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