This blog post is part of the Pay Down My Debt (PDMD) blog tour, sponsored by US Equity Advantage. PDMD is a solution that accelerates debt payoff and helps consumers monitor their credit and make smarter purchasing decisions. If you’re looking to pay off debt find out how they can help.
It’s pretty safe to say that nobody loves having debt. Even though debt can be useful in helping you pay for your education, your home, car, or possibly even investments, it can feel like a huge burden if not managed properly.
The truth is, that once in debt most people look for a magic secret to get themselves out of it. The problem is the magic secret really isn’t all that magical.
Paying down your debt faster can be boiled down to two main points.
# 1 – Pay More
The quickest way to get out of debt is to pay more. Even making small extra payments can make a huge difference.
Let’s say you have a $15,000 auto loan at 5% interest on a five year term. Your regular payment is $283 per month. If you added $50 per month to your payment you’d shave 10 months off the loan and save yourself $337 in interest costs. If you added $100 per month to your payment you’d shave 17 months off your loan and save yourself $574 in interest!
The higher the interest on your loan the more money you’ll save yourself over the long run by paying extra. Even a small amount like $25 per month can save you hundreds of dollars over the life of a loan.
# 2 – Pay More Often
Another way to pay down debt faster is to pay more often. In fact, you can pay the same amount you normally do but by paying biweekly instead of monthly you’ll save yourself money. This is because paying biweekly will result in you making two extra half payments per year!
Using the same $10,000 car loan at 5% interest we used above and simply making payments every two weeks will result in paying off your loan 3 months faster and will save you almost $80 in interest.
Let’s look at what paying biweekly can do for a mortgage.
Imagine you just bought a house for $200,000 with 5% interest on a thirty year term. Your normal monthly payment is $1,074. If instead of making monthly payments you paid biweekly you’d cut four years off of your loan and save yourself $33,367.84.
If you combined the strategies and made biweekly payments plus added an extra $25 to each payment you’d have your mortgage paid off in 25 years and would have saved yourself almost $42,000 in interest!
In these examples you haven’t done anything drastic but have saved a significant amount of money.
What if You Need Help Figuring Things Out?
As you can see, the principles of paying down your debt faster are simple but simple does not always mean easy.
If you need help implementing your debt pay-off strategy a service like Pay Down My Debt can help.
Pay Down My Debt is NOT a debt consolidation or debt management service. They simply offer tools that will help you pay down your debt faster using the methods above (with some bonuses, too.)
You can have them handle three loans for $9.99 per month and add extra loans for $1 each. Here’s how it works:
- First use their calculators to see what kind of savings you can reap from making biweekly payments or adding more to your payments.
- Decide which 3 loans you want to enroll.
- Now decide on your payment plan – weekly, biweekly, monthly or bimonthly.
- Pay Down My Debt will withdraw money from your bank account and pay your bills based on the schedule that you chose – you don’t have worry about anything.
You’ll have use of all of their tracking tools like early pay-off, new amortization schedules, and transaction history. You’ll also get free credit monitoring and credit scores from TransUnion!
As a TCI reader you can get your first month for an activation fee of just $2.45 with no cancellation fees. Just sign up here.
Remember, paying down debt isn’t something that can normally be done in a short period of time. Instead you need to play the long-term game. By simply carving out a little extra money in your budget to go toward debt and changing your payment schedule you can become debt-free sooner.
Photo Credit: wirojsid
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.