I don't know about you, but the amount of information on the Internet often makes my head spin. No matter which problem you are trying to solve, there are usually hundreds or even thousands of websites and articles who claim to be the best in their area.
Eliminating your debt is not an easy task and it is easy to get lost in a myriad of advice and opinions and start feeling even more overwhelmed than you did before.
I am not claiming to be the best debt expert, but I thought I'd share my favorite ways for fast debt relief and explain why I prefer them to the others.
1. Negotiate with your creditors.
This is my most favorite way to reduce debt, because it doesn't require much time or much effort. Many people don't take advantage of this, simply because they don't know that they can. If your credit card debt is more than $10,000, many companies will be willing to wipe it off by 30,40, or sometimes even 50%.
Just because it is much better for them to reduce your debt (which is probably mostly the interest anyway) or lower your interest rate than to wait until you go bankrupt. If you go bankrupt, they lose a lot of money, so they are interested in helping you out just so they can get at least partial payment from you.
If your debt is less than $10,000 you can still try negotiating with your credit card company. Ask them if they can lower your interest rate and if they say No, don't give up right away. Ask to speak to a supervisor and tell them that if they will not lower your interest, you will close your account and transfer your debt to another card with a lower interest rate. This strategy works in many cases, so don't be lazy and give your company a call today.
2. Transfer your balances.
If you didn't have any luck negotiating with your credit card companies, transfer your balances to a card with a lower interest rate than your current ones. If you have a good credit score, you can even get an introductory offer on a new card with a 0% interest. Of course, the 0% interest rate will not last forever, but it will help you reduce your debt significantly, because instead of paying the interest you will be actually paying off your debt.
Usually, introductory interest rates last between 6 months and a year.
This is a pretty painless and fast debt relief. Be careful though, because some companies will charge you balance transfer fees, which could be either a flat fee or a percentage of the balance you transfer. Read the terms and conditions carefully and ask many questions before you decide where to transfer your debt.
3. Use any extra cash to pay your debt off.
I have seen many people who were struggling to pay their debt off, but if they got any monetary presents, bonuses at work, IRS tax refunds or any other unexpected money, instead of putting this money towards their debt they spent it on a vacation, an iPhone or other luxuries. Yes, it is not fun to give your Christmas money to your credit card company, but it is even less fun to pay thousands of dollars in interest every year.
There are many debt reduction strategies which you could use to pay your debt off fast.
If you don't know which one is the best for you, read http://www.live-debt-free.org to find out.