As per today’s financial situation, debt is the second harsh truth of our life, after death. Basically, we have covered our financial life with multiple debt burden like – credit card debt, student loans, mortgage debt, medical debts, car loans, or money owed to any person.
In fact, America’s total debt tops $21 trillion, and in fiscal 2018, we paid $325 billion toward our national debt.
Before we get down to the main discussion, be assured that you’re not the only person who is carrying debt load. You may find an updated table provided by the Experian here.
December is the time when people should start planning to complete existing life goals and set new goals for the next year. And trust me, paying off debt is one of the most important unfinished life goals you can find every year.
So, right now we will discuss the most aggressive strategies you can follow to become debt free in 2019:
1. Gather your financial information
Before consulting with a debt consultant, you must assess your situation properly and gather all the required information. Start from all your records of bills, loans, creditor information, collections, payments, income history, and bank accounts.
The more information you can gather, the more easily you can create a solid working plan.
2. Create a budget
It is one of the most popular financial strategies that everyone intends to follow. Setting up a budget can actually help you to calculate how you are going to spend your money.
Budgeting can help you to properly categorize your money so that you can use the money well enough to make debt payments and identify areas where you might be overspending.
You can prioritize which debt you want to pay off first by targeting high-interest debts.
To create a good monthly budget, you may follow these steps:
- Check out how much money you make
- Find out your prime expenses
- Make a list of your debts
- Create categories for daily expenses and set a limit
- Allocate extra money to debt payments
3. Talk to your creditors and validate debts in collections
Before stepping into the field, you might want to talk with your creditors regarding the financial crisis you are having now. You may also talk about your plans or arrangements that will help you to pay off debts all by yourself.
Another important thing is to validate your debts. When you have debts in collections and receive calls from a collection agent, you should validate your debts first. It is important to verify the needed documents and debts that seem doubtful to you.
4. Consolidate your debts
Managing monthly payments on your multiple credit cards and loans might become hectic. So, if you have a good credit score, you may opt for a debt consolidation strategy.
One of the effective strategies to get out of debt is taking out a personal loan a.k.a debt consolidation loan. It can also be a cash-out refinance loan or you may choose a balance transfer card to transfer your credit card balances.
Through these options, you may consolidate your debts into one single monthly payment. You might even save on interest if you qualify for a lower interest rate.
You may choose any DIY debt consolidation option like a debt snowball method or a debt avalanche method to pay off your debts once and for all. The best thing about a debt consolidation plan is it won’t hurt your credit score.
If you can’t do this on your own, you may opt for a debt consolidation program and get expert help. Once you sign up for this program, a debt consolidation company would help you to consolidate your multiple debts through a new repayment plan.
5. Make some big changes
Making some big changes in your financial life can help you to become debt-free faster.
Here are some of the steps you can try:
- Keep your credit cards away
- Sell your old car
- Stop investing for the time being
- Lower your utility bills, unsubscribe unwanted services
- Sell unused commodities
6. Save for retirement
You can contribute to IRAs and Roth IRAs for 2018 until April 15, 2019. If you won’t get the full benefit of your employer’s 401(k) plan you may need to get the money in by the end of 2018.
Check with your employer and make sure that you are receiving the maximum contribution available for your 401(k). If you are not receiving that much, ask your employer to increase your salary. Make sure you set this all up in 2019.
7. Pick an additional source of income and pay off debts aggressively
Getting a second job, or working extra shifts is a common method to earn more and pay off your debts. If you can follow this strategy, you could get out of your debts within a short number of years.
For this to work, you must invest all of your extra income toward debt repayment. Working for extra shifts as long as you want to earn more. Once your debts are paid off, you can get back to your normal routine.
You could also earn extra dollars to pay down your debts by using your hobbies, or a skill. You can give tuition, provide music classes, write for blogs, newspapers, etc.
Some individuals may also earn more by using their home. Rent your home, or rent out the garage, or take in a student for some extra income.
There are many strategies out there that may become helpful to pay off your debts. But the most important thing you should keep in mind is to be proactive. Create a plan, follow it, and improve your life.