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5 Steps to Managing and Paying Off Debt

by TerriAnn
5 Steps to Managing and Paying Off Debt

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Payoff, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #payoffmindset #whatsyourpayoff

Our family is used to a simple lifestyle but sometimes unexpected expenses come up. Our dog, Speckles, had to have surgery on her two back legs. While some family helped us with one, we had to bear the cost of the second. We also had major maintenance to do on our car (80K mile tune-up) and get new tires. While we are careful about the use of credit and not living beyond our means, these debts have added up and teeter on being a burden. Paying off debt is no longer optional.

To keep our head above water, it has been helpful to keep a tight rein on our finances and to consolidate debts to lower interest accounts. Then, by paying a little more than the minimum each month, our debt is slowly shrinking. We’ll be traveling to visit my husband’s family in the Netherlands this year. Hopefully we can get to the point of actually saving for that trip with good money management.

5 Steps to Managing and Paying Off Debt

Have you ever fallen on hard times or had to face huge bills through no fault of your own? Here are a few steps that may help.

5 Steps to Managing and Paying Off Debt

  1. Figure out your monthly income and expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, fuel, insurance).
  2. Consolidate your debt by transferring balances to one low interest loan or credit card.
  3. Limit purchases to only necessities and cut costs through small adjustments (not eating out as much, find free recreation, etc.)
  4. Only use credit cards if you can pay the amount immediately or shortly thereafter.
  5. Keep good records and stick to your plan.

As the amount you owe decreases, your credit score will go up. That, in turn, can lead to better rates on insurance, car loans, higher credit limits (which increases your score if you don’t use it), and more.

Using Payoff.com to Consolidate Debt

Of course, depending on your situation and circumstances, you may need further assistance in following these steps. In step 2 above, I mentioned consolidation of debt. Payoff.com can help you with this. There you will find pretty good interest rates (11-22%APR) and there is no fee for paying off the outstanding amount early. Even if you are not approved, you will be given access to various online tools in their “Lift” platform that will help you to gain financial freedom. Advice will be based on factors you were declined for in the first place.

Using Payoff.com to Consolidate Debt and to help in paying off debt

Applying for Payoff.com does NOT impact your credit score. Since you don’t actually put in your personal credit information, a credit check doesn’t hit your account. You only need to provide some basic amounts such as how much you owe, what your monthly rent or mortgage is, and your gross monthly income.

Using Payoff.com to Consolidate Debt and to help in paying off debt

Live online help is available and can answer any questions you might have. I was curious as what to input for our rent. The form asks for your individual income, not the household’s, so I was wondering if the lower amount would impact my application. Within a couple of minutes, the representative was able to explain the process and how best to proceed.

Using Payoff.com to Consolidate Debt and to help in paying off debt

Once you submit your application, it will be checked to see if you quality. An email will arrive in your inbox to let you know if you’ve been approved or not and what to do next. Don’t forget to check the Payoff Facebook page for helpful tips.

Using Payoff.com to Consolidate Debt and to help in paying off debt

The whole process took 5-7 minutes and was painless. I was only saddened by the fact that joint accounts are not supported nor is the whole household income. In our family, the income from both Frans and me contribute to paying our expenses. Even if I “halved” the rent and debt, as suggested by the representative, it doesn’t equal out just right. Maybe that feature will be changed in the future.

Difficult Doesn’t Mean Impossible

Payoff.com offers a great service to those needing help in a seemingly “hopeless” situation. Credit card debt is so easy to get into but can cause all kinds of heartache to get out of. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Slowly but surely things will start looking up! That’s what I keep telling myself and things have been working out thus far.

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Penelope February 5, 2015 - 7:20 am

I’m good about paying off my credit cards, but the problem is I still use them too much and it’s so easy!

Anne - Mommy Has to Work February 5, 2015 - 9:26 am

One day I will get there. My husband and I both like to spend money if we have it.

Kait February 5, 2015 - 3:19 pm

Love these tips! My husband and I have one credit card and that’s it. If we ever have a balance on it I will call the credit card company and ask the, to lower the apr which they usually do!

Raijean February 6, 2015 - 8:34 am

Great tips, I’m working on this now. I’m using credit cards way less!

Rosey February 6, 2015 - 8:30 pm

Finding great resources to help when you’re in debt is always welcome. I did great for years but now with my student loans coming due, things are not so rosy. I knew the day was coming, I just forgot how much of a burden such debt could be. Chipping away at it. 🙂

Tammy February 6, 2015 - 8:58 pm

Ugh debt is such a burden and it’s really great that there is some help out there for those that want to get out from under it. It’s something we’ve been teaching our daughter about before she needs to take out loans on credit so that she can understand all the implications/payments/fees etc. that come along with wanting or needing a very large purchase.

vanessa: thequeenofswag February 7, 2015 - 7:02 am

Great tips. I have some medical bills and credit cards I have to pay down.

Donna February 7, 2015 - 5:26 pm

We were completely debt-free (even paid our home off) for about 7 years. Then we needed a new car and had to get a credit card to establish credit again (I know, crazy, you’d think showing we paid everything off and stayed debt-free would make us perfect candidates) so we could finance a car, so now we do have a car payment. Then our son started a private middle school so now we have tuition. We do pay the credit card off monthly, though. 🙂

Crystal February 7, 2015 - 5:56 pm

Debt can be so taxing! These are great tips for eliminating debt and making sound financial choices.

HilLesha February 8, 2015 - 7:10 pm

I’m usually good at managing money, but those medical bills can be something else!

Colleen February 8, 2015 - 7:23 pm

It took me many years but our only debt currently is our cars and our new home. I be sure to pay the on time and plan on paying a little more on our home if I can swing it to get it paid off sooner.

Tisha @ Tisha Berg INK February 15, 2015 - 10:26 am

We have a lot of monthly expenses, mostly due to the kids’ extracurricular activities, but luckily we don’t have too much credit card debt. But Payoff sounds like an interesting service worth checking out. Thanks for the tip!

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