- 1 Veterans: It’s hard to have financial peace when you have to pay a large credit card debt.
- 2 First, a note about getting out of debt, health, and capitalism
- 3 Steps needed to get out of debt and avoid bankruptcy
- 3.1 Step #1: Know how much money you get to keep each month
- 3.2 Step #2: Get Rid of Debt Fast by Utilizing Effective Budgeting
- 3.3 Step #3: How to Get Rid of Debt Fast By Cuttting Unnecessary Spending
- 3.4 Step #4: In Order To Pay Your Debt, Track Your Debt
- 3.5 Step #5: How I Paid Off My Debt Using a Budget Spreadsheet
- 3.6 Step #6: One Of The Best Ways To Get Out Of Debt Fast!
- 3.7 Step #7: How To Pay Off Your Debt Fast By Avoiding Traps
- 3.8 Step #8: Consider A Debt Consolidation Loan Company With Caution
- 3.9 Step #9: Embrace the Minimalist Lifestyle
- 4 Conclusion: Financial Freedom By Paying Off Debt Is Not Easy
Veterans: It’s hard to have financial peace when you have to pay a large credit card debt.If anyone knows this statement to be true, it’s me.
I also know a few veterans who have come to me and said: “I don’t know how I got so much credit card debt” but got out and to this day live debt-free. But success stories are the exception and not the rule.
I was your average college graduate who had student loans up the wazoo that surpassed my yearly income three times over and credit cards that carried high balances every month.
I knew that paying the bare minimum wasn’t going to do much to rescue me from the bondage of owing more than I earned but I still managed to make minimum payments every month.
Don’t get me wrong; I was definitely sick about my situation. There were nights when couldn’t sleep at the thought of spending the rest of my life paying down debt all while never experiencing true financial freedom.
It wasn’t until I got reeeally angry about my situation, however, that the motivation to do things differently came about. I channeled all of my frustrations toward the insurmountable bills that had me by the collar, and now, several years and a many many sacrifices later, I am out of debt. Now what?
“Just exactly how did you do that?” you may ask. “Did you use a budget to pay off debt?” Patience! That, and a lot more patience…
First, a note about getting out of debt, health, and capitalism
We all know that having more month left than money is a horrible feeling, but I don’t think we are aware of just how much debt affects our health. Some people carry the notion that it’s not a big deal…”In fact, I’m paying debt off in a year!”
This same person will have no plan, no tactics, nor strategy and will have no idea how to pay off debt in a year, nor will have done the homework to determine if this is a mathematical possibility.
The point is that our stress levels rise every time we get a bill in the mail that we cannot pay in full. “Not I,” you might say. “I pay all of my bills on time.”
But how calm are you when surprises arise that threaten your stellar record? Exactly! No matter how perfect or imperfect your credit history is, you must admit that the mere thought of owing someone money creates anxiety.
Unfortunately, given our capitalist society, we deem such stress induced nervousness as normal. As such, many average people are one job loss away from saying to themselves “Whoa! I am in debt and have no money to pay it off!”
When you go to buy a car, the first thing that the salesman does is a probe for information to put on a credit application. He automatically assumes that you don’t have the means to pay cash for the vehicle and, as such, sends your information through for a credit check before showing you any car possibilities. Of course he will not offer very creative ways to pay off the debt. Just sign here (and here) please!
The only time he inquires about out-of-pocket costs is for a down payment, which he hopes is at least ten percent of the vehicle’s price tag. Why doesn’t he ask if you have resources to pay the full amount in cash before resorting to a credit application? Well, that’s not how our current form of capitalism works.
Our current form of capitalism puts a country’s economy in the hands of private corporations and not the federal government. A corporation’s central goal is to make money. If you pay for your car in cash, this makes a small tidy profit for the dealer, but this common sense act does almost nothing for the financial partners who only earn money when you take on debt and submit to their ridiculous interest rates.
They make even more when you pay late every month as a late fee is tacked onto what you owe and, depending on your contract, interests rates increase.
