Roll several debts into one
If you’re carrying a balance on a few accounts, it can be easy to lose track of what you’ve paid off and when. If you’re letting payments slip through the cracks, instead of letting interest pile up on your various lines of credit you might consider a debt consolidation plan.
By taking out a new, lower-interest loan to pay off your various creditors, you can then focus on making a single payment on one big loan instead of juggling credit cards and loans with different due dates and balances.
Just keep in mind that you’ll often need a decent credit score to qualify for a better interest rate than what you’re paying currently.
How to get a free $20 to invest in your future
An app called Acorns automatically rounds up purchases made on your credit or debit card to the nearest dollar and places the excess "change" into a smart investment portfolio. Acorns offers a $20 welcome bonus, immediately from your first investment.Get $20
Try the snowball or avalanche methods
If it doesn’t make sense to consolidate your loans, there are a couple of other cool techniques you can try out to manage multiple debts.
The snowball approach suggests you start by clearing the account with the lowest balance first. You’ll still keep making your minimum payments on all your other debts, but put any extra you have into tackling your most manageable debt first. This will help you build momentum before moving onto the more difficult debts. The problem with this method, however, is you run the risk of accruing high interest from your more expensive loans.
On the other end of the spectrum is the avalanche method, which is when you pay off the loan with the highest interest rate first. This could be more helpful in saving you money in the long run, but it’ll also take longer for you to see significant progress.
Negotiate with your lender
If a sky-high interest rate is keeping you stuck in a cycle of debt, there’s no harm in reaching out to your credit card issuer and asking for a better deal.
Together, you could come to a compromise — whether that’s having them waive or reduce your monthly minimum payment, reduce the amount you owe in interest, come to a forbearance agreement or ditch past late fees.
Some lenders may even agree to settle your debt outright with a lump sum payment.
Be prepared to lay out your financial situation and have your records handy. Your issuer may prefer to compromise and work with you rather than risk you defaulting on the account and not paying anything.
Just make sure that you’re able to stick to the terms of the new plan before you agree to it — you don’t want to lose your creditor’s trust or worsen your debt load.
Follow These Steps if you Want to Retire Early
Secure your financial future with a tailored plan to maximize investments, navigate taxes, and retire comfortably.
Zoe Financial is an online platform that can match you with a network of vetted fiduciary advisors who are evaluated based on their credentials, education, experience, and pricing. The best part? - there is no fee to find an advisor.