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  • Writer's picturePenny L.

7 Tricks to Get out and Stay out of Debt

Updated: Aug 15

1. Pay more than the minimum

Interest accumulates over time. The longer you wait to pay back what you owe, therefore, the more you'll have to pay in the long run. Providing more than your minimum payment each month will reduce the total amount of interest you have to pay and get you back in the black sooner.

2. Call your creditors to ask for lower interest rates

In some cases, all you need to do is ask to receive reduced interest rates on your credit cards. Some creditors will provide relief to debtors in dire financial straits, and it certainly doesn't hurt to ask.

3. Consolidate with a personal loan

Personal loans almost always have lower interest rates than credit cards. While this technique doesn't reduce what you owe, paying off your credit cards with a personal loan reduces the amount of interest you need to pay over time. Before applying for a loan, you'll want to make sure you have a solid credit history.

4. Balance transfer credit cards

Some credit card companies allow you to transfer your balance from one card to another to help with credit repair. Balance transfer credit cards usually come with promotional windows of around 12-18 months during which the creditor does not charge any interest, which allows you some time to get a handle on things without accumulating any further interest payments. Check out this online resource to compare this year's top credit cards.

5. Create and stick to a budget

To make sure you don't end up owing any more than you currently do and help yourself pay back the money you owe sooner, make a strict budget that stays within your means. With an effective budget that you can stick to, paying back owed money and working on credit repair will become vastly easier.

6. Get a second job

The more income you have, the easier it will be to pay back the money you owe. You're already working hard, so the idea of taking on even more responsibilities can seem overwhelming. In some cases, you might be able to tackle your owed money simply by asking your current employer for more hours or a raise. If all else fails, beef up your resume, and start turning in applications.

7. Pay yourself first

When you owe money, it's important to build up your nest egg as quickly as possible. You can use the amount of money you save to pay back the money you owe, so before you spend your paycheck on anything else, pay yourself first. Whether the money you save goes into your 401k or under your mattress, paying yourself is a great way to invest in your financial freedom.

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