If you are in debt, you are not alone. Millions of people struggle with debt of many kinds – credit card, auto, home or mortgage, business, educational and college loans, and many others. It may seem like the deck is stacked against you to ever recover unscathed from your debt. Luckily, there are solutions out there that can help you achieve the debt resolutions you need to return to a healthy financial position. Here are sixteen ways to achieve debt resolution legally and effectively – there is no talk of scams or frauds allowed here!
- First, you need to stop the bleeding by cutting the use of any further credit lines. If you take on more debt, you’re making the problem worse.
- Cut off any money that you may be hemorrhaging in other places. For instance, if you are smoking, or wasting money on booze or junk food or eating out, or any expenditure that isn’t strictly necessary, stop it immediately! Your goal right now is to preserve capital. Think of how long you’d have to work to earn the money that you could save simply by changing your habits.
- You need to be in a long-term mindset. Get out of the instant gratification, quick fix mentality, and think of your financial health and happiness in terms of years, not weeks or months. This will give you the patience to forge ahead not only with your debt plan, but also with your money habits.
- Get a free credit report in order to assess your current financial health.
- Figure out your current major debts. Line up how much is owed on each account, the interest rate, and the number of payments remaining. If you need credit card debt resolution, make sure to have all your information organized by card and interest rate so that you know where to begin.
- If you haven’t already, create a budget based on your income and expenses.
- Look for places to increase the income side of the equation. For instance, a second job might help. You could also sell some of your old goods and gadgets online or at a yard sale. Consider also starting an online business. There are also tons of freelance and other business opportunities available on the internet if you have the right talents, including writing, web design, editing, and more. You could also give online poker a chance (if you are good). Internet marketing could also be your game. No matter what you do, if you increase your income, you’ll be able to resolve your debt more quickl.y
- Cut down on the expenses side of the equation as well. Cut back wherever you can to conserve your capital supply. Be ruthless – the suffering you may feel now without your latte or TV or cell phone will be worth it a year down the line when all your debt has been wiped away. So don’t be afraid to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term gain.
- Be careful with so-called debt resolution companies. Many of them are a horrible scam, out there only to prey on the weak and the helpless and those who are desperate to get out of debt. Always do your research to find out the latest news on debt resolution scams before you sign on to any of their company agreements. Best case scenario is that these frauds do nothing for you and only take money. The worst case scenario is that they take your money AND make your situation worse. Always read reviews and consult with professionals before giving any of these debt resolution firms your money. Commonly searched debt resolution companies include National Debt Resolution, Debt Resolution Partners, and Community Debt Resolution.
- Consider getting a cheaper loan from other sources. A balance transfer from one credit card to an interest-free card may save you a ton of money and stress. A home equity loan could help you wipe out credit card debt and other high interest debts. You could also borrow money from friends and family, as long as trust and documentation is present, to wipe out debts immediately.
- Pay down your highest interest rate debt first. This will save you the most money in the long-term. Plus, the money you save in interest by paying these down can be put towards paying down more debt, further increasing the so-called ‘snowball effect.’
- Or you could pay down your smallest debt first to get the psychological ball rolling in your head. You may feel less discouraged if you wipe out debts quickly instead of being stuck with huge debts that take awhile to annihilate.
- Pay down any debts that are past due or are late. You don’t want to hurt your credit score more than you already might be.
- If you are in serious financial trouble, you may have a bargaining position with companies where you can ask them to forgive some of your debt or at least lower your rates. Credit card companies and other creditors don’t want to see you go bankrupt, as they may lose a lot of money if that occurs. Thus, your weakness may actually be a strength in the bargaining process. Call them and see if they’ll work with you.
- Get the services of a professional. This advice may help, but your circumstances will vary, and one size surely does not fit all. Debt counselors and debt management groups can help you figure out a plan tailored to your life situation. There are many nonprofit groups that you could go to for help first before going to the for-profit companies. So make sure you use all the resources at your disposal before taking drastic action. The money you pay for their help may be worth the amount of money and pain you’ll save in the long-run.
- Bankruptcy is a big NO in all but the most serious situations. Exhaust literally every other possible option before even thinking about this! The long-term effects will be serious, so don’t go into it lightly.
If you have any more ideas, leave them in the comments!
The cost of a college education is not cheap. The average debt for students graduating from a four-year college is over $20,000, and this will continue to rise as more students go to school and tuitions and expenses continue to rise. For many students, paying off student loans can become burdensome, especially when the job market doesn’t cooperate and give the student the job and salary he or she expected. Thus, you might have to get creative with the ways you pay off your student loans. Here are ten ways to get free money to pay off student loans. Note that some of these suggestions don’t give you ‘free’ money per se; instead, it can give you ideas to earn extra money aside from your day job to help you pay the bills. Here we go!
- The first major way people get free money to pay down their loans is to get their federal loans forgiven. This is a very strenuous process, and only happens under the strictest requirements. Usually, the individual must be a teacher or doctor and work in a disadvantaged area, among other requirements. Thus, this may not be a great option for most people – however, it’s a possibility to think about pursuing if you’re just starting your college career.
- There are also grants available that may be put towards the college education. However, these too have specific requirements that will not fit most people’s situations, so don’t count on them.
- In general, you’ll be hard pressed to find the federal government or any creditor forgiving anyone’s debt. It’s just not good business sense. Thus, you need to come up with your own ways to earn extra money to pay down your debt. Some ideas include…
- Get an addition part time job. This is the hardest option, as it requires so much of your time, so only do this when desperate.
