How to Pay Off High-Interest Debt Resource Guide
While it can be stressful, there are many ways to pay off high-interest debt if you know where to look.
When you’re trying to pay off high-interest debt, it can feel every time you start to climb out, you end up sliding back down. That’s why we created this guide — to help you find your BEST path to financial freedom and eliminate high-interest credit card debt. No one way is right for everyone, so pick the BEST one for YOU.
CONSOLIDATION / REFINANCING LOAN
Consolidation/refinancing loans are where you get a loan from another company and use that money to pay off your current debt, usually resulting in savings from a lower interest rate. The additional benefits are the monthly payments are fixed, and the duration is fixed. This gives you something you can plan around, and a clear date for when you’ll be debt-free.
Balance transfers are an option, but be wary. When you take your high-interest credit card debt from one card and move it to another, the new card usually gives you a reduced interest rate, sometimes reduced down to zero. While that’s great, be aware that there might a transfer fee of around 5%, and that the introductory rate is going to skyrocket later. If you’re diligent about paying your balance down, this can be an option.
THE DO-IT-YOURSELF METHOD
There are two ways to pay off your high-interest debt faster if you’re doing it yourself — make more money or spend less. That doesn’t have to be as hard as that sounds. We’ve got three methods to help you get started paying off your high-interest debt your own way.
Reduce your spending: This is easier said than done, but the key is to start with a budget. Use our free starter budget or create your own. The key is using your budget to help you understand where your money is going and then developing a plan to reduce your spending in certain budget categories. For example, if dining out is a category where you are spending $300 a month, what happens if you dine out 1 night less per week? Could that money go towards financial freedom?
Call Your Credit Card Company: That’s right, there’s a number on the back of your credit card. Call that number and ask for a lower interest rate or debt settlement options. Before doing this, do some research and have an accurate understanding of how much you can pay per month. There’s no guarantee they will change your rates or settle for a lessor amount, but it’s worth the call.
Make More Money: This can be tough, and it takes real sacrifice but there are a number of jobs that don’t take much training. Delivery drivers, renting out an extra room, renting out your own car, or ride share apps all offer fairly flexible hours. In the shorter term, what do you have that you can sell? An old bicycle you never use? That gas grill that you only used for 1 season? Be creative!
This is usually reserved from instances where credit is below the threshold for a consolidation loan, as debt settlement will generally send your credit score plummeting. In the near term, this may not matter because your credit score is already bad. In the long term, you may get to pay less than you owe and ultimately can build your credit score back up to a better place than it was before.
This should be your very last choice. But if you’ve exhausted every other option and now bankruptcy is your only choice, then be sure to do your research first.
NOW IT’S TIME TO CHOOSE
Now it’s on you to create your own personalized plan for how to pay off high-interest credit card debt.