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Paying off debt is one of the best ways to save more of what you earn and feel financially secure. If you have large credit card balances, loans to pay off, and even a high-interest mortgage, it can be difficult to balance your financial obligations against what you really want to do with your money.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by what you owe, especially if the debt load appears to be growing. If you’re looking for ways to feel financially stronger in the next year, take control of the situation and make some progress. Here are three ways to pay off debt that are attainable and actionable.
Negotiate What You Owe
When you cannot possibly see an end to the mountain of debt you’ve accumulated or you’ve fallen behind on payments and you cannot seem to get back on track, you may need to negotiate what you owe in order to pay off those bills.
Consider working with one of the many debt settlement companies that can reach out to your creditors on your behalf to find an agreement that all parties can benefit from. Maybe they’ll restructure your payment terms or offer a different payment schedule. They could reduce the total that’s owed if you’re willing to make a larger one-time payment.
Several options exist when you’re willing to ask for help, either from your lenders directly or from experienced financial experts who can help you navigate the lending industry.
Make More Than Minimum Payments
You can avoid higher interest charges by paying more than the minimum payment on any debt you owe. Whether it’s your credit card bill, car payment, or even your mortgage, sending in a higher payment than what’s required will save you money and get your debt paid down faster.
Not only do you save money and get that debt paid off within the year as you want, you also have an opportunity to reduce your credit utilization ratio when you pay more than your minimum payment. This is the ratio of your credit balances to credit limits. It impacts 30 percent of your credit score.
Consolidate When You Can
By consolidating your debt, you can pay off multiple debts and be left with one single monthly bill. For many consumers, it’s a more organized way to approach the total of what they owe. Depending on the consolidation method you choose, it may be necessary to take on another debt, but the money you borrow will pay off all your existing debts.