The corporate debt monster is always looking for ways to enslave more poor souls. There’s a reason that an entire season, i.e., Christmas, devoted to spending as much money as possible, much of which most shoppers don’t readily have on hand.
Money that you charge on your credit cards today equals BIG PROFITS in prolonged interest for financial institutions tomorrow. The corporations come out as the winners, and we are left to grapple with the fact that there isn’t enough money in the bank for you to care for your future properly.
In fact, it is usually the Christmas splurge that will have most Americans with a shopping hangover rushing to the internet to find out “how to find out how much debt I have” from the likes of Equifax (ugggh).
Aren’t you tired of being a puppet in such a system? Don’t you want to know the real answer to the question “How to pay off my debt?” Our national health sure is exhausted.
Studies show that people with less debt are happier than those with mounds of bills. Such is the case even if those who do not owe reside in a small shack and make the choice to walk everywhere. Living minimally is the only sustainable American debt relief.
“How could they be happier than someone living in a mansion and driving the latest luxury car?” you ask. Well, the person with the tiny, but paid-for home doesn’t have the threat of “stuff” or their “reputation” being taken away when collectors come a-calling. She won’t be the one responding to some sleazy law ad claiming to have the answer to the question “Mr Lawyer, how can I get out of debt fast?”
She owns the small house in which she resides and believes in saving to make improvements to this residence. The shack owner very likely has money saved for a rainy day and doesn’t have to solve money problems by taking out a loan to pay down other debt. She is not in debt. The person with the small house sleeps well knowing that she is living within her means.
The supposed rich man, if the fancy lifestyle was financed by credit cards or home equity lines of credit however, will rarely get a night of peaceful sleep. One small misstep will bring the whole house of cards down.
Many seemingly rich people, although having the appearance of wealth, have zero dollars saved for the future. They are living on the razor’s edge of potential disaster every day and this surely weighs on their health over time. Given all that, I would prefer being the lady residing in a shack any day, wouldn’t you?
“Ok Smarty Pants,” one might be on the verge of asking “How can I pay off my debt quickly with bad credit??” While we may say that one should strive for the simple life, the truth is that it takes hard flipping work to get out of debt.
It takes serious mental resilience to resist the urge to live beyond your means in a capitalist society that weaves instant gratification into our every day lives. So what does it take to get out from crushing debt to live as a free person on the mountain top? Read on and follow these steps!
Steps needed to get out of debt and avoid bankruptcy
Step #1: Know how much money you get to keep each month
Before you can learn how to clear debt fast, let’s get your money house in order starting with what’s left over at the end of the month. It’s absolutely amazing how so few Americans know how much they make after necessary expenses.
Sure, most people can figure out a good approximation at tax time, but as a general rule we simply don’t keep tight enough tabs on cash flow every month. The first step to becoming debt free is knowing exactly how much you are bringing in every month AFTER EXPENSES. Knowing this will allow you to pay off debt fast even with a low income or with no money saved because it’s not how much you earn but how much you keep.
Now if you want to know how to get debt-free with no money this is another lesson entirely. But really, if you are able to earn in some fashion then you can’t say you have NO money at all.
The debt-to-income ratio is something that creditors use to determine whether or not you can afford a loan. You, too, should use the equation when determining how much needs to be cut from your budget to achieve debt-free living.
There are two types of debt-to-income ratio: front-end ratio and back-end ratio. The front-end ratio, commonly referred to as the housing ratio represents the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards things like your rent or mortgage. Meanwhile, the back-end ratio shows you the portion of revenue that you need to cover all debts including housing expenses and outside creditors.
Calculating your front-end ratio involves adding up all of your expected household expenses which include utilities along with rent or mortgage. You then divide that number by your monthly net income and multiply the results by 100. The number that you get in the end represents the percentage of income that goes towards monthly housing expenses. Your front-end ratio is 22.5 percent if you earn $5,000 per month and only pay $900 in rent and utilities. Such percentage is definitely living within your means as far as housing is concerned.
