Getting out of debt is not easy, but it is possible if you have a plan to destroy your debt. While these steps may not be sexy, they will work if you stick to them. Here is your blueprint to pay off your debt and get back in the black.
1. Compile A List
You won’t know where you stand until you write down what you owe. The best way to do this is to create a spreadsheet with the following columns: Company, Total Amount, Interest Rate, Minimum Payment & Status (Current, Past Due, Paid). If you don’t know who you owe you can check your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com and see who is listed and for what amount.
2. Organize Your List
Now that you have a list of who you owe and what you owe, put them in the correct order? One recommended order is to sort them from the highest interest to the lowest. The ones who are charging the most are the ones you’ll want to eliminate first. Others like to place debts in order from highest amount lowed to the least. This gives you a psychological advantage as you knock out one debt after the other.
3. Change Your Spending Habits
The reason you got into debt in the first place is because your spending habits were out of control. Now that you’re trying to dig yourself out of debt you can’t continue spending like you did before. You’ll need to separate your wants from your needs and make the appropriate cuts.
4. Balance Transfers
There is a way to knock down a significant portion of your debt much faster. This trick involves using 0% interest balance transfers. Credit card companies want you as a customer so they lure you in with a 0% rate on balances you transfer from other cards for 1 year. After that year your rate will go back to the regular rate.
You can take advantage of this offer by transferring the balance of all your high interest cards onto your new credit card. Just be sure to pay off the balance during the introductory period.
5. Update Your List
When you successfully pay off a debt make sure to go back to your list and highlight it. Don’t just delete it, but make a visual change to the list. This will give you a psychological boost as you see your debts being paid off one by one.
As you destroy each one you’ll see yourself getting closer and closer to a debt free life. Being a debt is like climbing a mountain. The hardest step is the first one. Once you begin, just look ahead at the next step. Before you know it you’ll be atop the mountain. It is a difficult journey, but when you reach the top, the view is amazing.