Tips on How to Become Debt-Free

If you are determined to get out of debt or at least get a good start on this goal, here’s some great news: there are several ways to become debt-free.

For example, the following tips can help you take control of your finances and say goodbye to debt once and for all:

Tips on How to Become Debt-Free

See Where Your Money Is Going

When getting out of debt, the first thing to do is track every dollar that goes out and cut back where you can. You can do this by looking at your bank statements or making a list. Make categories for essentials like rent or mortgage payments and utilities and then also lists of non-essentials like eating out, and tally up your expenses. You might be surprised to learn you are paying way more for restaurant meals than you realized or that you have five streaming services but only watch one. Cut back where you can, and put this “found” money towards your debt payments.

Tackle Your Smallest Debt First

As Dave Ramsey notes, an effective way to get out of debt is to list every one you have, from most minor to largest, and then start by focusing all of your financial energy on paying off the smallest balance. Called the snowball approach, you will continue to make the minimum payments on your other bills while putting any bonuses, money from cutting back on eating out, and other extra cash towards the smallest debt. Once this is paid off, take the amount you were paying on that credit card, add it to the amount you are paying on the next-smallest balance, and keep going until you put all your debt repayment money into the largest balance.

Improve Your Credit Score

If your FICO, or credit score, is on the low side, there are tangible steps you can take to improve it. As Equifax notes, one of the best ways to do this is to pay your bills on time. You should be able to set up auto-pay with all of your credit card payments through your bank; this way, you won’t be late in your payments and also avoid paying high late fees.

Also, as you pay off your credit cards, resist the temptation to cancel the account. Your FICO score is partially based on your credit history, as well as your total debt, so it’s wise to keep a card with a zero balance on your report.

Consider a Personal Loan

It may seem counterintuitive to look into a personal loan when trying to get out of debt. But if your FICO score is currently low, or you are finding it hard to pay your bills, bad credit loans can be helpful.

For instance, Jora Credit offers loans for bad credit that you could use to consolidate all your credit card balances into one place. The online bank offers personal loans for bad credit with a fixed repayment term. You could also consider applying for a loan for emergencies. This way, if and when unexpected bills come up, you won’t have to recharge your credit cards to cover the costs.

You Can Be Debt-Free

Being in debt can be stressful, so you should be commended for wanting to take charge of your finances. By starting with getting to know your money and where it goes—and cutting back wherever you can—using the snowball approach to pay off your cards, improve your credit score, and apply for personal loans for bad credit, you will be well on your way to reaching your goal.

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