Digging out of debt can be difficult, so it’s best to make the process as easy as possible. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a helpful guide to simple debt-elimination strategies.
If you don’t have a solid budget, do that first. It’s next to impossible to pay down debt without knowing how much money you have coming in, how much you have going out and where it’s going.
Arrange your debts according to interest rate. Use the majority of your money to pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first, while simultaneously making minimum payments on the other debts. That’s the fastest cheapest way out of debt (it’s called the “debt avalanche.”)
Use a Transfer
If you have debt on a high-interest rate credit card, look into transferring the debt onto a zero-interest card. If you can pay off the debt before the zero-interest offer expires, you’ll save cash. Just be sure to do the math to make sure the savings will be above and beyond the cost of any balance transfer fees (they usually run 3%.)
Cut Things Off
As US News suggests, if credit card debt is a problem, try cutting them out of your life. Metaphorically speaking, of course, as keeping cards maintains your credit history and that helps your credit score. When you go shopping, leave your credit cards at home sometimes. Delete credit card info from your computer and phone. With credit cards out of sight, it’ll be easier to keep them out of mind and slowly — but surely — eliminate debt.
Original article by Chris O’Shea and adapted in partnership with SavvyMoney.