You can make extra money to pay off debt by reducing your expenses, budgeting with irregular income, sticking to a repayment strategy, and increasing your income. Paying off any debt you have will increase your monthly income and reduce your financial stress.
Credit card debt, when it gets bad enough, can become suffocating. Debt can pile on more and more even when you aren’t borrowing more money, especially if it is high-interest debt. If you don’t pay it off, the balances will just continue to grow and grow with new interest charges every month. In fact, the average credit card debt in America is approximately $5,733.1
If you want to have a healthy financial life and a good credit score, it is absolutely crucial that you know how to identify when you have too much debt and how to pay it down as quickly as possible, so it doesn’t take over your life. Because once it gets to a certain point, it can be incredibly difficult to escape without filing for bankruptcy.
How To Tell When You Have Too Much Debt
If you are unsure whether you have hit the point where you have more debt than you should, we can outline some red flags that you should be looking out for. Whenever your debt payments begin putting a strain on your monthly budget is typically a clear indication that your personal debt is getting out of control.
These are a few other indicators that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew:
- You can only afford to make the minimum monthly payment on your credit card bill.
- The minimum payments you are making are taking up too significant a portion of your budget, and it is difficult to afford your other bills.
- You are hitting the credit limit on a majority of your credit card accounts.
- Your minimum payments are getting higher and higher as time goes on instead of staying consistent.
- The interest rates on your credit cards are so high that the charges that get added to your balance every month practically make your minimum payments useless.
- Your debt-to-income ratio is far too high.
- Your credit utilization ratio is also high and far above the 30% recommended by experts in personal finance.
If one or more of these indicators is familiar to you, it is likely time to seriously consider paying off your multiple debts completely and starting fresh. Having nearly all of these red flags could mean that it is important for you to pay down that debt as quickly and aggressively as possible. It might even benefit you to bring in extra money to take care of your debt faster.
Why Should You Repay Debt Quickly?
High-interest debt ought to be repaid aggressively if you wish to save on the exorbitant interest charges you could be subject to during your journey to financial freedom. The faster you pay off your credit card debt and other high-interest debt like cash advance loans and bad credit loans, the more money you will be able to save on interest.
If you have a considerable amount of debt, you might be seeing a negative effect on your credit report. This could be harming your financial opportunities. Reducing your debt will likely improve your credit utilization on your credit report, which will probably make a significant difference to your credit score.
Another reason why paying off debt quickly is a wise decision is the momentum it gives you. The human brain thrives on rewards to motivate them to complete hard work. Quick repayment of your outstanding debt will allow you to take advantage of the increase of motivation you experience each time you pay off another balance.
Using the momentum to push yourself through to the finish line will allow you to save money and reach your goals faster, leaving you extra time to pursue other, more exciting financial goals.
How To Aggressively Pay Down Credit Card Debt
Now that you know why you should pay off your debt faster, let’s take a look at strategies you can employ to make that possible. Being successful in aggressively paying off your credit card debt all comes down to your attitude and whether you are able to stay motivated throughout. It is important to approach it with serious motivation and a willingness to sacrifice temporarily to make financial goals a reality.
Here are a couple of essential tips for being successful in paying down debt:
Re-Organize Your Budget
Cut down on your expenses to the point where your budget is nearly all needs-based. Continue to save money for an emergency fund if you don’t have one so you have proper financial protection. Don’t spend money on unnecessary expenses that you can do without outside the basic necessities.
Redirect all that cash that you usually spend on streaming services, online shopping, eating out, or ordering delivery towards extra payments on your debt. While this is not an enjoyable part of paying off debt for anyone, it is important to keep in mind that these are just temporary measures. You can handle going without for a few months to make a bigger dent in your debt at the beginning of your repayment journey.
Pick a Repayment Strategy To Get Rid of Debt Faster
One of the best ways to maintain your efforts even when it gets challenging is to rely on a repayment strategy. Picking a method that motivates and organizes you could give you direction when you aren’t exactly sure where to start. The two most common debt repayment strategies are the debt snowball method and the debt avalanche method.
|Highest interest rates first
|Smallest debts first
|Pay extra on the debt with the highest interest rate while making minimum payments on others.
|Pay extra on the smallest debt while making minimum payments on others.
|Saves money on interest charges, potentially reducing the overall cost of debt.
|May cost more in interest over time, but provides quicker wins.
|Requires discipline and patience as it may take longer to pay off the first debt.
|Offers quick satisfaction from paying off debts, boosting morale.
|Time to Pay Off First Debt
|Longer, as the debt with the highest interest rate may not be the smallest.
|Shorter, as the smallest debt can often be paid off quickly.
|High, as it may take longer to see the initial debt completely paid off.
|Lower, as quick wins can motivate continued debt repayment.
|Individuals who are motivated by overall savings and can stick to a long-term plan.
|Individuals who need quick results to stay motivated.
|Less interest paid overall due to targeting high-interest debts first.
|More interest paid overall if smaller debts have lower interest rates.
|Time to Become Debt-Free
|Generally shorter, as less interest accumulates over time.
|May be longer due to the potential for higher interest accumulation.
|Lower, as you save on interest.
|Higher, due to potentially paying more interest over time.
|Satisfaction comes from knowing you are minimizing interest.
|Satisfaction comes from clearing debts one by one.
|Requires keeping track of interest rates and updating the payment plan as rates change.
|Simpler as it only requires you to list your debts from smallest to largest.
Make Extra Cash
If you want to tackle your debt much faster, increasing the amount of income you bring in each month will likely make the biggest difference. Asking for a raise or deciding to work two jobs could help you pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars more on your debt every month. We will break down a few ways in which you can make extra cash to pay off your debt more quickly.
