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  1. #1

    9 Powerful Tricks To Help You Eliminate Debt Quickly

    Anyone who's ever been in debt knows that there's a great deal of stress associated with owing money to others. Aside from the obvious financial burdens that debt puts on you and your family, debt is emotionally draining and dangerous for your psyche. The longer you're in debt, the more insurmountable the debt feels.

    While there’s no “magic bullet” for making debt disappear, here are 9 tricks for eliminating debt quickly and getting back in control of your finances:

    1. Break the debt into pieces. $20,000 in credit card debt is terrifying. $1000 a month, or $500 a month or whatever amount you can pay, is much less scary and much more manageable psychologically.

    2. Pay debt first. Most folks have heard that old adage about “paying yourself first." Well in this case, you should pay your debt first. When you receive your paycheck, pay your rent or mortgage payment, electricity bill, water bill, etc. Once you’ve paid for the basic necessities, make debt repayment your top priority.

    3. Cut out "extras". Cable television, gymnastics lessons for the kids, yoga classes and golf memberships are all "extras" that you don't need. If it's not a necessity, cut it from your budget until you finish paying off your debt. You can pay off your debt faster if you’re not spending money on “extras.”

    4. Set up automatic payments. Automatic payments make paying bills much easier. You’re less likely to forget about a bill or pay it late if it’s automatically drafted from your checking account. One caveat to this point: if you frequently overdraw your account, this may not be a good option for you.



    5. Work extra hours. The bigger your income, the faster you can pay off your debt. If your employer allows you to work extra hours or you have the option to work additional shifts, do so!

    6. Work extra jobs. If you can’t work extra hours for your current employer, consider working a part-time or per diem job for another employer. Also consider doing odd jobs: babysitting, mowing lawns and cleaning are easy ways to make extra money. Have some inexpensive business cards made and start distributing them to friends and family.

    7. Stop adding debt. The bigger the debt, the longer it takes to pay off. If you keep accumulating debt while you’re paying off debt you won’t have any traction. A sure fire way to demotivate yourself is to see your balances going up while you’re trying to pay off your debt. Cut up your credit cards and stop using open lines of credit.

    8. Sell stuff. Look around your house for things you no longer use. Furniture, electronics and jewelry usually sell well. Use Craigslist to sell bigger items that would be expensive to ship, and eBay for smaller and more collectable items that might yield larger profits with a national or international audience.

    9. Ask for a settlement. In a worst case scenario where you’re several months behind on your bills, call your lender or collection agency and ask for a settlement. Explain that you don't have the money to pay your bill and will likely default on debt if they aren't able to offer you a settlement. If the collector does agree to a settlement, never send any money without something in writing. If you don't have a written agreement that outlines the terms of the settlement, the company could later claim they never made an agreement with you.

  2. 9 Powerful Tricks To Help You Eliminate Debt Quickly
  3. #2
    Registered User Junior Member
    Posts
    25
    In response to the tweet by CreditForums (I don't have twitter or facebook or any of that ridiculousness), as to which makes the biggest difference:

    7 is a no brainer, you can't dig yourself out of a hole, you have to stop adding to the problem.

    Otherwise:

    5/6 if you don't have kids. If you're young and single or even engaged/married but no kids, get to work and remember what it was like later when you have your debt paid off and how much it sucked so that you don't ever get into debt like that again. But if you have kids, it SUCKS being away from them and knowning they're missing you, I don't even like the idea of both my wife and I working and sending our little one to daycare, but we feel secure with her there and we can't do it financially otherwise. After I started my tax job full time again, I went 2 weeks (1 shift each week) before I quit, I couldn't handle being gone from our daughter for an entire day (9-5 tax job, then 530-1100 pizza delivery). We still make extra enough though to continue paying our debt down. My wife still works 2 extra shifts a week, and complains every time about having to go, but we both know that she'd complain about being home too half the time. Anyways.....

    1 if you do have kids. When you order your debts smallest to largest, and go full head on at that smallest debt, and pay it off, it's really really gratifying. We're a culture of instant gratification, and going after the smaller debts and crossing that off the list is a great reward. Going after a bigger debt first can delay that and damper your morale. Then, after you paid off that first debt, you keep that payment in the budget and throw it at the next one and snowball it and pay it off faster.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Frov View Post
    When you order your debts smallest to largest, and go full head on at that smallest debt, and pay it off, it's really really gratifying. We're a culture of instant gratification, and going after the smaller debts and crossing that off the list is a great reward.
    Great tip, I know there are a lot of folks who have had great success paying off debts smallest to largest (and ignoring interest rates).

  5. #4
    Registered User Enthusiast
    Posts
    63
    My favorite is #1. One really cool trick that really works for me is to draw a graph and fill it in as you pay down your debts. Say you owe $5000, draw a box with notches every 50 bucks or so and fill them in with a marker as you pay them off. #progress.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Card Dude View Post
    My favorite is #1. One really cool trick that really works for me is to draw a graph and fill it in as you pay down your debts. Say you owe $5000, draw a box with notches every 50 bucks or so and fill them in with a marker as you pay them off. #progress.
    That's a great idea. Visual reminders of how much you owe and how much progress you've made are so powerful and so motivating.

  7. #6
    Registered User New Member
    Posts
    5
    I find myself using #8 whenever I'm in need of cash. It's easy to forget just how much STUFF you accumulate over the course of a year. Using Craigslist and Ebay helps free up room in my house. I've also created an emergency fund without actually having to save any money.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by iFly View Post
    I've also created an emergency fund without actually having to save any money.
    You're so right. It's incredible how much "stuff" most of us have that we don't need and don't use. Pretty awesome that you built your emergency fund just selling things! What were your best "sellers"?

  9. #8
    Registered User Enthusiast
    Posts
    64
    #1 is a great tip! The balance owing on my student loan keeps me up at night but the monthly payments aren't quite as horrifying.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by byedebt View Post
    #1 is a great tip! The balance owing on my student loan keeps me up at night but the monthly payments aren't quite as horrifying.
    I hear you! If I'd thought of my student debt as the total amount owed and not the amount I'd be paying each month I probably would have had a heart attack. Debt can be overwhelmingly stressful.

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