Totaling your back-end ratio is similar to calculating the front-end number with the only difference being that you must include all of your debt and divide the result by your net income to get a figure. Let’s say you have an additional $3,000 in credit card payments each month. Your 22.5 percent ratio suddenly rises to 78 percent when credit cards and other expenses are factored in and take away that additional money from your monthly income.
Still, even with your other expenses being more than three times the cost of your housing accommodations, you still aren’t doing as bad as some who have back-end ratios in the negative. Such persons have zero left over to save and are positively drowning in debt.
You may be doing better in the financial department than you think, but you’ll never know until you tally your debt-to-income ratio. You cannot calculate this number, however, without first knowing your net income. It is after you have knowledge of how much money you make on at least a monthly basis that you can begin to formulate a budget aimed at accomplishing your goal. The next section gets meaty because now we’re going to talk about how to budget to pay off debt.
Step #2: Get Rid of Debt Fast by Utilizing Effective Budgeting
Many people hate budgeting because they feel it doesn’t work for them. You cannot pretend that you are living the high life when the numbers that would say that you can barely afford to rent a room in a barn house. Quite frankly you need to know how to budget to pay off debt. Simple as that.
Think about this, properly creating and respecting a budget has allowed people to get out of debt with bad credit, little to no money, in far less time than would happen without it. It is simply the best way to pay off debt quickly and yet live by your own terms while paying off debt.
It also takes a special amount of discipline to keep track of your spending habits and refrain from spending more than your budgeted amount. However, make no mistake, budgeting is essential to your financial freedom. You do not need to track every dollar that you spend all of the time to have an efficient system, though. But in the beginning of your journey to pay back debt it makes a ton of sense to do it.
Keeping track of every dime that you spend during the beginning stages is important because you are trying to get hold of your financial inner program. Many of us spend on autopilot and this is counter-productive with all known ways to pay down debt. How do you ever expect to break through to debt-free living when you don’t even know where your money goes every week?
Yeah, not going to happen. Paying down debt is no joke and you need to know if the enemy is “YOU“!
You need to write down or record the amount and purpose of every dollar that leaves your bank account for at least one week so that you can analyze just how you spend your money. Most people find it incredibly suprising to track their spending habits for at least one month, noticing how the money just slips through their hands in many small and previously unnoticed ways.
It may be helpful for you to charge all expenses to your debit card instead of using actual cash during the observation period since the bank does an excellent job of keeping tabs on even the smallest purchases. Yes, even for that $1.25 candy purchase at 7-Eleven. If the cashier smirks at you just smirk back…harder!
After tracking your purchases for up to one month comes the interesting part: Analyzing your habits that siphon off the money that could be used to free you from your situation.
It may be difficult to look at yourself in the mirror after seeing how many times you dined out when there was a refrigerator full of food at home. Particularly when that food went bad! Most who go through this exercise can no longer say the have no money with with to pay off debt.
Perhaps you went on a mini “retail therapy” spree that caused you to be tardy on others bills during this period. You might want to kick yourself with those new shoes you bought when you could have used that money to mount an attack against the credit monster!
The good news is that by doing this exercise you, unlike most people, start to become aware of your good and bad programmed spending habits and can now make changes that will get you miles ahead of where you are now quickly.
After looking at the ugly truth of their spending practices, some people try to attack all areas of budgeting at once. They may try to eat at home all while going cold turkey on frivolous shopping at the mall at the same time thinking this will show them how to pay down debt. The truly ambitious even determine that it’s high time to stop using credit cards altogether and start shopping at discount stores.
After all, “We’re trying to save money, here!”
While the effort to tackle every aspect of your spending problems at once is noble, it may not be the best idea because too much abrupt change can cause a psychological burnout leaving you further behind than before! In a burnt out state you simply won’t grasp how to pay off bills quickly if at all. In fact you might wake up to even more debt!
We, as humans, burn out relatively easy when we try to do too much out of our normal patterns. The thought of going from a lavish lifestyle to minimalist is so extreme to some people that they won’t even make the slightest effort to change. It is best, then, that you attack your poor spending habits in bite-sized steps.
