Get Rid Of Your Debt With These Debt Defying Strategies

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2012-06-0247

Want to get rid of your debt? Check out our list of debt defying strategies below as well as these debt elimination tips.

The “D” word…for Debt. Just about everyone is familiar with it, although some people are more intimately acquainted with it than others are. Debt is often the cause of disagreements and unhappiness among couples; and it often tends to creep into your thoughts when you’re busy doing other things, wreaking havoc!

I get a lot of questions from readers who ask about what they should do about their mounting debt. A few of them have seen their debt problems start very early, usually materializing while they are at school (or in college to be exact) — when student loans and credit card debt begin piling up. In a way, I would expect this to be the case for students who aren’t able to receive assistance from their families or who aren’t fortunate enough to get grants or scholarships. At that period in their lives, their capacity to earn hasn’t much exceeded their spending and it would take herculean discipline to avoid debt altogether.


It’s also a fact that debt is on the rise with the average credit card balance growing from $4,800 in 2007 to $5,500 in 2008, and over $10,000 in 2011 (as per CNN Money), with 60% of card holders unable to pay their balance in full. When those numbers add up, it can be pretty overwhelming.

Still, with enough discipline, determination and commitment, debt is something you can manage and control. I am fairly debt averse so the only loan I have is my mortgage. In order for things to stay that way, I refer to these strategies to make sure I stay relatively debt free. These strategies have been echoed time and again throughout financial literature, but I thought it would be worth reminding ourselves what specific, concrete techniques do exist to help us pare down our debt obligations.

torn up credit cards, mary hetts art
Photo by MaryHetts.com

15 Concrete Strategies To Get Rid Of Debt

#1 Start budgeting and employ the use of effective money management or budgeting tools.
What has helped a lot of people manage and control their debt is the use of a budgeting tool or software package like YNAB (You Need A Budget). I wrote a comprehensive review of the YNAB personal budget software application, where I discuss why I think this is a superior tool for those who are serious about eliminating their debt for good (it’s much better rated than Quicken). It actually espouses a very clever budgeting strategy that will encourage you to save more and improve your savings habits. You can also try online budgeting tools like Mint.com, which offer standard budgeting features for free!

#2 Stop racking up any more debt and instead, start using cash. Cut up and throw out your cards and use cash. Without the tools to incur debt, you won’t. The key is persistence and applying the strict cash regimen as long as you want to control your spending. Along with sticking to cash transactions, work on a budget if you haven’t done so already, and carefully track where all your money goes.

#3 Don’t spend on things you don’t need. You should carefully consider each purchase you make, perhaps only spending for what’s necessary. Also, try to avoid impulse purchases. I have relatives who are in debt but have an addiction to shopping. Until they face the music on their shopping addiction, they will never get out of debt.

#4 Develop frugal habits and make cutting costs your top priority. There is an element of sacrifice needed to ensure that your money conservation strategies work, but by sticking to your cost cutting plan, your discipline and dedication will eventually be rewarded. There are a lot of frugal blogs that can help you in this regard!

#5 Consider using balance transfer credit cards.
There’s no way around it: the best way to beat debt is to pay it off. But depending on your situation, switching your balance from a high interest rate credit card to one with a lower rate may help you cut down on the interest you’re paying and may help you retire your debt faster. You can do what is called a balance transfer (moving your existing card balance to 0% or low interest rate cards), but be aware that there may be some costs to doing this. It’s only worth doing if you can aggressively retire your debt in a short amount of time, ideally during the promotional period when the card interest rate is at 0%. Check out these balance transfer credit cards if you are interested in this type of debt consolidation.

While there may be costs to doing a transfer, you may still come out ahead and pay off credit card debt quickly if you commit to a disciplined payment schedule. Note that applying for a new credit card may have a short term impact on your credit score.

#6 Consider reducing the amount of money you are investing and/or saving in order to pay off debts. This is a good idea if you’re paying more interest on your debt than what you’re earning with your savings and/or investments.

#7 Use your debt payment plan as an opportunity to establish a savings program. Once you’ve paid off your high interest debt, you can bump up the amount you are socking away and investing, and resume your savings plan. By establishing a system to pay down debt, you’ll be able to use this very same system to build your savings once you’ve retired your loans. Once things are paid off, you can start routing your payments to your savings account instead of to your creditors.

