When people ask how they can get out of debt, the default answer is often the obvious one, “make more money.” That’s not an option for some people, though, especially if you have a disability that hinders your ability to work or if you’re not due for a promotion for quite some time (or you work in a toxic environment with employers out to get you).
There’s always the option of doing freelance work on the side, but this can take a toll on your health if you’re working too much and have no time for yourself or family. So, here are some tips for relieving yourself of debt without the redundancy of “get a better job.”
Repair your credit
It’s possible that your credit report is filled with mistakes that are impacting your overall score. You can review it yourself, of course, but if you don’t exactly understand what you’re looking at, you can consult a credit repair company (there are scammers out there, though, so be cautious about who is legitimate—you can find a list of reputable ones here).
Credit repair companies will look at your credit report and help detect inaccuracies. Once that’s done, they will make your case on your behalf to the credit bureaus you are in debt with. Errors are certainly not uncommon: the Federal Trade Commission conducted a study and found “that 1-in-5 consumers have an error on at least one of their credit reports.” Getting these errors addressed will help you stay out of unnecessary debt.
Put your debt in one place
A balance transfer might also work for you. BalanceTransfers.com notes that one of the benefits is “you can bring all your credit card debt under one roof. Not only can this save you money on interest, but it can help you organize your debt. Forget about paying multiple credit card bills every month. Once you make a transfer, you’re left with one balance and one payment.”
You’ll get a special balance transfer credit card, and one of the perks is that you can find one with a lower interest rate. A good plan will also give you “a period of zero interest, often up to 18 months.” You can use this time to paying back as much of your debt as you can before the interest rate kicks back in, and when it does, you won’t have to worry about keeping multiple bills straight.
However, transfer fees are often “3 percent of your balance, and that will be charged for each transfer,” so make sure you don’t have too many credit cards that combining your debt doesn’t actually save you money.
Consider using cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that you can still make transactions with. It deems complicated because it’s online, and its value does tend to fluctuate, but it might be an option to consider if you cannot trust yourself with your credit card due to being a compulsive shopper/over-spender.
Organizations like TrustToken, however, are aiming to make cryptocurrency more stable. TrueCoin, for instance, is a form of cryptocurrency that is actually aligned with the United States Dollar, therefore giving it a stronger source of regulation. You can learn more about how cryptocurrency works here.
Pay more than the minimum
When you are paying back your credit card debt, do your best to pay more than the minimum that’s due. Lexington Law, a reputable credit repair service provider, notes that paying only the minimum is “also committing to the slowest and least affordable strategy.” Determine how much money you can afford to pay back each month and do it, don’t just pay the minimum because that’s all that’s required and you’d rather go to a movie sometime during the month (and this helps you avoid accumulating even more debt on top of what you already owe).
Lexington Law also advises not to close your credit card accounts once you pay them off. It’s tempting to just be done with them, but keeping an open line of credit that is paid off results in positive credit information. Closing accounts stops this new information from improving your credit score.
This list is to help you not overwork yourself, but you will still have to make some sacrifices. There’s lots of free entertainment out there, so learn to take advantage of it rather than splurging on things you don’t need. Set a budget for yourself each month and stick to it.
Sell your excess stuff for extra cash. When was the last time you cleaned your closet, anyway? You can also use clever apps that help you earn money by completing surveys or performing other easy tasks like watching videos (you can find a list of them here).
Do you have any tips for paying off debt that doesn’t require getting an extra job? Share in the comments!