How to achieve freedom from debt faster
Are you struggling with debt? Does it feel like you’ll never escape it? Read on for 12 tips to help you achieve freedom from debt faster.
Debt can feel like a millstone around your neck. Whether you have built up significant credit card debts, a huge overdraft, or taken out multiple loans, the knowledge that you owe that money and are likely to be paying it off for a long time yet, can be overwhelming.
If that is the case, chances are you would be keen to do everything you can to pay down your debts and soon as possible, so you can stop worrying about paying them back and start having more disposable income to use as you please.
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In this article you will find some top tips to help you achieve freedom from debt faster than you might think possible.
1) Get organised
If you want to clear your debts fast, the first thing you need to do is get organised. Start by sitting down and making a note of every single debt you have. Note down how much interest you are being charged for each debt and how long it will take you to pay off each one at the present rate.
You can then start rejigging things so that you are paying more money off high-interest debts or debts that will cost you more in the long term, so that you spend less money on becoming debt-free overall, and most importantly, so you can pay them all off far faster.
2) Pay down your biggest debt first
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to become debt free faster is to focus on paying off your biggest debt first. Not only will your biggest debt likely cost you more over the years you are paying it off, but by focusing any spare funds you have after making minimum payments on everything else, on your biggest debt, you can gain momentum.
As you see your biggest debt starting to vanish before your eyes it will spur you on to keep doing what you are doing and pay off your debts as soon as possible. It is motivating as much as anything else.
3) Take advantage of offers
These days, it is possible to find a range of credit cards that offer 0 percent interest for a period of time, usually between 12 and 24 months.
If you can transfer some or all of your other debts onto these cards, then you will not have to pay any interest for the stated period. This will absolutely help you to pay your debts faster because the money that would be being used up on interest will actually start going towards paying off the bill of the debt instead.
4) Set up a spreadsheet
One thing that will really help you on your journey to becoming debt free is setting up a spreadsheet where you record all of your incomings and outgoings, along with how much progress you are making on paying down debt.
It is only by tracking every aspect of your financial life that you will be able to see the bigger picture and make tweaks and changes that will allow you to pay off more debt more quickly, such as cutting down on non-essential expenditures and the like.
5) Earn more money
If you want to be able to achieve freedom from debt faster than you are currently set to, then bringing in more money is a good way to do that. If you can get extra work, such as taking one of these delivery driver jobs or doing some freelance writing in your spare time, for example, then you can put all of that extra income, minus tax, toward paying down your debts.
Yes, it might mean you have to work harder for a while, but it will be totally worth it when you are completely debt-free and able to have more freedom in your life.
6) Use cashback websites
Using cashback websites and special offer deals to do all of your day-to-day spending means that you will effectively get a discount on most of the things you need to live your life that cost money. You can then use the savings to pay more off your debts each month than you have been managing to up until this point.
7) Cancel subscrip[ions
Most of us have various subscriptions to various services, like Netflix and Readly. Many of us do not use these services very often, so it can be useful to audit all of your automatic payments once every month and cancel any services that you have not currently been using much, and which are when not good value for money.
You can always resubscribe later if you want to, and in the meantime, you can use the savings to start paying down your debts even faster than before.
8) Self some of your stuff
In a similar vein, if you have a lot of stuff in your home that you do not use or need, then it could be a good idea to have a bit of clear out and make some money that you can use to pay down debts, while also clearing your home of the excess clutter.
You’d be surprised at how much money you can make from selling your old stuff on eBay or Facebook marketplace, for example, and although it might be a one-off sum, it will definitely help you make a dent in your debts.
9) Renegotiate your debt
A lot of people do not realise that it is possible to renegotiate the terms of your dent. If you’re really struggling with paying off debts, you can get in touch with creditors and ask them to freeze the interest, for example, which means you will only have to pay back what you borrowed and not a penny more.
Sometimes, you can even agree to pay your creditors back a smaller percentage of the debt as a whole and have them draw a line under it, but usually, this is only possible if you have a lump sum to pay in the moment, and if you have been struggling to meet repayments up until this point. Still, it is worth exploring all avenues available to you, so don’t be afraid to try and negotiate.
10) Live with less
One thing that can draw out how long it takes for you to become debt-free is your spending. If you are always spending more money than necessary on takeout coffees, designer shoes, or household goods that you do not really need, then you are going to have debt hanging over your head for way longer than you need to, and you might even end up getting into a worse financial position as a result.
If you can embrace the small pleasures in life and stop feeling the need to keep up with the Joneses, then you will be able to save more money which you can use to pay down debts and get into a much better financial position.
If you have the urge to buy something superfluous, hold off. Make a note of it and come back to it in a month’s time; if at that time, you still really want to own it, then go ahead and buy it, but more often than not, you will find that the impulse to spend has passed and the object of your desires is not so desirable anymore. Use the money you would have spent on it to pay off your overdraft instead.
11) Don’t be tempted to take out more debt
If you’re in debt, one of the worst things you can often do is to take out more debt to cover your current ones. This will just make matters worse and prolong the amount of time you spend in debt overall. If you are unable to pay, then it is always better to get in touch with your creditors and see what can be done to help.
12) Seek help
If you are overwhelmed by debt and it feels like you are never going to get out of the black hole, then speaking to a qualified debt adviser is a good idea. There are numerous debt charities that will give you comprehensive free advice and these people are always o hand when you need them.
Consulting with a skilled debt adviser can help you uncover solutions to your debt issues, regardless of location, irrespective of how challenging or elusive they may appear. For example, if you reside in Los Angeles, California debt relief programs are available to devise a feasible plan to reduce your debts and rapidly achieve a debt-free life.
Acknowledging that you need assistance is nothing to be ashamed of. So if the debt is overwhelming you and causing significant stress, don’t hesitate to seek help immediately.
Achieving freedom from debts, especially if you have a lot of them, is not something that will happen overnight, but if you do all of the above, and you are serious about clearing your debts sooner, rather than later, you will be surprised at just how quickly you can make them vanished with a bit of determination. Good luck.