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Pay it off faster

POSTED IN ADVICE ON MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019

Use these methods to reduce your debt.

Debt can be a useful tool – most people would have a hard time buying a home without it – but too much of it can leave you feeling locked in a cycle of falling further behind. If you have debt you’d like to pay off, here’s a strategy that can help.

First, make a list of your debt. Write down how much you owe, what the interest rate is and what your minimum payment is.

Second, decide how you’d like to prioritize your list. If you want to reduce the number of debts you have, start with the smallest balance, which you can pay off more quickly. If you want to save more in the long run, start with the highest interest rate, as that debt is costing you the most. However you order them is up to you.

Now you have your first target picked. For all your other debt, make only the minimum payments. Take the rest of the money you would normally have spent on those payments, add in any spare dollars you can find, and put all that toward paying off your target.
 
Do this each month until your target debt is paid off, and then move on to the next item on your list. Each debt you pay off frees up more money to use on those that remain, creating a virtuous cycle.

To free up extra funds to put toward your repayment, you can make simple changes like eating out less, making coffee at home or getting rid of cable. You can also get an extra job or try paying with cash instead of credit cards, which tends to limit your spending.

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