#8 Pay above the minimum on any loans you own. If you have limited resources, focus on paying down your highest interest rate loans first, particularly those considered “bad debt”. Try to pay more than the minimum on those most expensive loans.

#9 Consolidate your debt to simplify your payments. Consider transferring your credit card balances to lower interest rate cards but be aware of the transfer fees that apply. It’s normally still worth doing when you consider the savings you get from cutting down the interest rate on your debt. Or how about looking into loans that have more favorable terms altogether? You can check out person to person (peer to peer or p2p) borrowing opportunities through sites such as Lending Club for potentially cheaper loans. For more information, check out our Lending Club review.

#10 Find ways to increase your income. You can build your income and increase cash flow through a variety of ways, such as through side jobs and investments. You can increase your income by actively pursuing and snaring a high paying job or getting a raise. Or perhaps you can develop additional income streams by supplementing with a secondary job or side business. Make sure that once you make more money, that you apply it against your debt and not towards additional purchases. I say this because I have friends who have massive debt and who were able to secure second jobs to increase their income. Their extra income gave them a boost of confidence and a sense of complacency so that instead of wiping out their debt, they decided to buy even more stuff. You don’t want to fall into this cycle.

#11 Have a spending AND a savings plan. Set your goals and write them down. You’ll be surprised how an actual plan which you review on a regular basis can help with keeping you on track towards your goals. For spending, set a budget and as much as possible, keep within the limits of your budget. With saving, commit to a savings goal every month, set the amount aside, preferably automatically. By charting your progress, you will be further encouraged about staying on track.

#12 Make the best use of your money. If you have money saved up earning very low rates of return in a cash account, utilize these funds towards paying down higher interest debt. There’s been discussion around the blogosphere about whether you should build an emergency cash fund while you still have debt to take care of, and the resounding advice has been to pay down the high interest debt first because of how much it’s costing you.

#13 Devise your debt payment program and stick with it. You can decide to pay off your loans with the smallest balances first, which is the more emotionally gratifying approach since you are able to retire your loans much faster this way. Or you can pay down your most expensive loans first, which will cost you less in the long run. But whichever strategy you choose, what’s most important is that you stick to the system.

#14 Set up a new payment schedule. What about paying debt down bi-monthly, instead of once a month to cut back the amount of interest you are paying? If you can’t afford to pay anything more than you’re already paying out on a monthly basis, simply break your current payment amount into two payments and make the payments twice in a month, instead of once. For instance, if you pay $60 a month to a credit card, pay $30 at the beginning of the month and $30 in the middle of the month, and you will actually save on interest.

#15 Trading bad debt for good debt. Warning: this is a risky way to go about dealing with your debt, and the following tactic can be quite controversial, but I am mentioning this method here for the purposes of discussion. This strategy involves taking out a loan against a 401K or retirement fund to pay off credit card debt. Needless to say, this approach comes with a very strong caveat — that if you do this sort of thing, you MUST repay the loan or face an early withdrawal penalty or additional potential losses. For more on this matter, you can take a look at this write up or take note of the pros and cons below:

Borrowing Against Your 401K?

If your 401(k) plan allows loans (most do), you can borrow up to 50% of your vested account balance or $50,000, whichever is less. You usually have a maximum of five years to repay the loan, unless you are borrowing for a first home, which allows a longer payback.

The Pros

  1. There is no credit check.
  2. The interest rate is low.
  3. Paying yourself back provides you a pretty good return relative to cash account returns.
  4. The interest is tax sheltered in the sense that you pay taxes on the interest only upon retirement.
  5. It’s easy and convenient.

The Cons

  1. You’re losing the interest that you would otherwise have in your retirement account.
  2. You’ll need to repay your 401k with after-tax dollars. Future withdrawals will still remain taxable at future tax rates.
  3. You’ll incur a 10% penalty plus taxes if you’re younger than 59 1/2 and don’t pay back the loan.
  4. The loan is a consumer loan so it’s not tax deductible.
  5. This practice can be dangerous if it’s done repeatedly and ends up jeopardizing your retirement.

There’s also the suggestion that you should instead take out a home-equity loan if you happen to own a house. In this way, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to take a tax deduction on the interest you pay. Personally, I would avoid this option altogether since you are putting your house (and for most of us, our biggest asset) on the line.