7 Tips To Make More Money To Get Rid of Debt
Here are some of the best ways to bring in more money aside from the income you make in your day job to pay off your debt significantly faster:
Tip 1: Using a Debt Consolidation Loan
Getting a debt consolidation loan or credit card consolidation loan could make paying off debt simpler with one monthly payment. Depending on how high your credit card rates are, obtaining a personal loan to consolidate all of your debts could save you a fair amount on interest charges while you work towards being debt-free.
If you qualify for a larger loan amount, you may be able to get more cash than you need to pay off your other debts, which you could set aside in an emergency fund so you stay on track with your repayment plan.
Tip 2: Put Any Windfalls Toward Debt
If you are struck by any financial windfall, put that towards paying off your debt. This isn’t your typical side hustle gig since it’s related to your regular job but it is extra income that people don’t often think to put towards debt.
Let’s say you’ve just been awarded a major bonus at work or maybe you’ve received a huge tax refund. The first thing you may think to do with those extra funds is to treat yourself in some way with a large purchase or a mini vacation. However, if you wish to pay off your debt fast, it is imperative that you put every bit of extra money towards what you owe.
Tip 3: Ask For a Raise at Work
Instead of taking on two jobs or a side hustle, consider first asking your boss for a wage or salary increase. You might be due for a raise at your full-time job but just need to ask outright to make it happen. If you decide to do this, come to the meeting with your boss prepared with evidence of your hard work and the contribution you make to the company. Any amount of money over what you used to make every month can be put towards your credit cards until you are debt-free.
Tip 4: Walk Dogs or Try Pet Sitting
For the many animal lovers out there, it could be an absolute dream to earn money for walking dogs. It might not even feel like work, but it could still help you make extra payments to the credit card companies you have accounts with. There are apps that make it incredibly easy to find people in your neighborhood who may need a dog walker or a pet sitter. This work can make a perfect second job as it is very flexible but still brings in a decent income.
Tip 5: Drive Delivery or Hailing Services
Jobs where you work independently include driving for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. If you live in a busy city, driving as freelance work can be decently profitable. Ride-hailing apps will require you to have a valid driver’s license, a vehicle that fits the app’s rules, and a completed background check.
In addition to driving passengers, you can also drive delivery for platforms like:
- Uber Eats
Tip 6: Try Freelance Writing
There is an abundance of companies that rely on freelancers to produce content on their website. Being a freelance writer can be incredibly lucrative compared to other types of freelance work. As a freelance writer, you can work from home with flexible hours.
Tip 7: Sell Things Online
Outside of work hours for your full-time job, you could let your creativity takeover and sell items that you’ve crafted on Etsy. If you don’t have a creative bone in your body, you can sell nearly anything online if you use your imagination. Any old pieces of furniture, electronics you no longer use, lightly used clothes you don’t wear – many of these items can go for a decent price when you put them on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace.
If you have an extensive closet that you often cycle through, use Depop or Poshmark to sell those clothes instead of donating them. You can put all the money you bring in from selling your stuff online towards extra payments on your debt, getting you to your personal finance goal so much faster.
Frequently Asked Questions About Debt Payoff
Debt consolidation involves combining multiple debts into a single debt consolidation loan, often with a lower interest rate. This can simplify your debt repayment strategy by giving you just one payment to manage each month.
Yes, balance transfer credit cards can be an effective tool to pay off debt fast if they offer a lower interest rate, especially during any introductory periods. This can help you save on interest and reduce your credit card debt more quickly.
These loans are financial products that allow you to combine multiple debts into one loan with a fixed repayment schedule. In contrast, a debt settlement company negotiates with creditors on your behalf to settle your debts for less than what you owe.
Making only the minimum payment can extend the time it takes to pay off debt and increase the amount of interest you pay. It’s often better to pay more than the minimum to get out of debt faster.
The debt snowball method involves paying off debts from the smallest to the largest balance, gaining momentum as each debt is paid off. This strategy can help you stay motivated and see progress as you work towards your debt payoff.
You can create your own schedule by reviewing your budget, setting realistic goals, and prioritizing debts. Consider using automated payments to ensure you stay on track with your car payment and other debt obligations.
To pay off multiple credit card bills quickly, consider using the debt avalanche method, where you pay extra on the card with the highest interest rate first while maintaining minimum payments on others.
Yes, working with a debt settlement company can negatively impact your credit score, as it may involve stopping payments to creditors until a settlement is reached, which can result in late payments being reported.
Be aware of balance transfer fees, the interest rate after any promotional period, and the credit limit. Ensure that the balance transfer credit card truly helps you save money and aligns with your repayment strategy.
Staying disciplined involves setting clear goals, keeping a budget, monitoring your progress, and perhaps seeking the support of a financial advisor. Remember why you want to pay off debt and the financial freedom it will bring.
The Bottom Line on How To Get Out of Debt From CreditNinja
Paying your debt in full can help you keep more money in your pocket and improve your quality of life. While we understand that repaying debt is a challenge, it’s worth the hassle! Reorganize your budget, increase your income, or follow a repayment strategy to improve your personal finances.
CreditNinja offers all types of resourceful tools, such as financial calculators and articles. If you’re wondering how long debt collectors can try to collect in California, how the bank verification process works for loans, or even how to build a high FICO Score, check out our website!
- Average Credit Card Debt in the U.S. | Annuity
- 7 Side Hustles That Can Help You Pay Off Debt | Experian
- Debt Snowflake Method | Money Crashers