Similar to paying extra, submitting half of the monthly payment every two weeks instead of one single monthly payment can speed up the repayment of loans in two ways. Firstly, less total interest will accrue because payments will lower the principal balance more often. Secondly, biweekly payments for a whole year will equal 26 yearly payments, because there are 52 weeks in a year. This is equivalent to make 13 monthly payments a year. Similar to paying extra, make sure there are no prepayment penalties involved first.
The more people you owe, the more bills you have to keep up with and pay. Once you become debt-free, you’ll have fewer bills coming in the mail every month. You’ll only have a few monthly expenses to worry about, things like utilities, insurance, and cell phone service—all expenses that don’t have minimum payments and interest charges and long-term obligations.
In situations where a debt has both a higher interest rate and higher balance than another debt, the debt-snowball method will prioritize the smaller debt even though paying the larger debt would be more cost-effective. Several writers and researchers have considered this contradiction between the method and a strictly mathematical approach. Writing in Forbes, Rob Berger noted that "humans aren’t really rational creatures" and stresses that research tends to support the debt snowball method in real-world scenarios. The primary benefit of the smallest-balance plan is the psychological benefit of seeing results sooner, in that the debtor sees reductions in both the number of creditors owed (and, thus, the number of bills received) and the amounts owed to each creditor. In a 2012 study by Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, researchers found that "consumers who tackle small balances first are likelier to eliminate their overall debt" than trying to pay off high interest rate balances first. A 2016 study in Harvard Business Review came to a similar conclusion:
Who wouldn't love to get paid to shop, eat out, or go to the movies? That may sound too good to be true, but thousands of mystery shoppers across the US and Canada are doing just that: getting paid to visit restaurants, retail stores, and even theme parks in order to provide a customer's perspective on the cleanliness, service, and overall experience at the location.
You can settle the debts yourself or hire a debt settlement company. These companies negotiate with each creditor to reduce the amount owed. The settlement company will likely tell you not to pay your creditors but put that money in a trust account. When the funds reach the total needed to settle the debts, the creditors are paid. Until that happens, interest and late fees build up. While the debt settlement company may have attorneys on staff, they work for the company, not for you.
You will begin by getting your free credit report from the AnnualCreditReport.com. You need to rank your debt by placing it on a spreadsheet. Indicate all your debts and place details like their balance, minimum payment, interest rate and the number of payments left in your original term. By listing them down, you can identify the fixed amount that you can pay every month. Remember that this amount should be higher than the combined minimum payments of all your debts. Also, it should leave you enough of your income to pay for basic necessity expenses like rent, food, etc.
Debt arising from credit card use represents less than half of the total average unsecured debt held by Americans. In 2011, the average total unsecured debt was $21,281, and credit cards accounted for just 36% of that figure. For a clearer picture of America's indebtedness, it is critical to look at total outstanding debts - arising from both credit cards and other sources.
Credit card debt is not the only type of debt that you can include in a debt management program. You can consolidate almost any type of unsecured debt, not including student loans. This includes debt consolidation loans, unpaid medical bills that have gone to collections, and even some payday loans. If you’re struggling with student loans, then you will need a specialized type of debt relief.
Debt settlement programs typically are offered by for-profit companies, and involve the company negotiating with your creditors to allow you to pay a “settlement” to resolve your debt. The settlement is another word for a lump sum that's less than the full amount you owe. To make that lump sum payment, the program asks that you set aside a specific amount of money every month in savings. Debt settlement companies usually ask that you transfer this amount every month into an escrow-like account to accumulate enough savings to pay off a settlement that is reached eventually. Further, these programs often encourage or instruct their clients to stop making any monthly payments to their creditors.
If you wish to talk to a debt professional, get in touch with National Debt Relief. We are a legitimate debt management company who will work with you to achieve financial freedom. At the very least, we can advise you on the ideal path that you should take depending on your financial capabilities. Give us a call or fill out the short form on this page. We will have someone get in touch with you. The initial consultation is for free and we will never ask for upfront fees.
Starting your own business has never been easier! Do you have a knack for making things? Sell your products online. Are you an animal lover? Take up dog walking or pet sitting. Do you have a good eye and a nice camera? Start taking on clients for photo sessions. Christy Wright’s Business Boutique is a great resource to show you how you can turn that hobby into a serious money-making machine!
Debt relief plays a significant role in some artworks. In the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, c. 1598, the heroine pleads for debt relief (forgiveness) on grounds of Christian mercy. In the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a primary political interpretation is that it treats free silver, which engenders inflation and hence reduces debts. In the 1999 film Fight Club (but not the novel on which it is based), the climactic event is the destruction of credit card records, dramatized as the destruction of skyscrapers, which allows for debt relief. The television series Mr. Robot (2015–2019), follows a group of hackers whose main mission is to cancel all debts by taking down one of the largest corporations in the world, E Corp.