For example, you could first address the unplanned dining out habit. Pack your lunch the night before AND set a reminder that alerts you to look in the fridge at your normal departure time so that you can’t use the excuse of not having time to prepare food for lunch. Also, it may be necessary for you to plan your dinner meals every day.
Studies show that those who map out breakfast, lunch, and especially dinner are less likely to take the easy route of eating out. For them, it doesn’t make sense to have someone else cook your food when there is a clear outline for the week. This is just one thing a person can do to properly work through how to save money and pay off debt.
Many who are aiming to get rid of debt fast rather than slowly learn to adhere to the 3-Category-Budget.
Instead of trying to tackle every bad habit at once, consumers pick out three categories that they would like to improve upon in coming weeks. An executive unhappy with the amount of money he spends eating food on the road and the large portion of his paycheck that goes towards transportation may include these two areas in his 3-Category-Budget plan. By the way I also used this method to get myself out of debt.
He may focus all of his attention of lowering the cost of food and gasoline for his vehicle by preparing meals at home and forgoing the weekend road trips. It is when he feels that he has developed a strategy to combat his poor spending habits, and given himself time to make new characteristics routine, does he move on to other categories in his budget that are troubling.
The 3-Category-Budget plan, then, serves as a way for you to create steps to get to your desired result, which is financial freedom.
Of course, you cannot be successful in your steps unless you understand the goal of your budget. A monthly financial scheme is not meant for you to micromanage the family’s money.
Honestly, you will probably grow tired of recording every expense by month three of such practices. The purpose of a monthly budget is for you to organize your finances and take control of your spending habits so that you will overtake debt and not the other way around.
You cannot conquer the debt monster while spending every dime before it can get safely in the house. It is necessary to reduce spending somewhere if you ever hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel that says, “Financial Freedom – Next Right!”
Step #3: How to Get Rid of Debt Fast By Cuttting Unnecessary Spending
America, for all of its wealth, fosters and nurtures remarkably spoiled citizens. Our definition of poor is not having an HD television and being forced to go the summer without air conditioning. Other parts of the world wish they had such problems as their poorest citizens may have to select their family’s meals from garbage dumps.
“Why are you bringing this up, I thought we were talking about how to pay down debt fast?” you ask. Well, this is an attempt to adjust the typical mindset before telling you that you must forgo some of the luxuries that you deem necessities if you ever hope to break free of debt.
Such extras might include cable television, convenient transportation, and, just maybe, that ridiculously expensive latte that calls your name every day.
Here’s a breakdown of four luxuries that you anyone can trim on their journey towards financial security.
Cable TV– It’s hard to believe that some people still pay ungodly amounts for cable television service, but this is America where wasting money is celebrated. Paying off debt quickly becomes a tad easier when you realize that the typical cable bill costs upwards of $60 for basic channels and that many people are likely paying double the amount for premium shows without accounting for pay-per-view, which is another beast in itself.
Did you know, though, that Internet-based services such as Hulu and Netflix charge under $10 per month for many of the shows that you see on cable TV? YouTube is also getting into the television sphere with its latest plan charging $35 per month for a service that practically mirrors traditional cable.
You can subscribe to all three of the previously mentioned services – Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube – and have a television bill that’s cheaper than your standard cable bill. Why do you subscribe to this service, again?
Cellphone – If you are in financial difficulty how is it possible to get debt free if you are still one of those people who pay over $100 every month for a cell phone bill just to have the latest smartphone. Sure, prepaid wireless companies like Virgin Mobile and others make you pay for your phone and service up front, but they could save you every year by charging no more than $65 for unlimited service.
Gym membership – I am all for investing in one’s health. I mean, what’s the point of learning how to pay off credit card debt quickly if you end up in the hospital due to poorly maintained health? My main problem with a gym membership is that many of us who shell out $50 per month plus the annual $50 contract renewal fee rarely use the service.