Created January 8, 2008. Updated June 2, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Frugal Dad January 8, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Great tips for becoming debt free. You touched on something in #4 that has bit us from time to time. If we get a small windfall, or a raise at work, we tend to just spend any amount over and above the planned snowball amount. Instead, we should adjust our snowball plan and stick the extra money there where it is best utilized.

Fiscal Musings January 8, 2008 at 5:34 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how people can say that they want to get out of debt, yet they still keep spending with their credit cards like they always would.

You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. If you’re going to get out of debt, it’s going to take some serious changes.

RacerX January 8, 2008 at 8:00 pm

I really and totally agree with the post. The firstthing that you have to do is break the debt cycle. Chop up the cards. Don’t freeze them wrap them in bologna, chop them.

If something tragic comes up they can get you a card in 24-48 hours.

Make sure you have a right-sized Emergency Fund is my other point. Until it is funded fully do nothing else, other wise something will come up and you will be charging again!

tracy ho January 9, 2008 at 1:43 am

Great tips , should use more cash & cut off credit card , make us long term in debt especially easy payment small amount but add up big sum if accumulate many credit make us poorer.

Thank you

Good advise,

Tracy Ho
wisdomgettingloaded

Tim January 9, 2008 at 7:49 am

These are great tips. Not common sense though as I know many people who wouldn’t have the first notion of how to get out of debt.

The more these advice is passed around, I think, the better.

Raymond January 9, 2008 at 1:43 pm

The truth is…all of these pointers have been espoused many many times by others already, yet the simple fact remains…for one to truly get out of debt, the first and most important step is to acknowledge the problem as serious and make a firm determination to cut costs and pay it off as soon as possible. It really does take determination.

fathersez January 10, 2008 at 4:19 am

Certainly common sense is not common. So the tips are appreciated.

In our case, we have to add getting rid of assets and to use proceeds to pay down debt.

We are slightly “overgeared” now. This is part of 2008 plan and is in progress now.

mybudget360 January 13, 2008 at 2:06 am

You know spending in cash is so important to get yourself out of debt. The problem we have as a society now is that we have forgotten the visceral feel of cold hard cash. We normally use a funny and colorful looking piece of plastic to inflict our financial damage. Many of us are also paid via electronic deposit so again, money becomes this electronic plus/minus game. My recommendation for any of you who do not see your paycheck in cash, go to the bank and withdraw your money. Withdraw what you earn for only one month and pay for all discretionary items in cash. Going to Target? Pay in cash. Going to the movies? Cash. Eating at a restaurant. Cash. What this will do is psychologically program you to equate the real value of your spending. It is harder to part with $200 in 20s than a quick swipe with plastic. Credit card issuers know these marketing ploys and exploit consumers.

Nothing feels better than cash on a cold day. :)

Dawn January 15, 2008 at 8:38 am

Hey Guys this is great information to keep on hand. I’m happy to at least say I’m not in a HUGE amount of debt, but I have printed off this page just to keep so I don’t get too far in over my head. I honestly would never have thought to just keep it to cash. I guess you can’t get into debt if you’re not spending money you don’t have!

Credit Repair January 15, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Great tips there! Thank you! I just cut up all of my credit cards and decided that I am going to live the frugal life and be debt free. I won’t be a slave anymore!!!

UrbanFrugal January 16, 2008 at 2:45 pm

I am a tightwad by nature so using a credit card for me isn’t a terrible thing. I am the one credit card companies hate: I pay off my bill when it comes. This requires diligence.

Another tip is to pay bills online. If you pay only 3 bills online each month you will save $1.23. It doesn’t seem like much but if you have are mailing 6 or 7 bills per month by mail it adds up!

Mark@Graphic design northampton April 16, 2008 at 9:28 am

I couldn’t see the tree’s for debt I was in but I’ll definetly try come of these strategies.

Emily @ Taking Charge April 18, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Yikes, I wouldn’t recommend borrowing against your 401k or your home. If there is some huge medical emergency, it makes sense, but I don’t understand how someone could own a home, but be in so much credit card debt that they have to borrow against their home. Right now our society has a problem where people are using credit cards to living above their means. People need to learn to stop putting things they can’t afford on credit cards. If you borrow against your 401k, you risk owing back what you borrowed plus a ton more in penalty fees…if you borrow against your home, you risk losing your home. It’s not worth it!

