Step 3 of 12 to Financial Wellness Paying Down Debt
You’ve tracked your spending, designed a budget for your monthly expenses, and you’re on a good path to financial wellness. In this next step, you’ll create a plan for paying down debt.
With some intentional action and commitment, reaching true financial wellness is possible.
Here’s how to pay down or off your debt in four simple steps.
Organize your debt
List every credit card you own along with an outstanding balance. Jot down the amount owed to each card issuer. Next, list the interest rate of each card. Repeat these steps for other loans you may have as well.
Choose your debt-crushing method
There are two approaches generally advised to folks who are seeking to get rid of their debt:
- The snowball method involves paying off your smallest debt first, and then moving to the next smallest until all debts have been fully paid.
- The avalanche method involves getting rid of the debt that has the highest interest rate first before moving on to the debt with the next-highest rate until all debts are paid.
Choose the method that makes the most sense for your personal and financial circumstances.
Maximize your payments
Once you’ve chosen your debt-crushing method, find ways to maximize your monthly payments. You can do this by trimming your spending in one budget category and channeling that money toward your debt. You can also find ways to get some extra cash for your payments, such as freelancing for hire.
Consider a debt consolidation loan
When you consolidate debts to one low-interest loan, it’s a lot easier to manage the monthly payments. Plus, the savings in interest you won’t pay can be significant, especially if the new loan has a lowinterest rate.
You can also think about a VISA balance transfer, which will relieve that interest rate for a period, letting you get caught up with the payments.
No matter which strategy you go with or the methods you use for paying off your debt, commit to not adding more debt onto your card while paying it down. Paying off a large amount of debt will take time and willpower, but living debt-free is key to financial wellness. Best of luck on your debt-crushing journey!