Debt can be quite the figurative millstone around your neck. Even “good” debt, such as car loans or mortgages, is often a significant financial burden to many. While paying off all your debts can be difficult, there is a financial freedom that comes from being debt-free that makes the effort well worth it.
Prioritize High-Interest Debt
Interest is one of the potentially frustrating aspects of taking loans or having debt. It’s the price you pay to use money that isn’t yours, and means that by the end you pay more than you borrowed, potentially far more. Different debts will have different interest rates. The higher the interest rate, the more money you’ll have to pay out by the end of it. Focus on paying off debts with the highest interest rates first. This will help you save some of your money that can then be put towards paying off other debts. This method does have some pros and cons you’ll need to weigh, but it is an effective method if it works for you.
Use Raises and Bonuses to Pay Debt
Receiving raises and bonuses at work gives you extra income that can be a great way to pay your debts off sooner. You’re already accustomed to living off of what you had been making, Putting the extra towards your debts shouldn’t be too much of a burden, especially if you were already living within or below your means. You can use the additional money to make extra payments towards your credit card debts, car loan, or even your mortgage. Advanced payments on your mortgage help reduce the total amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan.
Consolidate Your Debt
If you have multiple forms of debt, it can be tough to keep track of all of them. Managing separate due dates and payment amounts can be tricky. Making a mistake can create an unnecessary financial burden to correct. You may find it beneficial to consolidate your debt. Take out a low interest loan to cover debts with higher interest and work to pay off one debt instead of multiple to save some money and your sanity.
Becoming debt-free is possible. Work on eliminating your debt by prioritizing debt with high interest rates, use any raises or bonuses to pay it off, and consolidate your debt if it makes sense for you to do so. It takes a lot of time, work, and discipline, but the freedom that comes from being debt-free is truly liberating.
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