Consumer Watch: Paying off debt faster
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Being in debt is the worst. It hangs over your head and causes stress, and the only way to get rid of that feeling is to buckle down and pay it off.
If you are currently paying all your minimums, that is good, but the truth is that it’s not the most efficient way to tackle debt. To get out of debt faster, all you have to do is make some simple charges, that will save you years of stress and interest payments.
To get control of your debt, the first step is simple, but also a little scary-- write it down -- all of it. This includes all of your individual debts and the grand total in a spread sheet. After that, you start the attack.
"It helps if you have some smaller debts that you can pay off quickly. It is also kind of a victory for you if you can find some smaller ones, and then that is one that you can cross of your list," Jennifer Wallis, Oklahoma Jumpstart Coalition.
The easiest way to pay off debt faster is to get more money, but this doesn’t mean you need a full blown second job. There is the gig economy where you work when you have the extra time, with things like Uber or dog-sitting with Rover. However, part-time or seasonal jobs are steadier money options.
"Garden centers always staff-up for spring. That can be a great and fun way to find extra employment during certain times of the year," says Wallis.
Once you have that extra income, self-control is going to be important. Don't spend it on whatever because it should be going toward your debt. Financial experts recommend aggressively paying your smallest debts first, then, pay-off the debt with the highest interest.
Oklahoma Jumpstart Coalition also recommends paying the same total amount toward your debt.
For example, if you have three debts and you pay one off, keep paying the same monthly total, just send the newly available money to the remaining two debts.