The Comprehensive Guide to Pay Off Debt Fast
There are any number of reasons you may want or need to pay off debt fast. But rest assured it can be done. You have everything you need to pay off all the debt you have within only a few years. I know that sounds like a long time, but you probably did not get into debt over night. You can pay off all your debt sooner, it will just be a touch more painful in the beginning.
But let us be honest being in debt or at least “bad debt” is not a comfortable place to be. So, getting out of debt as fast as possible is the goal of most people. In fact, three out of five people live in debt. You may have taken student loans to pay your way through school, you probably took an auto loan to buy your car, you may even have credit card debt.
It does not matter which type of debt you have holding you hostage; living with it around your neck is hard. You need to figure out how to pay it off as soon as possible. Generally, people believe that there is no way to pay off their debt fast, and they can only take one slow agonizing step at a time. However, if you use the right strategy and approach to pay your debt off, you can begin to see results fast.
Strategies to Pay Off Debt Fast
Are you ready to pay off your debt? Then I am sure you have spent a load of time in thought about different possible debt-paying strategies. You are now thinking it seems nearly impossible and are wishing you can find a plan that actually makes sense for you.
Generally, the first idea that comes to mind is you are expected to simply pay a large sum each month until it is all gone. However, the real problem is who has large sums of expendable cash to use to pay off debts? It stands to reason, if you had loads of cash, you would not be in debt in the first place.
So, then what are the other more reasonable options for paying off debts? A strategy or plan that will help you find a small sum each month that will make a big enough difference that you can see and feel it. Believe it or not, they do exist, I’m not going to sugar coat anything here, it’s not going to be fun but it will feel so rewarding as you climb out of debt you will want to tell others about it.
Here is a comprehensive guide/list to help you pay off your debt fast:
Strategy One: The Debt Avalanche Method-Pay off Debt Fast
This is by far the best and the most reasonable method to pay off your debt fast. Also known as the Debt Stacking method, you will pay your debt from the highest interest rate to the lowest. To pay your debt using the debt avalanche method, its steps are:
- Start paying off your debt by making a minimum payment from all your accounts.
- Then add the extra amount to the account with the highest interest rate.
- When you are done paying debt with the highest interest rate, focus on the next one with the highest interest rate. Therefore, continue until you paid all your debts.
In this way, once you pay off your debt from one account, you will have more money to put towards the next debt. Moreover, as you handle your debts based on their interest rate, you have to pay debt less and fast. This is just like an avalanche; therefore, you have to wait a while to see its results. However, once you gain momentum, you will pay all your debts like a rushing snow wall.
For example, you have four types of loans to pay: a credit card with 5% interest, a student loan with 10% interest, an auto loan with 4.5% interest, and a personal loan with a 15% interest rate. According to this method, pay the minimum monthly requirement for each loan and pay additional money towards a personal loan. You are done paying it off it’s time to focus on the next high-interest rate loan, i.e., a student loan. Therefore, next on the list is a credit card loan and finally pay off your auto loan.
Pros and Cons of the Debt Avalanche Method
The main benefits of going with a debt avalanche strategy to pay off your debts are:
- You have to pay less interest as you will pay debt with the highest interest rate first.
- You will pay off your debt quite fast.
However, there are some disadvantages to using this method. These are:
- At the start of this strategy, you might not be able to see its results, and it took some time to kick start finally.
- This method is not for those who get motivated by small wins.
Strategy Two: The Debt Snowball Method-Pay off Debt Fast
Another excellent debt paying strategy in contrast to debt avalanche is the debt snowball. Unlike debt avalanche, it will work by paying off your smallest debt first and move on to the largest. In simple terms, it works in the opposite direction of debt avalanche. For anyone who wants to pay off their debts using this method, its steps are:
- Just like the above method, the first step is to pay off the minimum payment on all of your accounts.
- Then put as much money as you can in your loan account with the smallest balance.
- After you successfully paid off your smallest amount of debt, take the money you are putting in it, and move towards the next smallest debt. Continue doing so until you paid off all your debts.
In general, people love this method and use it more often. Because it gives them a series of small successes at the start, therefore giving them the motivation to pay off their debt. Besides, it comes with the potential to help you improve your credit scores faster than other debt paying plans as individuals reduce their credit utilization on their credit cards and reduce their number of accounts with outstanding balances. According to this strategy, your goal is to pay off your small debt first, regardless of its interest rate.
It’s just like a snowball rolling on the ground that gets bigger as it picks up more and more snow. Similarly, each conquered debt will give you more money to pay the next one quickly.