The Happy Rock April 18, 2008 at 1:05 pm

This is a little bit semantics, but #15 don’t actually do anything to reduce your debt. Moving debt is not the same as eliminating it. I only mention it because I see so many people who think that rolling credit card debt into a home loan somehow gets rid of debt, but it doesn’t. Will it help? Maybe, but the only thing that reduces debt is paying it back or companies forgiving the debt.

For #14, I would note that a lot of loans, like mortgages only calculate interest once a month, so paying two payments often doesn’t save you any interest.

Just adding to the discussion.

Silicon Valley Blogger April 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

@Emily,
I agree, I wouldn’t do it myself, it’s definitely high risk, but some people I know have done it and have worked it out somehow. But it really takes a lot of financial discipline and responsibility to pull something like this off.

IMO, if you’ve got strong financial discipline in the first place, then paying down debt through other, much more conservative means shouldn’t be too challenging.

As was mentioned in the post, trading down credit card debt for other forms of debt is something you need to consider very carefully and only if you’ve got a firm and solid financial plan that outlines how you’re going to execute this strategy successfully!

Let it be known how significant a risk it is to borrow against your 401K or house — you may get better terms this way, but there’s a greater risk involved if you don’t properly retire these loans.

Silicon Valley Blogger April 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm

@The Happy Rock,
Great points you’ve made. I guess the tactics here really all depends on your particular situation — especially for #14 where we suggest splitting your payments in two.

Regarding #15, no, it’s removing the debt per se but making it be “less expensive”. I agree, it’s not “true debt reduction or elimination” but perhaps a step towards that end. For many who are in debt, every small improvement in payments can count.

Also, I guess the title of the post says it all — “eliminate credit card debt”. Sure you can cheat by saying that you’ve eliminated it by transferring or turning it into good or lower cost debt. Best way to get rid of all around debt is to pay it off.

Tisha April 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm

We all want to escape our debt. I had so much debt when I got out of college six years ago, from credit cards to tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt; I was literally swimming in it once I hit the “real world” after graduation. Okay, so who am I kidding? I still have a ton of debt that I wish I didn’t have, and I’ve been in the real world for longer than I care to admit most days.

However, the difference today is that the type of debt I carry now is not the same kind I used to own back then.

I do realize though, that debt is debt, no matter how you look at it: debt is money you just have to find a way to pay back. But there are certain loans you’ll probably prefer to carry, over others.

David April 19, 2008 at 6:04 pm

You can also negotiate interest rates with your creditors.

Bret Frohlich April 19, 2008 at 6:39 pm

I would like to caution everyone against borrowing on your 401K, for any reason.

If you leave your job or become laid-off, your 401K loan can become due in full. And, if you can’t afford to pay it off, you get hammered with all of the early withdrawal penalties.

It can become a pretty big finacial mistake.

John Cummuta November 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm

The trick that has worked for me is to pay off my debt in order of outstanding balance: from smallest to largest. Some suggest that attacking debt in order of interest rate (from highest rate to lowest) works too, but that is not my case.

When there is more than one loan with similar balances, I start paying off the one with the highest rate first.

This method has worked for me because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and inspires me to finish paying my outstanding debt.

Woman business grants December 27, 2008 at 2:13 am

Oh yeah, these credit cards, I wish they were never invented! You lose control, you don’t know what’s going on, you pay hidden fees.

Supermance February 13, 2009 at 4:05 am

I’m only using CC for my online business, besides that, no no no :)

UK Unenforceable Credit Agreements February 26, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Here in the UK a change to our Consumer Credit Act has meant that 1,000′s of people can challenge their creditors when it comes to paying off credit card or loan debts. Because the credit card agreements are invalid they have become ‘unenforceable’ in the eyes of the law. More and more people are engaging credit specialists to try and wipe clear their outstanding debts on this basis.

Phil low March 6, 2009 at 7:06 am

It is true that almost all credit cards actually have hidden fees in the fine print,particularly late fees.When you are choosing a credit card, it is always smart to compare credit card offers to find one with minimal hidden charges.

BillinDetroit March 14, 2009 at 11:59 pm

“IMO, if you’ve got strong financial discipline in the first place, then paying down debt through other, much more conservative means shouldn’t be too challenging.”

If people had strong financial discipline in the first place, they wouldn’t be in a jam in the first place. What’s wanted is a way to develop that strong financial discipline in the face of lender and retailer tactics to undermine it.

