Managing Debt

A Slacker’s Guide to Paying Off Debt

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Want that debt gone with as little effort as possible?  Here are some fast and easy tips for paying down your credit card and other debt.

Even a slacker can be debt-free. Here’s how.

1. Consolidate Your Debt

Dealing with multiple due dates each month?  Who needs that hassle?  Consolidate your debt and simplify your budget and your life.

Got credit card balances scattered across several cards?  Transfer your balances to a credit card with a low balance transfer interest rate and a roomy credit line (here are some of the best balance transfer credit cards out there). You could pay that low rate for up to 18 months and you’ll have one bill to pay each month instead or three or four or more.

You can apply for a balance transfer offer online or over the phone. Just have your other credit cards’ account information and balance amounts ready.  It can take a couple of weeks for a balance transfer to go through, so make sure you make the minimum payments on your credit cards until the balance transfer offer takes effect.

Another option for paying off multiple debts is by applying for a consolidation loan.

You could also check out loans available from your local bank or credit union. They know you and they may be able to offer you a good interest rate. Either way, it’s good to shop around.

One debt payment per month makes life easier than paying five or six. And just because you built up your debt in multiple ways doesn’t mean you have to pay it off that way.

2. Automate Those Payments

Set up automated payments for your debt obligations each month. That way your debts get paid on time each month, you build up a solid payment history and you build a good credit score, all with minimal effort.

So set up an automated payment for each account and make sure there is enough money in your account to pay each bill on its due date.  Simple.

If you are worried about having enough cash in your account at the time of an automated payment, ask your lender to move your due date. The day or two after a payday is a good choice. You’re bound to have plenty of cash in your account that way and your bills will get paid without a hitch.

3. Reap the Benefits

The most obvious benefit to paying down your debts is, well, having less debt, and someday being able to apply that money to savings or some other financial goal.

However, another benefit to paying down debt is that you should see your credit score go up over time – if you’re making timely payments on all your accounts, as your payment history is the biggest influence on your credit scores. You can check your progress by monitoring your credit scores, which you can do for free every month on Credit.com.

More on Managing Debt:

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