It will take both time and money, and you’ll have to do a little work to drop those balances to zero. But, in the end, it’ll all pay off when you’re debt free! Here’s how to live debt free:
Gather up all your debt statements. Take a piece of paper and list each account, the current balance, the current minimum payment and the current interest rate. Then organize your accounts, either from lowest balance to highest, or from highest interest rate to lowest. It’s your choice, but many folks like to tackle the smallest debt first, because paying it off gives them a sense of accomplishment, which leads to more motivation to continue on the path of getting out of debt.
Pay it down!
Continue making the minimum payment on all your debts except the first one on your list.For that one, send a little extra money each month–whatever you can afford. In no time at all you’ll see that balance equal zero! Then it’s time to take the amount you were sending to that account and tack it onto the payment of the next account on the list. Keep this up, and your debt payments will snowball until you’re totally debt free!
Can’t keep track of all your accounts? Got too many debts to count? You might want to consider debt consolidation. Through a loan of your own (such as a Home Equity Loan), or a credit card transfer, or even a Debt Consolidation Company, you can consolidate your debt into one monthly bill. If you find that more manageable, it may help you get a handle on your finances.
Just remember: whether you choose to create a list of your accounts or consolidate your debt into one single account, you’ll get it paid off faster if you always pay more than minimum each month.