Michael May 31, 2009 at 8:40 am

I think that a lot of people overlook how good a strategy it is to use balance transfer cards. I’ve succeeded in putting a serious dent in my credit card balance by applying the tactic of transferring my balance to a 0% APR card. I agree that you have to see if doing this is worth it especially if you intend to carry a balance for a long time.

Kevin Thatcher June 15, 2009 at 11:21 am

This is a great comprehensive guide on reducing personal debt. You have pointed out some good ideas on choosing the right balance transfer credit cards and other basic tips which people often find hard to do. Thanks for sharing!

Annie July 6, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for the great tips! Getting rid of debt is never an easy road. Everyday is a struggle and should be taken seriously and planned out.

Ann July 26, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Cut back on unnecessary expenses. Even if you double or triple your monthly debt payment, your debt will not start to shrink until you start eliminating your unnecessary expenses. Stop buying expensive clothes and luxury items. And cut back on eating out and movie nights.

Lori September 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Recently a top news show had a segment on credit card companies. The gist of the segment was that credit card companies are as bad as “loan sharks” with their astronomical interest rates and fees. They are forcing people to look for alternative ways to get out from under these high interest rate credit cards. Some people can follow a plan on their own, but there are many people who seek the help of debt settlement companies.

Because debt settlement is not yet regulated, there are many unscrupulous companies that are taking advantage of people. If you are considering a debt settlement company, you should do so only if you can not afford to pay the debts as agreed. Debt settlement does work, but make sure you consult with a company that has attorneys licensed in your home state to ensure your selecting a reputable company that is bound by a code of ethics and is knowledgeable on the laws in your state.

Hailey October 21, 2009 at 7:38 am

I like how you’ve added the pros and cons in your article. It’s always good to see and that’s usually how I make decisions. Great article and great methods on eliminating credit card debt. Thanks for sharing with us. I definitely learn something new everyday.

Paul October 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

I was able to get the Chase Rewards card for 0% for 1 year.. really solid card, transfer all your debts to that now.

Ed: Just so people know, the Chase Freedom Rewards card is NOT a balance transfer card but a card that offers 0% APR for 1 year for NEW purchases only. That is, new items you place on the card will charge no interest for a limited time (e.g. 1 year), which is indeed, a great deal. But you’ll need to read the terms carefully to see if you qualify. For those with less than stellar credit, you may only get 0% for 6 months. Here’s my full review of this card.

One more thing, I wouldn’t advocate cheap cards in order to get into more debt, but rather as an ALTERNATIVE to expensive cards you already own. Be careful when you use credit cards; with responsible use, they can be awesome financial tools; with abuse, they can get you in real trouble!

Nicola Dupont November 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Guys, this are very good points. But they are based on saving.
Let’s use our money to pay credit cards. I read this book that just come out. Eliminate Debt 101. It is second to none. It shows a totally different approach. You pay debt by canceling interest with your money. Why put the money in the checking acount at 0% percent when we pre-borrow thousands at 18% or 29%.

It has very simple practical steps. To understand credit cards, to use them as a tool not as as slavery system.

Martin September 20, 2010 at 4:52 am

Hi,

Student loan debt is one of the most significant forms of debt facing many people in their 20s through 40s in the United States and in Canada today. Student loans now can stretch out for twenty or even thirty years in some cases and that’s a high price to pay for education. Why should you care about debt? Well, for one, every dollar you spend on interest for credit cards and loans is a dollar you don’t have for other, better uses: saving, investing, spending on something fun.

What you should know is that there are perfectly legal ways to get rid of student loans. Student loans cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy, and short of death the debt never disappears. There are strategies, however, for getting rid of student loans.

I have just graduated from a five years engineering degree a couple of months ago and I’m thrilled to start my career but at the same time, I am worried about how I am going to pay all those debts I have accumulated during my studies. Once you graduate, the stress of paying back student loan debt can seem overwhelming so I decided to search among the best practices and ask some financial experts for some tips to get rid of my student loan debt as quickly as possible. My eBook is the result of months of research. What I’m giving you here is the solution we’ve all been looking for. (This eBook is NOT free and will cost $40).

If you are sick and tired of barely scraping by, check my site for some tips that may help you eliminate student loan debt once and for all.

