“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”
A Gentleman named Adam Smith presented a picturesque scene of life beyond debt. When you’re free of its shackles and away from debt-zilla, life becomes a whole lot easier. People have given out their success stories left, right and center to show that it is possible.
But alas, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we figure out that it’s too much to ask. Everyone asks the question “how to reduce debt quickly?” and frankly, everyone gets the answers too! But IRL, it isn’t a cakewalk.
Don’t worry about the debt-dizziness; you can learn how to reduce debt quickly and act on it too. The US of A is in dire debt-pool, with the average American carrying over $6,000 in credit card debt and over $24,000 in non-mortgage debt.
Moreover, the student loan debt crisis is at an all-time high. There’s no surprise that we all want to know how to reduce debt quickly. Here’s a guide for you where you can find ways to get out of debt as soon as possible.
Put your speed-suit on, you’re going to learn 11 ways to reduce debt quickly, act on it, and live a stress-free life with sunshine and rainbows! Ready to take off?
1. Say No to More Debt
If you really want to learn how to reduce your debt quickly, promise yourself to stop the debt-intake. This has to be the first step because more debt you intake, the tougher it gets.
This won’t add up to your progress, but it’d definitely stop it from going downhill. The road to debt-free life is a resilient wheel, and to stay on it you have to go beyond designated lengths. If that means cutting your credit cards and freezing your credit, then so be it.
2. Don’t Stop at Minimum Payments
The biggest crime one can commit against the debt payoff strategy is paying a bare minimum amount. Your minimum payoff amount is borderline, and to reduce debt quickly you’d have to stay above it by paying more than that.
Make sure that there are no prepayment penalties when you start paying off more than the minimum balance. This is the simplest way to reduce debt quickly and it works on everything—credit cards, personal loans, student loans, basically everything.
Minimum payments would leave you in the enchanting debt trap forever. It’s better to scale up your payment process and speed it up—that’s how you reduce debt quickly.
3. Consider Debt Snowball/Avalanche
Now you know that paying off debt is not just limited to minimum payments. Experts have come up with billions of strategies to reduce debt quickly, and two of the most famous and effective ones are Debt Snowball and Debt Avalanche Methods.
Before starting with any of these methods, you have to rank your debts in ascending to descending order. After you’re done with it, decide on what debt payoff strategy suits you.
Debt Snowball: Start with debts on which you pay the lowest interest rate. Continue doing so until you counter the biggest interest rate. You’d get that much-needed motivation on your debt payoff goal as you cross small debts off the list.
Debt Avalanche: As massive and destructive as it sounds, the debt avalanche strategy is all about tackling the big monsters first. Start with your biggest amount of debt and keep going until you’ve done it all.
In the snowball method, step one is the easiest. While in the avalanche, it’s an uphill climb at first, but it gets criminally easy in the later stages. Both of these are direct answers to question “how to reduce debt quickly”, but you have to stick to them.
4. Consolidate it
Technically speaking, debt consolidation is just a process of pooling all your debts into a single debt, usually at lower interest rates. This doesn’t actually reduce the debt, but you save money on high-interest rates which could rather be used in paying it off.
Debt consolidation experts recommend this debt payoff strategy as a great way to save thousands of dollars on interest. But the catch is that you’d have to put that money you save to use in paying off debt.
Some of the best personal loans for debt consolidation offer lowest APRs and pay the creditors on your behalf. If the question “does debt consolidation work for everyone” comes into your mind, you might have to do some digging before you walk in the room.
5. Reap some Extra Cash
Debt is the money you owe to someone, and the reason people go into debt is that they don’t have money to spend. So, the easiest way to reduce debt quickly is to earn extra money on the side so that it can be used to pay off debt quickly.
You can work on the weekends and reap big cash amounts on the sides. Online employers like TaskRabbit and Instacart would love to provide you some genuine side-hustles. Apart from that too, there are tonnes of opportunities you can look into.
All in all, whatever cash you earn on the side, put it all to use in paying off debt. If your day job isn’t able to do it for you, it might be the right time to make a switch. You can look for jobs on Monster, switch to a high-paying job and slay the debt-demons ASAP.
