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Practical Strategies for Minimizing Debt

in Rants

Why not pay off debt the smart way? Most working adults owe money to at least one institution, corporation, or government agency. Paying off debt is part of the lifetime goal of millions of hardworking adults, but the task can be elusive under the best of circumstances. It is essential to understand your debt relief options, specifically even just that fact that you do have options. Fortunately, there are some very practical methods for minimizing what you owe or even avoiding indebtedness in the first place. Prime examples include applying for college scholarships to keep educational costs low, leveraging special tactics for paying off credit cards, delaying purchases if possible, applying for a consolidation loan, negotiating with creditors, and refinancing when it makes sense to do so. Here are pertinent details about how to get started on a debt reduction project for the new year.

Use Scholarships to Keep College Costs Down

Earning a college degree and paying the related bills are two interrelated and challenging life tasks. Fortunately, there are ways of tackling at the same time. Prospective students can look for relevant scholarships online, see which ones they can potentially qualify for, and use any money they secure to cover some or all the expenses of attending school. Many future degree holders explore Going Merry scholarships for college in order to gain access to thousands of existing scholarship opportunities at once. The beauty of using a search tool in this way is that the applicant saves a huge amount of time by filling out a profile and getting matched only to opportunities for which they have a good chance of qualifying.

Use the Reverse Pyramid Technique

For working adults who have several sources and types of debt, the reverse pyramid is a popular tactic for paying. The name refers to the fact that you tackle the smallest amounts first. The strategy can deliver a significant boost of psychological confidence as several small accounts are eliminated relatively quickly. Be sure to make a point-by-point list of how you intend to direct each payment, when to make it, and how long it will take to clear each account. The only drawback to the method is that it can overlook high-interest indebtedness because it aims to pay small balances first, without regard to different rates.

Delay Purchases

Here’s an old-school method that short circuits debts by not incurring them in the first place. The delayed purchase approach focuses on saving money in a cash or interest-bearing bank account, like a Christmas fund, to buy goods and services with cash instead of credit. It’s a preventive measure for sure, but it goes a long way toward helping people get their finances on track sustainably. Long ago, couples saved for homes this way until it became impractical to do so. But even in the 2020s, it’s possible to use the tactic for other items, particularly consumer and household goods that don’t require years of savings to accumulate the purchase price. Consider setting up several savings accounts with your local bank and designating each one for a particular purpose, like down payment for a car, next year’s vacation, new furniture, etc.

Consolidate

Be careful when shopping for consolidation loans. There are plenty of scammers in the industry, so it pays to stick with a bank or other institution you can trust and one with experience in debt consolidation. The strategy can be highly effective if you can get a reasonable interest rate. The other benefit is that consolidation helps simplify your financial life. After the process is complete, you should end up with one monthly payment instead of several. Additionally, it’s possible to pay much less in interest over the life of the new loan than if you had kept all the old ones in place.

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