General Question

Xpress411's avatar

How do I get out of debt?

Asked by Xpress411 (120points) January 2nd, 2008

I don’t have any credit card debt. My student loans are the killer.

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6 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

There is no quick reliable method to get out of debt, at-least not one that has a 60% or more chance of getting you in much more debt than you are now.

My advice would be to keep the bare minimum of money you need to live (rent, food, and then a bare minimum for social activities) and then push as much funding into paying back your loan as possible.

The faster you pay back your loan, the more money you will have to spend elsewhere once your borrowing has been cleared.

Also, if you didn’t take the best possible loan at the time, seek a better loan now, and transfer the borrowing to the new lender as soon as possible.

Ma-goo's avatar

If you do have credit cards, cut them up NOW. Retain only one, for emergencies. For a while you will have to live like we did in the olden days, operating on a “cash only” basis. Do not go to the mall, bookstore, music store,, Wal-mart or anywhere. You just plain cannot spend any money. It’s possible to live happily that way. You spend time at the library, park, taking walks, listening to the radio, doing your own meal preparation, visiting friends, journaling, reading, drawing, gardening, collecting aluminum cans on your walks, napping with your pets, watching wildlife or clouds. Then one day you’ll have it all paid up & may find that you never needed all the money-sucking crap that our culture makes us think we need anyway.

richardhenry's avatar

Exactly. In my opinion, “get rich quick” schemes are for fools. If you come up with something that honestly can make you a lot of money, you wouldn’t be calling it a “get rich quick” scheme, you’d be calling it a “proposal” and be seeking “venture capitalists” and “investors”.

hollywoodduck's avatar

For student loan debt, I would check out options to consolidate your loan with a lower rate. Nelnet or SallieMae are good ones to look into. Also, when you are paying on your loan, make sure to have them put the amount you pay over the minimum payment towards your principal balance and not towards interest. Ex. Min.Payment is $100 and you pay $150 – make sure that extra $50 goes towards your principle balance. The lower that is, the less interest you will be paying in the long run.

Also, make sure that you are saving too. Even if it’s just a few dollars a week set aside, make sure that you’ve got that extra money somewhere so if you have “emergencies” you can at least put some cash towards it.

I agree with Ma-goo too – cash is the best way to go.

hossman's avatar

There is one foolproof secret to eliminate debt and accrue wealth. There are three steps:
1) Never incur debt.
2) Live beneath your means. No matter how much or little you make, your lifestyle must be lower than your income. This is the part virtually every American has problems with.
3) Use the difference between your income and expenditures to first pay off any existing debt, then second, invest for your future.
That’s it. No big secret, still, practically impossible for most of us.

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