6. Budget it out, properly
Budgeting is nothing less than an art. A simple art, rather, which can help you sort finances out in order to present a simplified outlook. A budget will show you where you can cut your expenses, what to drop and what to keep.
Once you’ve sorted your budget out, look at the final tally. That money you just freed up due to budgeting? Put it into debt payoff. Use a budgeting app, maintain a journal or just remember where you spent your money—but do budget it out.
Saving money through budgeting is just one half of the job done. There’s this Japanese Budgeting Technique that opens up your ins and outs and teaches you how to save more money by trimming it down. Use the saved amount to reduce debt quickly.
7. Sell/Rent your Stuff
Everything in life comes with a price and sacrifice. Reducing your debt quickly is a whole lot better than taking it down slowly and steadily. Its better end it in one swing rather than shooting the kneecaps and suffering in pain.
You’d have to pay more than what you planned to pay, so it’s better to sell your stuff or rent it out:
- Start with your smartphones, which you can easily sell for a good price on Gazelle.
- Got old books and textbooks? BookScouter and CampusBooks will pay you for them.
- Rent your car on the weekends with Turo and let your car earn for you.
- List your spare room on Airbnb a couple of times a month.
Doing all of these activities should salvage something on the south of a thousand dollars every month. The rented properties would bring in $500 every month too. Now that’s how you reduce debt quickly—by paying off debt faster by selling your stuff and renting it!
8. Ask for Lower Rates
Have you tried calling up creditors to see if they’re flexible with reducing your rate?
Put it this way – if you’ve been a cardholder for 15 years, and you regularly pay despite your growing balance, that issuer would probably like to keep you around, and may be amenable to helping you reduce your burden now. It never hurts to ask!
If they say no to it, you can get Cushion Bill Negotiator to help. Not only does it negotiate with banks to reduce charges, but Cushion Bill Negotiator also works to get back that credit card fees.
All you got to do sign up with your Email and Cushion does everything else for you (with your permission and consent). Be it any kind of fee that your bank charges on your money, Cushion can get it back. Give it a try today!
9. …or consider Balance Transfer
The balance transfer is a neat way to, well; transfer your balances from one bank/card to another. Not only does a balance transfer bring your credit card interest back on the ground, but it offers introductory 0% APRs too.
When you’re in serious debt, they can be a helpful way to get back on your feet. When you transfer high-interest credit card debt to a zero-interest account, you’re wiping out that pesky accumulating interest.
FYI, we’ve got this list of Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards from where you can take your pick.
10. WORST CASE SCENARIO
Yeah, that’s right. You’ve explored all your options and you cannot find a way to get out of debt. There’s no way out, your head is barely above the water and you can’t get loans anymore.
If you’re looking to reduce debt quickly because the interest is scaling up, you’re missing payments on an alarming rate and your credit is taking a hit too, you have to look for ways to get out of debt fast.
No, we aren’t talking bankruptcy. Debt Settlement is something that you should go for. Debt settlement is a process by which you settle your debt for an amount lower than what you owe.
Debt settlement is too heavy of a gun to be lifted without professional supervision; hence a debt settlement company is the way to go.
The best debt settlement companies save you hefty chunks of money and all they charge is a teeny percentage of the money they settled. We’ve talked about this guy who settled $100k worth of debt and he wouldn’t have been able to if it wasn’t for a debt-settler.
Check out the best debt settlement companies in the market and talk to them if you’re feeling suffocated with all the debt. Debt settlement has minor setbacks, but the debt-burden gets off your chest, which is all that matters.
11. Keep yourself in Check
Before the debt-monster becomes too big to knock down, realize how deep of a troublesome situation you are in. When you miss a payment or two, not only does it hurt your credit score but interest rates soar. Hence, your personal profile gets blemished.
These black blots of missed payments and unpaid debts often leave us so numb that we stop talking about it. That’s the worst thing to do, don’t just let it be—work on your debt and work on paying it off.
More importantly, now you know how to reduce debt quickly. But you don’t have to take it to the top gear from the starting point—speed up your debt payoff strategy month-by-month, work your own custom plan out and talk to us if you need any help in debt payoff.
Reducing debt is an admirable goal and one that is achievable with the right help. Remember to prioritize debt payments in the short-term so that you can live free and clear in the long-term.