So maybe you just graduated college and have some student loans. Or maybe you have a car loan and some excess credit card debt that has collected. Or maybe you just simply didn’t have a good grasp on your financial situation (don’t worry most of us don’t). But now you’re in a much better position financially to pay off your debt. And your curious on how.
Well for starters, if you can avoid further debt, do so. This will help tremendously when paying off your current debt. The next thing you should do is create yourself a basic budget. It doesn’t have to be complex. You can even scour Google in order to find a premade outline. One I like to use is from Moneysmart.Gov.AU. From there I just search basic budget. I use premade budgets, because while I have a good financial sense and understand how to do my own, it just saves me time. Once you find/ create yourself a budget the next steps fall in line fairly easily.
After determining your budget and your monthly bills you need to start paying off your debt. The way that I did this was by paying the minimum on all my debts. Wait what?! Yes the minimum on all of your debts. This prevents them from going to a collection agency and shows debtors that you are paying on your loan, which will save your credit score.
The next thing you want to do is pay any extra money you have each month to the least dollar amount debt item you currently have. This money should be found after you create your budget. For example if you have a credit card debt of $500 and a car loan of $10,000. You will simply pay the minimum on the car loan and the extra money you have each month towards the credit card. This puts you in a position to pay the least interest and pay it off faster.
After paying off your credit card is, funnel 100% of the money, that you were using to pay off the card, towards that to the next highest debt you have. Using the example above, this would mean that if you paid $100 a month on your credit card, after it is paid off you would funnel that $100 to the minimum you are already paying on your car loan each month until it is paid off. This method works for multiple debts. Start with the smallest debt then worked my way up to the largest debt. Eventually, assuming you don’t continue to borrow money, you will be debt free.
This is the exact method that I used in order to pay off over $28,000 in debt. I would know from my personal experience. I paid off my car, motorcycle, cell phone and credit card in less than 3 years, while still saving and attending college full time. Luckily, I was able to receive a decent amount of scholarships and only had to pay around $4,000-5,000 out of pocket every year. But using this method I was able to save enough to pay everything down to 0 as well as continue my education. It wasn’t easy and like any normal person I would make slip ups and buy things I didn’t need or take the occasional vacation. That is normal and it happens to everyone. As long as you pay attention to your long term goal you will achieve it!! Good luck everyone!!
Something you want to learn or hear about?? Comment below? Have another perspective on how to lower your debt let me know below as well! I love hearing from you. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter if you like the content!!
James A. Lovejoy