Getting out of debt feels like an impossible task.
When you use a strategy like the ones below, you’ll be able to become debt free faster than you ever thought possible.
Seriously, when I used tip #3, I was able to pay off $3,000 in 6 months – and that was on a tiiiiggghhhhttt budget.
Keep reading to learn how to pay off debt quickly with a low income or tight budget!
Paying off debt is so satisfying and will create so much more room for financial abundance in your life.
These are the four best methods to get out of debt fast – even on a low income or tight budget:
I’ll go over each option so you can make an educated decision on which one to use for your debt repayment journey.
Let’s dive in!
1. Debt Avalanche
The debt avalanche method will help you pay off your debt quickly AND save you tons of money in interest costs.
The concept of the debt avalanche method is simple:
Pay off your highest interest rate debt first, then move onto the next, and the next, and so on until you are debt free.
This is a step by step guide for this method:
- 1. Make a list of your debts from largest to smallest based on your interest rates
- 2. Make your minimum monthly payments on all of your debts EXCEPT the debt with the highest interest rate
- 3. Put as much money as you can afford towards repaying your debt with the highest interest rate until it is paid off
- 4. Move onto your next highest interest debt – put your previous debts minimum payment towards this new debt PLUS extra money until paid off
- 5. Repeat this process until all debt is paid off
The biggest pro to the debt avalanche method is that you will save a lot of money.
The con to this method is that your highest interest rated debt could take a long time to pay off which can result in low satisfaction and motivation.
If you’re more of an instant gratification kinda gal, then the debt snowball method might be a better option for your debt payoff plan.
2. Debt Snowball
The debt snowball method is very similar to the debt avalanche method except for one detail:
When you use the debt snowball method, you’ll pay off your debts in order from the least amount owed to the most amount owed.
- 1. Make a list of your debts in order from the smallest total due to the largest total due
- 2. Make your minimum monthly payments on all of your debts EXCEPT your smallest debt
- 3. Pay your monthly minimum PLUS as much extra money as you can afford towards your smallest debt until it is paid off
- 4. Move onto your next smallest debt – put your minimum payment from your last debt towards this new debt PLUS extra money until paid off
- 5. Repeat this process until you are debt-free
Starting with your smallest debt first will increase your motivation because it won’t take a long time to pay it off.
Then, you free up money to put towards your next debt, making each new debt payoff process easier than the last.
By the time you’re on your last debt, you’ll have freed up hundreds of dollars that you can now put towards your largest debt.
Because of this, the debt snowball method is the best for those who are living with one income or on a low income
3. Debt Consolidation
Did you know:
The average interest rate on credit cards is a whopping 16% – and if you have bad credit you rate could be as high as 24%!!!
This means that if you can only afford your minimum monthly credit card payments, it will take you YEARS to pay off your debt.
If you owe $5,000 on a credit card with a 20% interest rate and can only afford to pay the $100 minimum each month, it will take you NINE YEARS to pay off your debt.
I’ve got good news though:
You can consolidate your debts into one which will make getting out of debt a realistic goal – especially if you’re living on a tight budget.
For example, if you have 3 credit cards with high interest rates, you can combine them into one and focus on just paying off one debt.
To consolidate your debt, follow these steps:
- 1. Make a list of your debts including the total balance due and their interest rates
- 2. Use Credit Karma to see which personal loans you qualify for and their interest rate offers
- 3. Apply for a personal loan for the total balance of the debts with a higher interest rate than your personal loan (usually best for credit cards)
- 4. When your loan is approved and funded, pay off all your debts
- 5. Make your personal loan minimum payment each month (making larger payments than your minimum will help you become debt-free even quicker)
My favorite place for personal loans is Credible because they’re fast, reliable, and have interest rates as low as 4%!
4. Balance Transfers
Using a balance transfer to pay off debt is great for credit cards that have high-interest rates.
Let’s say you owe $5,000 on a credit card with a 20% interest rate.
When you apply for a balance transfer credit card with an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months, you can transfer your $5,000 debt to your new card and pay it off without paying interest.
This is a fan-freaking-tastic way to get rid of large, high-interest debts quickly while saving yourself tons of money.
To use a balance transfer to pay off debt, follow these simple steps:
- 1. Use Credit Karma to explore your balance transfer credit card options and apply for one that you’re likely to be approved for
- 2. Once approved, transfer your debt from your old credit card to your new credit card
- 3. Aggressively pay off your balance transfer credit card before the introductory APR expires – usually in 12 months!
Alright, there you have it!
The four best methods to pay off debt quickly on a low income or tight budget.
Which debt payoff method are you going to use to destroy your debt? Leave a comment below!