If I’m paying over $600 per year for a gym membership, you’d better believe that I’m going to be in the place working out every day possible, because for that kind of money there has to be some serious benefit to being there (like connections that can get you more money?).
Frankly, you don’t need a gym membership to be healthy, and you certainly need to get rid of the expense if you don’t go regularly. Planet Fitness, however, is a fair alternative for those who feel the need for fitness club membership despite not going to exercise on a daily basis. At least you’re only out $10 per month when fall off the wagon and continue to pay. At least consider it…
Pay Off Credit Cards Fast By Avoiding Starbucks and the like– I spotlight Starbucks because they continue to increase their prices while their devoted customers faithfully purchase their favorite drinks every day. Are you aware that a regular cup of coffee at Starbucks is about $2.20 (but seriously, who pays that low of an amount? Who??)
You might be paying at minimum $11 per week for an ordinary cup of joe that you can brew at home or your office. I mean, not even Starbucks coffee sold in the bag that you buy from your local Wal-Mart costs $11 per five servings.
Why, then, are you paying for the overall experience of buying your coffee out when you can make it at home? The latest coffee makers are so advanced that they can be set to start brewing when you wake up for work, so you only need to pour a cup and walk out of the door. There’s no excuse for spending $44 per month (or likely, way more) on coffee. This should begin to answer most questions about how to get money to pay off debt.
You may feel like forgoing the luxuries of life for financial freedom is asking too much. You’re partially right if you don’t know how much debt you’ve accumulated over the years.
Step #4: In Order To Pay Your Debt, Track Your Debt
Pulling your credit report is the best way to determine the severity of your debt hole and allow you to determine just how difficult it will be to pay off all your debt. There are three major credit bureaus – Equifax, (oops to them!) Experian, and Transunion – with individual goals of keeping track of every financial obligation you’ve ever acquired in your adult life.
Your report will have balances that you know about along with past debts that may have gone to collections. It simply isn’t possible to know how to get rid of debt quickly without this vital information. Upon review of all your listed debts, you may want to consider paying off your existing debt first and then proceed to old obligations in collections.
It is also important to note the significance of negotiation when you are dealing with collectors of old debts. You shouldn’t feel bad about asking for a deal that cuts your initial debt in half (or more!) since they purchased the debt literally for pennies on the dollar. This is a secret shortcut (but fairly painful) way of how to pay off a debt in 6 months or less. Of course, if you are able it’s always best to pay all of what you owe for your own sake.
Reviewing your credit card statement both on paper and online is also a good way to track your debt. Paper statements can be quite tricky when you are actively paying down debt, which is why many stick with online account viewing. Calling your creditors is best when you have enough money for a payoff. Neither your paper statement or online balance owed prove accurate in such instance.
Step #5: How I Paid Off My Debt Using a Budget Spreadsheet
There is little excuse for you not to have an organized budget in this digital age where some form of Excel comes with all computers and many tablets. Heck, if I had to do it all over and wanted to clear my debt today there’s a ton of apps out there that would be super beneficial!
And for those reading with “little to no money”, a budget is how to get out of debt on a low income. The following are steps to creating an effective budget using an Excel spreadsheet to pay off bills fast. You can go here and download an awesome google sheet
(at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hTBBf3rQB0WgHtAhK0sAiBHY_tSOncXagm4u0EIiHSA/edit?usp=sharing )
which was lovingly created by www.spreadsheet123.com or make your own by:
Step 1: Open Excel and select a blank spreadsheet
Step 2: Enter the months that you wish to account for horizontally starting in column B
Step 3: List your income source(s) down the first column (A)
Step 4: Next skip a row in column A then enter your monthly expense sources
Step 5: Then add the appropriate amount to column to the right of each item in Column A
Step 6: Begin setting up your spreadsheet so that it can calculate math formulas. Click on the cell where you would like the total to show up and then click Autosum. Click and drag all of the cells that you want the program to include in the calculations, and press “Enter.” Copy and paste the formula that you’ve created in all other cells and repeat until your entire spreadsheet is capable of automatically tallying totals when you enter figures. Such automation takes the pain of counting your income and expenses manually and decreases the possibility of error due to oversight or outright bad math and is the best way to pay off debt fast.
