Pay more than a minimum payment
If you truly want to get rid of credit card debt, then you will have to pay more than just a minimum required payment. Otherwise, your debt repayment will stretch out for the rest of your life because you will be paying off only a small portion of the actual debt and majority of your payment will be going to pay for the interest.
How much more than just a minimum to pay will depend on your income as well as your desire to pay off your debt faster. When you need a little extra motivation, in addition to an ability to finally get out of debt, think about a chance to actually save your money in the end because you will be paying less interest.
Get some quick cash
To enable yourself to actually start making larger payments (or at least minimum payments, if you were not paying anything before), consider selling everything you do not need. Looking around your house, you will be surprised how much stuff you have that you were not using for ages and can live comfortably without. If you are an impulsive shopper and got into the debt because of it in the first place, you might have even more stuff just lying around.
The good news is that there are many people who are willing to give you money for items that you do not need or can live without and you can use the extra money to help yourself get out of debt for free – without taking any other loans, paying late fees, etc. A temporary part time, seasonal job, overtime hours and even turning your hobby into an income will also allow you to bring in more money to get the ball rolling and get closer to being debt free.
Cut your expenses
Cutting your expenses might seem like an obvious step you should take if paying off your debt seems to be getting impossible. Yes, getting out of credit card debt will require some sacrifices, but just imagine how awesome it will be to not worry about it and not be haunted by collectors. Here are some possible ways to cut your expenses:
- Use coupons when grocery shopping and any saved money can go into debt repayment. Remember, if you want to pay it of as soon as possible, every penny counts.
- Limits your visits to coffee shops and restaurants and instead bring lunch from home and make dinner yourself as well (your body will also thank you).
- Buy only what you actually need and not just what you want. At the same time, if you find the whole process way too depressing, allow yourself to have the things that you love the most.
- Do not use your credit cards because this way you will never be able to get rid of your debt. Just cut up your cards to minimize temptation.
- Write down or use an app to track all your expenses (including that cup of coffee or burger you had for lunch). This will allow you to visually see where you spend the most and where you need/can cut.
- Concentrate on high interest debts
It might be tempting to pay off your smaller debts first and see the number of debts get smaller and smaller. The fact is that only the number of your debts will be smaller.
Focusing on obligations with higher interest rate will allow you to save money in the end and pay off the actual debt instead of spending your hard-earned money on interests. Thus, obligations with the smallest interest can wait (just pay the minimum amount) because the interest accumulated with time will not be as big as with higher interest ones.
Get professional help
If you are afraid that you might not be able to get out of debt fast on your own, look for professional debt relief services. Depending on your situation, you counselor will suggest different ways of paying off your debt and give you valuable advice. She or he might recommend looking at debt consolidation, debt management plan or debt settlement methods.