It’s no fun living paycheck to paycheck. Let one little thing go wrong – a car repair, a medical bill or even overspending at Christmas – and you can find yourself racking up a lot of debt without even knowing it. You’ll find yourself banging down the door of the modern-day loan shark – the payday loan business. You’ll spend $10 just to borrow $100 for two weeks, and then have to do it over and over and over again until that original $100 costs you around $250.
Still, there’s a way to end the cycle. It’s not easy, and it’s not an overnight process. Still, if you want to dig yourself out of debt as quick as possible, here’s what you need to do:
Figure out what you owe. Make sure to write down the interest rates you’re paying on your debt.
Set your priorities. If you really want to dig out of debt, you need to be committed. You also need buy-in from the rest of your household.
Decide how much you can pay. At a minimum, you need to be able to make your monthly payments on your debt. That means creating a realistic budget, and it also may mean scraping and scrimping on some things for a while.
Pay off your highest-rate balances first. This means you should pay off things like payday loans first, as they’ve got the highest interest rates.
When you pay something off, put that money toward the next debt. Just because you don’t have to send $25 a month to your Visa card doesn’t mean that money shouldn’t go toward getting you out of debt. Add it to the debt with the next highest interest rate.
Don’t accrue more debt. No matter how tempting it is, you have to get your spending under control and not take out any new debt. Cut up your credit cards, if you need to, and make yourself a promise not to get a payday loan.
In some cases, your debt is going to be overwhelming. You might need to consider consumer credit counseling, or even bankruptcy. Most people will find, however, that they really do make enough money to get out of debt if they focus their efforts in that direction.…