The fact is that I would not have been able to exit the debt trap without know what I habitually did with my money, and then having a plan to do something different with it. A closely followed budget is a tool that must be in your kit in order to pay credit card debt fast.
Step #6: One Of The Best Ways To Get Out Of Debt Fast!
Of course, creating and using a budget is an awesome step in your quest to pay off bills. But the next phase of the process involves adopting a method that works best for your situation.
So, what exactly is the best way to pay off debt (credit card or otherwise) and in what order? Many people start out by attacking the credit cards with the highest balances or personal loans with the most outstanding debt. This strategy of going from high to low can be seriously discouraging because it takes more years to pay off high debt than small bills.
Consider, then, the idea of the Snowball Effect where your start by using your money to pay off the smallest debt first. This gives a quick win and is the snowball that starts the momentum that eventually creates an avalanche that annihilates your financial prison. When you absolutely, positively need to pay off debt, every small bill paid in full brings you one step closer to your ultimate goal of not owing anyone anything anymore.
Others feel that the best way to pay down debt is to pay significantly more than the minimum amount due on all balances. In reality, if your financial situation allows it, you should only regard the bare minimum as a last resort when money is tight for the month. If possible, make it a practice to pay at least ten percent of the balance owed if you cannot pay in full every month.
Giving creditors $400 towards your $4,000 debt puts a much larger dent in what you owe than succumbing to the temptation only to pay $70, which mainly pays for the interest. You will begin to feel accomplished three months into implementing the ten percent rule when you see your balance shrink. This sense of fulfillment will make you want to pay more, which you may do in the form of weekly payments which would really put SAUCE on your effort to pay off all debt.
There are others who believe that the smartest way to pay off debt is….the Machine Gun approach! (OK – so we made up that name…but it is catchy, eh?) The reality is that many people believe that making payments to revolving debt every other week is pointless. “Interest is going to eat up whatever extra I pay, anyway. So what’s the point,” they may think. Interest, however, doesn’t work like income taxes and overtime pay.
Small, rapid succession payments are a secret most financial institutions don’t want you to know about. Why? Well, it takes time for compound interest to work it’s magic. Using the Machine Gun approach to pay off your debt chops down the money owed before interest has had time to work against you.
Unlike the federal government which taxes you more when you work harder, the math behind compound interest calculations reward you for your efforts. Interest is only attached to your balance once per month, so you can pay $200 every week and see the benefits of contributing $800 to reduce your $5,000 debt.
Of course, you will need to halt reckless spending to see the fruits of your labor otherwise you will be ruining the best way to pay off credit cards fast. What’s the point in paying $800 towards your debt on one credit card only to charge $1,000 on another? You should definitely reward yourself when you meet personal goals, but it is essential that the rewards do not cancel out the accomplishment.
Step #7: How To Pay Off Your Debt Fast By Avoiding Traps
The road to financial freedom has many tricky sticky wickets along the way. Here are five common pitfalls that you should avoid when trying to pay off debt.
Disregarding the need for a set budget – History has proven that we’re not as financially savvy as we may think. Why, then, would we try to address the problem of debt without first establishing a budget? Your financial life needs a plan and high level insights, and you get this by outlining in advance where your money goes every month.
Keeping the same spending habits – Not even the Snowball Effect nor the vaunted Machine Gun approach (OK – we will stop trying to make this a thing…) can help if you continue to blow through your income without regard for priority. You may need to go cold turkey with extra expenses until you get your impulses under control.
Earning the same amount while trying to pay off debt – Sure, you’ll eventually pay off your bills if you are consistent while earning the same annual salary. It would be WAYYY more beneficial, however, for you to find ways to make more money so that your debt can be paid sooner rather than later.
