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How Can I Get Out of Debt Faster? – Jennifer

“Dear Steve,

I saw you in the Detroit Free Press article.

Credit card and loan debt – all bills are paid on time. So, no late fees or over the limit. But, the total for all of it is almost $60,00. I have been trying to give each of them at least $10 – $20 above the min payment. But, it doesn’t seem to be going down. The loans I haven’t borrowed any more money. I’m must not be patient enough to see the total amount go down.

What actions can I take besides paying extra and not using the credit cards to see the amount go down faster?

Jennifer”

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The Answer

Dear Jennifer,

Getting out of debt is a balancing act of living within part of your income and the using the rest to pay down your obligations. There are ways to intervene in the equation by increasing income, reducing expense or a combination of the both.

One thing I don’t know is what your interest rates are and who you owe. Here are a couple of options to consider however, in no particular order.

  1. If you don’t mind having all your credit cards closed then you could explore a credit counseling program which would close the cards but might lower the interest rate. More of your payment would go towards paying off your debt.
  2. If your credit score is decent then a debt consolidation loan through a peer-to-peer lending network like LendingClub.com might make sense. The loan would be unsecured and a fixed rate, with a term of three to five years.
  3. You could elect to use the snowball method of paying down your debt. You’d make minimum payments on your lowest interest rate debts and take all those extra $10 & $20 payments and add them onto the highest interest rate debt to pay that one off faster. Alternatively you could target the lowest balance debts to know them out quickly, feel some real progress and then focus on the highest interest rate debt.

If you could share more about your situation by posting in the comments below I’m happy to tailor my advice further.

One issue I’m interested in learning is if you are saving money while you are trying to dig out of debt?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

How Can I Get Out of Debt Faster?   Jennifer
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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