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Tackle debt

Back in 2012, Nuccio says he had “minimal” credit card debt. But that’s changed as his expenses have increased — and he’s got his student loans to think of too.

While expenses tend to increase as you age and take on more responsibilities, making more often translates into spending more. Millennials love splurging on experiences, but that can quickly wander into risky spending habit territory.

If you’ve racked up a couple of balances, one way to start picking away at your debt in a manageable way is to use the “debt avalanche method,”.Here’s how it works: you pay off your highest interest loan debt first, and only make minimum payments on all your other debts.

Once you’ve paid off the highest interest loan, you move on to the next highest interest debt, and so on — until, voila, all your debt has disappeared.

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Consolidate your debt

Up until recently, student loan payments were suspended. But their return means that borrowers like Nuccio need to figure out how to fit these payments back into their monthly expenses.

Unfortunately, 28% of student loan borrowers say they’ll need to take on additional debt to maintain their household payments and repay their student debt, according to a recent Achieve survey.

When you’re robbing Paul to pay Peter, things can get messy. But consolidating your debts can make this a little easier. If you have private student loans and credit card debt, you might consider refinancing your loan.

Even though it means taking on another loan, if you're able to find an offer at a lower rate than your current accounts, you'll save yourself plenty in interest over the life of the loan. Plus, by pooling your debts, you'll only have to worry about making a single monthly payment, which will hopefully make your life a little easier.

Lower your cost of living

Nuccio mentions that he lived in Tampa, Florida in 2012 when he worked at Chili’s, but has since moved to New York City to pursue photography. Though this may have been a good move for his career, it’s bad news for his debt.

Though Nuccio doesn’t explicitly say which borough he lives in, New York’s Manhattan is the most expensive city in the U.S., according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s (CCER) most recent data. Though several Florida media outlets report Tampa is the Sunshine State’s most expensive city, it still doesn’t rank on the CCER’s list of priciest cities across the country.

So part of your plan to pay back your debt may need to include your locale. If you live in an expensive city like New York, it’ll likely take you longer to pay off your debt than a cheaper city like Tampa.

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About the Author

Sabina Wex

Sabina Wex

Reporter

Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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