We all know that carrying debt financially is a bad thing. Some types of debts are better than others, but all debt is money owed! So, I hope that you enjoy these simple tips than can immediately help you to reduce your debt.
Just Say No To Credit Card Fees
The biggest secret in the credit industry is deceptively simple. All you have to do to get your late, over the limit, membership or application fees removed is just ask a manager. If you are carrying a balance on any of your credit cards, and there are fees within that balance, don’t pay them. Get them removed instead.
The easiest way to reduce your debt is to call your credit card companies (or anyone that you owe for that matter!) and ask them to remove any fees that they have placed on your account. It’s simple, easy, and could literally save you hundreds of dollars with a single phone call.
For more on how to do this, you can check out our article “Should You Pay Your Credit Card Bill Late? The Answer May Surprise You“.
- Money Theory features “Getting out of credit card debt. My story.” Good for you MT!
- Credit Card Assist talks about How To Tell Your Credit Card Company You Canâ€™t Pay. Many people do not realize that the first thing they should do if they need to miss a payment is to contact their credit card company. This can help you avoid fees, as well as late payment marks on your credit report.
Repair Your Credit
If you have a poor credit score, your options are limited. Taking the time to dispute items on your credit report, and getting on a regular payment schedule will raise your credit rating. The higher your credit rating is, the more refinancing options, or balance transfer options are available to you. Investing a little time in repairing your credit can sometimes save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest over your lifetime.
For quick and easy ways to raise your credit score, you can read “How to Raise Your Credit Score In 7 Easy Steps“.
- Free Money Finance gives us The Benefits of Debit Cards. I couldn’t agree more! *Editor’s Pick
- Discover Debt Freedom offers “Tips For Choosing A Debt Counselor.” Credit Counselors can be a huge help – just be sure that yours is qualified. If they aren’t, they could end up doing real damage to your credit score.
Debt Snowflake, or Snowball?
Whether you into Dave Ramesy’s “debt snowball” method or not – the important thing is paying down your debt! If you are planning to refinance anything, or get a loan in the next few years, you may want to consider an alternate approach.
If you have revolving debt (on credit cards) consider paying down the credit card with the balance that is closest to the limit – instead of the one with the highest interest rate, or the smallest balance. Doing this will maximize the impact to your credit score, and put you in a better position to finance things in the future.
For more on how your credit score is calculated, check out our article “The FICOï¿½ Score Breakdown“.
- Blueprint For Financial Prosperity thinks “Dave Ramsey Is Brilliant.” Check out the reader comments on this one! *Editor’s Pick
- Personal Finance Analyst says “Dave Ramseyâ€™s Debt Snowball – Bad Math, Great Results“. I agree about the bad math, and the great results. Use what works for you. The important thing is that your debt is gone!
- Think Your Way To Wealth has a wonderful article on “Debt Reduction by the Overwhelming Force Method“. I love this article. If you make debt reduction your primary focus, your debt will disappear quickly.
Give Your Mortgage A Checkup
Whether you choose to pay down your debt via a consolidation loan, or you simply refinance your existing mortgage, owning your home gives you lots of options. Be careful, and check out all of the fine print for any new loans. Make sure that the deal relly does benefit you after all of the fees and interest are factored in.
- Five Cent Nickel is Checking Out Current Mortgage Refinance Rates.Now might be a good time to consider refinancing.
- Accumulating Money talks about “Refinance Loans – Using Your Home to Pay Off Your Debt“. This can be a risky, but very effective strategy. Just like the debt snowball, I would say – use what gets results for you!
Sweat The Small Stuff
Are you paying too much for car insurance? More than you have to for groceries? The easiest way to pay down your debt quickly is to trim up your monthly budget. This will give you more money to put towards your debt, and you will get things paid down faster. Once your debt is paid down, you can consider living on the trimmed budget, and investing the excess.
- The Digerati Life has 21 Deal Sites and Online Tools To Help You Save Money. *Editor’s Pick!
- Christian PF takes a look at Kiplingerâ€™s 6 best budgeting websitesâ€¦ I hadn’t seen many of these!
- Mighty Bargain Hunter discusses “Patching up shortfalls can mean postponing retirement savings.” If you have to pull money from your 401(k), or not contribute because of your debt, then it will reduce your retirement savings. Personally, I would try every other strategy first.
- Budgets Are Sexy wonders,”Am i slow, or did gas just plummet like a mother this month?“. It sure has been nice on the budget, eh?
- The Smarter Wallet talks about “One Effect of the Economic Recession? Frugality is Back in Fashion“. Boy is this ever true. I loved this article. Especially the line “Check your budget with Sherlock Holmesâ€™ magnifying glass!”
- The Personal Financier talks about risk assessment with “Is This the Opportunity of a Lifetime?” Don’t miss this article. Especially if you are investing while you have debt. The potential gains could outweigh the interest you are being charged – but you’ll need a good understanding of risk and market conditions.