Continue with the example we have mentioned above where you have to pay four types of loans. Auto loan amounting to $12,000, student loan amounting to $30,000, personal loan amounting to $7,000, and credit card loan amounting to $10,000. According to the snowball strategy, you will start by paying the smallest debt, i.e., a personal loan. Therefore, after paying the minimum required amount to each debt, you will pay more in your personal loan account. And after you paid it off, your next target will be a credit card loan, then an auto loan, and finally a student loan.
Pros and Cons of the Debt Snowball Method
There are several benefits one can gain by using this method to pay debt fast. These are:
- It gives you motivation and small wins in the start by paying off your small debts.
- It is a great strategy if you have outstanding balances on various credit cards and cannot qualify for new balance transfer credit cards as it can help improve your credit card rating.
There are certain downsides attach to the snowball method, which are:
- As your focus is on paying the smallest debt, therefore sometimes you end up paying more due to debt of high-interest rate.
- In contrast to the avalanche method, it requires a little more time.
Tip: Although most people focus only on avalanche or snowball methods to pay their debt. However, you can also use other strategies in conjunction with them to achieve your desired results fast.
Strategy Three: Debit Balance Transfer-Pay off Debt Fast
The next strategy we have on the list is debt balance transfer if you have a credit card debt. There are many times when we end up having debt on a credit card with a high-interest rate. As a result of which we need more time to pay it all off. However, to pay your debt quickly, you can transfer it from one card to another with a low-interest rate. Consequently, you will need less money and less time to pay interest. In short, pay your debt of one credit card from another.
You can use this strategy along with the avalanche method. As you have transferred your debt to a lower-rate interest credit card, it will give you enough time to focus on the next-highest income account. Using this method, you will end up reducing the total interest amount you have to pay. If you are lucky enough to transfer your debt to a credit card that offers 0% APR for an introductory period, you don’t have to pay any extra interest charges.
For example, you have to pay a debt of $5,000 at an APR of 18%. However, once you transfer it to the credit card with 0% APR for 12 months, you only have to pay off your debt. However, remember that you still have to pay the balance transfer fee. But there are few credit cards with 0% APR that charges no transfer fee. Anyone with at least one decent credit card is eligible to transfer their debt and get a good deal.
Strategy Four: Paying Debt with a Personal Loan-Pay off Debt Fast
The best and the smartest financial strategy is to eliminate your credit card debt outright. However, if you are in dire need of credit card debt and the avalanche method is not feasible for you, then it’s time to consider an alternative method. In a situation where you have multiple cards, it would be a good idea to pay off them using a personal loan. Keeping in mind you cannot continue to use the credit cards.
Pros of Using Personal Loan
Many people are confused about how paying off one debt using another debt is a good idea. Therefore, before moving forward with this method at first, let’s have a look at its benefits to learn what you will gain using this method:
- Your credit score will increase when you pay off your credit card debt using a personal loan. Why, because a personal loan is very often a secured and installment type loan; therefore, it will not hurt your credit rating.
- Using a personal loan can also mitigate your overload. It would be easier to manage your debt when you use a personal loan to reduce the number of payments.
- Generally, a personal loan has a low-interest rate. Therefore, paying credit card debt using it can help you to save a lot of money. Besides, if you have an installment loan with a lower interest rate, you have to pay less money.
Cons of Using Personal Loan
As we are talking about the benefits of using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt, it does have some drawbacks.
- Sometimes it might be a dangerous choice to pay off your credit card debt by taking a personal loan. Therefore, try to follow loan terms carefully to avoid making the situation worse.
Key Points of Using This Strategy
When you decide to use this method to pay off your debt, there is a certain point you have to remember. These are:
- Never close your credit card. In short, always keep your credit card open so that they can help you with your credit utilization.
- Don’t spend a large amount on your credit card with debt. Cut back on your spending until you paid off all your debt.
- Always take responsibility for our borrower. Therefore regularly pay your loan installments.
Where to Get a Personal Loan
There are many financial institutes and places that offer personal loan with a good interest rate. However, it all depends on your credit history and the lender. The first option that comes to anyone’s mind is bank or credit unions. Apart from these are also numerous other lenders you can search them to find the one that matches your requirements.
Why it’s Important to Pay off Debt Quickly
- You will reduce the amount of interest you pay. This saves you money you can use for other things.
- It will increase your credit score. That will allow you to borrow more for less interest.
- Without debt, you will have money to start investing. Have your money work for you, and earn you interest.
