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How to Pay Off Debt Fast

Have you finally decided that it’s time to pay off your debt? I sure hope so! I had the realization that I needed to pay down my debt 3 years ago, and today I am completely debt free except for my home mortgage, and I expect to get rid of that by the end of next year. This elimination of debt payments will allow me to live on about $1,000 a month and will free up a ton of cash for future investments. By sacrificing a few out-to-eat dinners in the next year, I will soon be able to increase my net worth by tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. After just 10 years or so, I will have the option to do whatever I want during the day – and it all started with paying down some debt.

You can get here too, and I hope that you make the choice to very soon. Once you decide to take the path of prosperity, use this post as a guide on how to pay off debt fast.

How to Pay Off Debt Fast

If you are truly ready to pay off debt fast, then this is the way to go.

Week #1

1) Don’t Take on Any New Debt - This may seem obvious, but many people head to a debt consolidation company for help and the company convinces you that you not only need to consolidate your debt, but you should also take out a loan for an extra thousand bucks or so to get you through these hard times. Instead of helping your situation, this debt consolidation move often hurts you. I would recommend staying away from them completely.

2) Sell As Much Stuff As Possible - When I got serious about getting out of debt, I sold my PlayStation2, my surround sound, and even my television! If you really don’t need it and it’s a time waster, I suggest that you get some money for it and you get rid of it. If you believe that your television is going to help you get out of debt, then you probably aren’t ready for this segment: how to pay off debt fast. Selling your stuff should yield you anywhere from $50 to $1,000.

Week #2

3) Put The Money Toward Your Emergency Fund - If you have very little money in the bank, do NOT immediately put your newfound cash toward your debt. Instead, put it into your savings account for your emergency fund (which you should fund with about $1,000). Things are bound to break in your future, and rather than taking on more debt to fix them, you should just pull the cash out of your emergency fund. This little fund will help you stay out of debt throughout your debt payoff time.

Week #3+

4) Pay Your Smallest Debt First - After you set up your emergency fund, you can start paying off your debt quickly. After your first debt is paid, then you use that monthly payment amount and put it toward your second largest debt. This is called the debt snowball because just like a snowball gets bigger and bigger as it rolls down a hill, so too your debt payoff will gain momentum with each debt that you pay off. This is how to pay off debt fast.

5) Increase Your Income to Pay It Faster - While the debt snowball is an effective way to pay off your debt, I would recommend that you take on some additional work to add some cash to that payoff. Heck, just an extra $200 a month would do wonders! During my debt payoff days, I would dog sit and would also write articles for websites. It didn’t seem like a ton of money, but it was all extra and helped me pay down my debt with incredible speed!

If you follow these 5 steps on “How to pay off debt fast“, you can get rid of your debt faster than you ever thought possible. I was able to get rid of over $20,000 in debt in less than 6 months! If you put your mind to it, I bet you could get rid of your debt quickly too. Best of luck to you!

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13 comments to How to Pay Off Debt Fast

  • Have you been reading your Dave Ramsey book again? ;-)
    Chris recently posted..Tax season quickly approaches, have you checked your situation out

  • These are some great ideas. I have been selling a lot of stuff that I collected over the years on eBay. In the past 6 weeks I made about $300 which has me excited enough to keep it up. And the tip about the emergency fund is a good one because I used to just use my credit card in emergencies and that starts the debt all over again. Thanks for these great tips.
    Karen recently posted..My Earnings For November, 2013

    • Glad you enjoyed the article Karen! Once you pay off that first debt, the second one gets a little easier, and then the third is even easier yet. Then, all of the sudden you will have no debt and just have cash streaming in! That’s when it gets fun. :)

  • Cash flow is so much better when you are out of debt. People need to get into the habit of saving before purchasing, rather than purchasing and then figuring out how to pay for something.

    Good for you, Derek, for deciding to get out of debt.
    Bryce @ Save and Conquer recently posted..Shop Manual

    • It sure is! Now that I am out of consumer debt, my bank account just recently soared to a number that I have never seen. Also, quite recently I needed to pay two rather large bills that totaled $4,000. Thanks to my new beefy bank account, I just paid them immediately. This is what you can do when you get out of debt! :) Well, not you Bryce (since I know you already have a ton of money socked away), but for everyone else.

  • I suppose it seems obvious that you shouldn’t take on more debt, but you are right, a lot of people think that is ok to take on more debt in the interim

  • While Chapter 7 relieves you of the responsibility of repaying most creditors, you may have to surrender much of your property to help satisfy the debt. However, different states have different laws that grant you exemptions on certain types of property, such as a certain amount of equity in your home, a low-value vehicle, small amounts of jewelry and other personal property, and tools you use in your trade or business. These exemptions usually aren’t huge, but they do mean you won’t have to start over with absolutely nothing.
    Mary D. Wilcox recently posted..No last blog posts to return.

  • Not taking on extra debt is key! For me, that took cutting up my credit card because I always found something that I “needed”!
    MonicaOnMoney recently posted..Which Flooring Is the Best Financial Decision?

  • leanne

    Hi i am new on here and do not see how to ask a question or snd an email so this is for Derek
    I am a teacher and have my retirement automatically deducted into a state retirement fund of which i have no control at a rate of 13% yearly.

    Every year we get this letter saying we can make elective deferrals to a 403b account as well…i have never paid any attention to this because i am always broke.
    Now that i am following your site and trying to get debt free..not anywhere close yet…i wonder should i do this..even if it is a small portion each month? or is debt free more important? Would love to see an article explaining this and what is the best moves here..thanks Leanne

    • Hi Leanne. Thanks for the comment/question! As I understand it (please correct me if I am wrong), you are currently contributing 13% of your salary into the state retirement fund and have the additional option to contribute to a 403b account. Since I model my financial decisions off Dave Ramsey’s simple 7 step plan, I would first set up a $1,000 emergency fund, then put all additional money toward the consumer debt until it is completely paid off. Then I would beef up that emergency fund, and THEN further my investments. Along with this, paying off the mortgage should take place. If any of my assumptions were wrong, please let me know by responding to this comment! Thanks! :)

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