Enjoy!

steve November 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

Martin – I totally agree. I’m from the UK where we’ve been seen recent student demonstrations against a policy which will result in higher tuition fees of up to 300%.

Marla Milton July 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

@Emily…what WOULD you recommend since it sounds like a 401 k loan or even a home equity loan should not be taken to get out of debt? If that’s all someone has…then what are they supposed to do. You can’t talk to people like this after you’ve gotten yourself into debt.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm

@Marla,
The recommendation here is not to put your assets in jeopardy if you are trying to work out your debt. The answer here is to cut back where you can while negotiating your outstanding debt with your creditors. Many of these creditors are able to work with you if you are facing hardship. They’ve got hardship programs and may be able to work out a payment arrangement with you that you can handle. In the meantime, don’t take any more additional debt until what you have is resolved.

JGV January 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

Trying to pay off debt is something that can be very dicey at times. While we can argue on so many different ways of getting rid of our debts, the fact of the matter that it all depends on the circumstances of the individual.
What I mean by that is we all have different life styles and way of living. But don’t get me wrong, I do believe in those methods mentioned except for the one that says ” borrow from your 401k” Oppsss. That doesn’t work with me. I would rather leave as a last resort of sorts just in case.

My way of doing it is to pay the high interest rate credit cards and and start cutting them out and throw them once paid. Then I go to the next until all of them get paid which may take several years. just be patient and be consistent in your financial road map and your personal finance will be fine.

Thanks

James April 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I like this suggestion: take your lowest debt balance credit card and pay it down with everything you have. Then take the payment associated with it and apply it the next smallest debt. Do it over and over again. You will be surprised how rapidly you will eliminate all your consumer debt. Once you have completely eliminated your debt use the savings to invest. It is a simple but effective way to wealth.

Remember a credit score or FICO is simply a debt score promoted by credit card companies. My millionaire friends have credit scores of ZERO. Frankly I am working to lower my credit score to Zero also.

Stacey May 22, 2012 at 8:20 am

How does one end up amassing debt? Usually it’s because of the small things!

My husband and I are whittling away at our debt and are working on a loan modification on our home. We are digging deeper into our finances to find out how we ended up in this unenviable position. I believe that discovering the root of our problem will help us prevent similar mistakes in the future. As we pay off one creditor a month, we are learning where the money went. One credit card was used to pay for heating oil during the winter when I was too sick to work. Another was used to pay a mortgage payment before we defaulted. But what was the third card used for? Like many people in debt today, I’ve realized that we’re in this situation because we haven’t done a good job tracking our expenses and keeping watch over how our credit cards are used.

Carol Ann June 1, 2012 at 11:42 am

A lot of posts on debt reduction strategies and tactics provide general advice on how to go about dealing with your debt. I think that this post is one that’s less theory (though it’s in line with theoretical advice) and reflects what can be done in practice.

I’ve actually tried these approaches myself to try and improve my financial situation. I’ve applied these strategies to move away from the kind of debt I wasn’t too happy carrying and am quite satisfied that I’ve been able to chip away at the bad stuff. These days, my “new” debt obligations are primarily house and business related. It’s a lot of money, but I feel a little better about paying for a house and business expenses than I did about paying credit cards with high interest, especially since I was paying for things that I couldn’t even remember that I bought with the credit cards!

Just Heidi June 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

If you are struggling with bills, you may want to look into a few different methods to reduce the consumer debt as you work on becoming completely debt free. I’ve managed to pull myself out of credit card debt by employing some similar strategies as those mentioned here.

Jen June 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I agree about moving your credit card balances onto a single credit card that has good terms for balance transfers — like one that offers 12 months of interest free payments, or gives you a low, fixed interest rate over the life of the transferred balance.

Derek June 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I like #10 – make extra money. However, you must be careful to keep the expenses the same or preferably less than the extra money, otherwise you’ve defeated the purpose. Create an extra income, then budget and get organized to stay out of more debt.

Joel June 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm

“Debt-Defying”… love the pun! Puns are a much maligned art form.

Silicon Valley Blogger June 4, 2012 at 12:51 am

Great to see you here, Joel…! Glad to see that you visit the site once in a while. :) Puns can be corny, but I can appreciate them.

Paul Smithson June 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

This may sound crazy but I really believe that debt can tear a family apart just as well as drug or substance abuse. I’ve seen it happen at an incredible rate.

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