them for a free quote to see if debt consolidation could help you.
Do keep in mind that the terms of your previous loans become void at this point, as you are actually taking on one large loan through the debt consolidation agency. So, for instance, if you had federal student loans with specific deferral options or loans that could be altered depending on your salary or employment status, that will no longer be the case, so you should consider the use of debt consolidation carefully.
However, if you have a lot of credit card, payday or private loans, debt consolidation could really help you out. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to consolidate every loan. It’s up to you!