The cycle of being in debt has become all too familiar for many Americans. Many people from all walks of life have experienced it in some way, shape or form. The good news is that you don’t have to be in debt forever. When there is a will there’s a way. For many people, being in debt may not have come from bad spending habits but from things like college loans and living expenses. Our options are not limited when it comes to how we can get out of debt, however we must be smart about what we choose to do and how we go about it.
A very common and quick solution to get out of debt is a debt consolidation loan. There are many lenders that are willing to give you a lump some of money to pay off all the debt that you have so that you have one monthly payment. If you choose this option to pay off credit cards it can be very tempting to use your new available credit. It is important to make sure you have a plan to use your cards wisely .I would highly recommend that moving forward however you choose to use your cards, be sure you are able to pay your statement balances in full every month so that you can avoid paying further interest. A very helpful tool that most credit cards offer is autopay, if you have this feature it will eliminate you forgetting to pay the bill on time. You can usually set it up so that your statement balance comes out in full on your due date.
Another option that you have to pay down debt is what is known as the Snowball Method.This method uses the strategy of paying down debt starting with the smallest ones. A lot of people suggest that you start paying off the credit cards or loans that have the highest interest first to get out of debt quickly. However, if you start to pay off your smallest debts you create momentum (which is the theory behind the snowball method) in paying off your debt and as you start to see your progress your momentum increases along the way. A common disagreement on the snowball method is that it mathematically makes sense to pay off the debt with the highest interest first, which may be the case. More than anything you want to pay off your debt in a way that keeps you motivated and won’t get you discouraged easily.
The snowball method is simple! If you’d like to get started on the snowball method here are some tips below to get you going:
1.Start by listing out all your debt from smallest to largest.
2.Make minimum payments on all debts EXCEPT the smallest one. Here, on the smallest debt, you put as much money as you can afford into that one. Once you have paid off that debt take its payment and apply it to the next smallest debt while you make the minimum payments on the rest.
3.The last step is to REPEAT until you’ve paid off all your debt! When we set goals to pay off our debt we have to keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight, it takes time to pay off debt the same way that we accumulated it.
You got this Queen! Write out your plan and place it somewhere that you can look at it everyday and be motivated about that goal that you have set. Being debt free and financially free will open up so many more doors!