Weekend gigs are the best because they give you the additional income you need to reach your goal without disrupting your daily work routine (that is…unless your job has you working on the weekends, but you get the drift!). Selling possessions that you no longer use is another way to increase cash flow and can even start a rewarding side hustle.
Using your home’s equity to pay debt faster – WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS! This is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul . Not only is this trap counterproductive to your goal of being debt free, but it is also quite risky. You stand to lose your home if you default on an equity loan. You should definitely reconsider this supposed “way” to financial freedom.
Trying to hide your financial situation instead of being honest – Admitting to having mountains of debt can be quite embarrassing. In fact, you may be so humiliated about your financial situation that you fail to seek proper assistance in finding a solution to the problem. Don’t let your embarrassment be the thing that prevents you from breaking through to the freedom that you so desperately desire.
Take full advantage of a financial counselor who can evaluate your situation and establish a plan of action that gets you out of the red. You may read this section and think, “Great! I’ll call a debt consolidation company!” You should definitely proceed with caution.
Step #8: Consider A Debt Consolidation Loan Company With Caution
Many people resort to debt consolidation companies in a final attempt to take control of their finances and avoid bankruptcy. You should be aware, though, that about half of debt consolidation plans are success stories.
Part of the reason why so many consumers fail at consolidating debt is that they attack the problem, which is mounting bills, without addressing the source. One can’t rack up $50,000 worth of revolving debt by having reigned-in, overly-modest spending habits. It just ain’t likely…
How, then, can a debt consolidation plan keep you from repeating the process several years down the road? You must attack the problem at the root, which is a wealth harming spending habit, head-on if you hope to maintain a financially sound life long into the future.
Another reason why debt consolidation companies are a bit toxic is that their model that encourages you to be several months behind on your bills. Many firms cannot offer their services until you are on the brink of having debt sent to collections. Only then can they offer you a package that might rescue you from the torture of debt.
What if you don’t want to let your credit score hit rock bottom before doing something about your financial situation, though? They can’t help you there!
Some consolidation firms do offer the option of debt management, which involves them negotiating on your behalf so that all of your credit card obligations can be combined into one payment. The consolidation company divides your one payment into several so that all of your credit card bills are paid at the same time.
Debt management can have some benefits, including reduced interest rates across the board. The program also comes with serious repercussions if you fall off the wagon. You run the risk of defaulting on all of your loans by missing just one payment. Such pressure is not applied when you keep your revolving debt separate.
Step #9: Embrace the Minimalist Lifestyle
The best way to become debt free is through good old self reliance without relying debt settlement practices. Remaining financially secure requires just as much effort.
Many people celebrate their accomplishments after making the final payment to their last loan only to become entangled in the web of debt again several months later. Steering clear of indebtedness is particularly challenging given our society that glorifies living beyond one’s means. You will need to be prepared to push against the grain of consumerism and embrace a more minimalist lifestyle if you want to maintain your financial freedom.
Minimalism is built on the notion of a person using only what he needs to survive. A house with five bedrooms and two bathrooms is not necessary if you are single and without children.
Living according to the minimalist way means that you exchange large living quarters for smaller homes. You reward yourself for reaching milestones in your ongoing financial goals, but paying for extravagant vacations every three months is not the way of the frugal-minded.
Going the way of minimalism at least when it comes to your finances opens the door to many opportunities for investment. You are better capable of making your money work for you when you have funds to spend.
Conclusion: Financial Freedom By Paying Off Debt Is Not Easy
There is nothing easy about striving to get out of debt now. You will need to make a conscious decision to stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck. Take steps towards your goal of financial security. The benefits of enjoying life without a horde of bills can be all the motivation you need to keep going. Imagine yourself working less and enjoying the passions that used to take a backseat because you had too much debt.
Financial security is something that every American talks about, but few pursue. Will you be among those who fantasize about getting yourself out of debt? Will you continue to charge credit cards with things are basically unnecessary?
Or, will you be one of the ones to become angry and motivated to do something about their financial standing? I was one of the few. I haven’t regretted my decision to pay my debt off at all.