Debt Reduction Strategies that Do Not Work
As we are talking about debt reduction strategies that can help you pay off your debt fast, some strategies will not work. So, when you are making your plan to pay off your debt, avoid using such strategies to make the situation worse. These include:
● Debt Consolidation:
As you can guess from its name, it combines all your debts into one large payment. It may sound fancy at first. However, in reality, you will end up paying on your bad debt for the rest of your life because your loan’s lifespan increases. At first, you may be bewitched by its attractive low-interest rate, but with the passage of time, it often follows inflation and is attached to the prime rate so it will go up as well. Both of these factors, increasing the time to pay the debt and it’s fluctuating interest rate, make this idea a very bad deal.
● Debt Settlement:
To tell you the truth, debt settlement companies are the seedy underbelly of the financial world. Never go near this option. Because at first, companies will promise you that they will negotiate with your creditors to reduce what you owe. But in reality, they only charge you money you do not really have and not deliver on any of the false promises they enticed you with in the first place.
● 401(k) Loans:
If you asked for my opinion, I would never recommend that you borrow from your 401(k) to pay off debt. You will end up paying penalties, fees, and taxes on your withdrawal. Besides, it is not a good plan to sell your future to try to pay for your past mistakes. Do not let anyone convince you to mortgage your retirement to pay off debt.
Habits to Adopt to Pay Off Debt Quickly
Apart from using debt paying plans to pay off your debt fast, you have to adopt certain habits.
● Confront It:
Do not be disappointed, get upset or be afraid of the fact that you owe a debt. You will gain nothing by ignoring the problem, as it only worsens the situation. Always confront your situation head-on, the confidence boost you get from facing your issues is priceless. Always pay your minimum monthly debt payment. Do not skip a payment, the penalties are far worse than the hardship of paying the minimum. Try to add a little extra if you want to see the principle lower, an easy way to do this is to calculate your debt-to-income ratio to find out how much you can actually afford to pay each month. There are different ways to learn about your debt-to-income ratio.
Another very Important aspect of confronting debt is to make a formal announcement that you are taking steps to climb out of debt. It taps into the law of attraction and shows that you have an air of expectancy for success. The place to make your official announcement is our Facebook Group.
● Change the Behavior that Got You in Debt:
Pinpoint the habits that tend to get you in debt and try to eliminate all the reasons that you find yourself in this situation. It would not matter that you won the lottery because if you do not change your habits, you will quickly find yourself in the same situation of being strapped with debt. There is no judgement here, there are many reasons people get into debt like school, medical bills, unfettered spending, job loss, etc. It is always important to avoid anything that can lead you to debt again.
● Earn Enough to Get Out of Debt:
To pay off all your debt and successfully get out of it, you need to earn enough. In fact, you can also create an extra income source to pay off your debts faster. Many people are unclear about how they can make more each month. You can simply cut back on your expenses, sell things you do not use, find a part-time job, or start yourself a small business with minimal overhead and expenses. Network Marketing or MLM is one such opportunity if done properly.
● Staying Out of Debt:
And finally, when you pay off all your debts and loans, never get into “bad debt” again. Always try your best to stay out of “bad debt”. Always be sure you stay within your budget and plan so you can open the door to a much happier future. Be sure to learn more about budgets and try to have an emergency fund or a sinking fund that you can use in emergency cases and in case of unexpected events. Moreover, save consistently and have a solid financial plan for your expenses like purchasing your first home and retirement.
Also, I have created a cool free digital tool that will help you be successful in paying your debts and creating a workable budget download it free now!
Take Your First Steps
First, choose the debt reduction strategy that makes the most sense for you and your family. Then, and this is very important, join the Facebook Group and make your announcement that you are ridding yourself of your debt. You have started on a journey that will change your life for the better, and if you want to support others on their journey and be inspired by their stories join the group today.
The fastest way to eliminate debt without money is to file for bankruptcy. This is not the best answer for most people, however, so paying off debt fast without winning the lottery is easier than you think. By using a budget and my debt snowball tool you can pay off debt faster than you thought possible.
The fastest way to pay off $5000 of debt fast is to focus and budget. There are other ways to use move debt to less harmful places while you are paying it off, see the section Strategies to Pay Off Debt Fast above.
There is no easy answer to this question as each individual situation is unique, however, there are a few things to consider before paying off debt that has gone to collections. First, what was the debt that was bought by a collection agency? Second, are you trying to use your credit, and this collection is standing in the way? Third, do you have the ability to easily pay off the debt? Knowing the answer to these questions usually implies the answer to the question.
Get my Free Debt Snowball Tool
My debt snowball tool is an easy-to-use calculator that incorporates a calendar to show you the progress of each payment each month and how quickly you can pay off all of your outstanding bad debts using it.