- Freelance out of your home. There are plenty of opportunities to sell your work online. Online writing, for example, is one rather lucrative field. You can write in your spare time for sites and earn either upfront payments or shares of the ad revenues that your articles make. Over time you could build a nice little online empire of writing and use that money to pay down your debt. This is a great way to get a passive income stream coming in.
- Sell off some of your assets. Online sites like Amazon, Ebay, and Craigslist open up the global market for your stuff. What you think is junk might actually fetch some good value if you try.
- Start a home business. Internet marketing, drop shipping, Ebay businesses, Amazon businesses, and digital products and services are great ways to earn money to pay down debt. Best of all, if you develop your business enough, you’ll eventually be able to make it a full time job if you’d like.
- Save money wherever you can. This is more like ‘free’ money because you won’t have to use any of your labor to ‘produce’ it. Instead, cut back where you can, both on minor and major expenditures. Cut back on utilities, car payments, clothing, transportation costs, entertainment, eating out – whatever you can do to preserve a good quality of life while accelerating your student loan repayment.
- Ask for a loan from a friend or family member. They will often loan you the cash you need at a rate that’s lower than the interest rate you’re paying on your education loans. Always put your agreement in writing so that both sides know the terms of the deal.
- Win the lottery. Hey, you never know!
If you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments!
In good and bad economic times, everyone is always looking for easy ways to make money fast to supplement or even stand-in for a part or full-time income. Luckily, with the growth of the internet, more options are available to people than ever to accomplish this goal. Even with the internet, though, some ‘real life’ options can still also be lucrative, so don’t immediately go to your computer! Here are some easy ways to make money that don’t require huge amounts of time, capital, or skill. The first half of the ideas are “real life,” no computer required ideas; the second half are “online only” money making ideas:
EASY WAYS TO MAKE MONEY OFFLINE:
- Have a garage sale to sell all your old goods. You can pull in an easy grand with only a couple days work, as long as you set up and market your yard sale properly.
- Start a part-time business out of your house. Use your talents, whatever they may be, to come up with services or goods you could provide for others. Perhaps you’re a great baker, knitter, or writer, and you can provide these goods to people in your spare time. Or perhaps your greatest asset is your free time: consider pet sitting, house sitting, babysitting, or daycare.
- Collect people’s junk and either repurpose or resell it. For instance, many people leave furniture at the curb that, with a few repairs, can be resold for some quick cash. You could also try collecting scrap metal and selling it at a salvage yard. You’d be surprised at how much money you could get from what appears to be junk.
- Find a part-time job for some supplemental income. Even 10 hours a week could add a good chunk of change to your pocket every two weeks. You could also pick up random jobs around your neighborhood or town. Be creative – mowing the lawn, house sitting, shoveling snow off driveways – use your time and talents to your advantage!
- Return cans and bottles to get back the 5 cent deposit (if your state participates in this program). In general, try to collect spare change, both lying around your house and in whatever places you see it in public. (Don’t steal, of course!)
EASY WAYS TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE:
- Sell stuff online. Craigslist, Amazon, Ebay – the options to sell everything from cars and furniture to books and movies on the internet are nearly endless. Best of all, your market turns from local to global with a few clicks of a mouse. For example, those niche books that you have sitting unused on your shelf may not fetch much at a local book store or garage sale, but you may be able to score top dollar from someone online who knows their true value. This is one of the easy quick ways to make money, as you can often get paid directly into your Paypal account for quick withdrawal.
- Do freelance writing. Many websites like Textbroker, Demand Studios, Bright Hub, The Content Authority, Elance, and others pay writers just like you to write up articles for clients on a variety of topics. If you have a liking and flair for writing, you may be able to make ends meet with this idea, one of the easy ways to make money online. Best of all, many of these sites pay weekly or biweekly, lowering the amount of time you have to wait for your cash.
- Another easy way to make money online is to use other freelancing services besides writing companies. One example of these is Mechanical Turk. Run by Amazon, this program allows “Turkers” to complete “human intelligence tasks” (HITs) for clients for compensation ranging from .01 a task to 5.00 or more. Though you won’t make a ton of money very quickly, you can make spare change here and there for minutes of your time. There are tons of other services out there like this. Again, the general theme is: what are your talents? Who is looking for your abilities out in the world? And how can you connect your services with their needs? The internet is usually just this way.
Debt slowly eats away at your financial health. Each payment you make towards interest is burned money. For those carrying anywhere from a little debt to a crushing amount, how do you even go about fixing this problem? Here are some ways to get out of debt. They only require knowledge, planning, and willpower to complete, leading you to a life of financial freedom.
- Get a free credit report from one of the three credit agencies and analyze your situation. If there are any problem accounts, attack them first to restore your credit.
- Pay down your highest interest-rate debts first. For most people, this will be credit cards. One of the best ways to get out of credit card debt is to pay more than the minimum payment. Recent reforms require credit companies to be more forthcoming with how long it will take you to pay off your debt, but most people don’t realize that paying the minimum keeps them locked in years of debt slavery. Create a budget that eliminates unneeded expenses and luxuries, and put the savings towards wiping out the high-interest debt.
- Consider moving debt around from high-interest to low-interest accounts. For example, you could transfer balances to lower interest cards, or use a home-equity line of credit to wipe out higher interest rate debts. This is probably the best ways to get out of debt fast, but it is also dangerous: don’t let unused credit get filled up again, otherwise you’ll find yourself back where you started. Many credit cards offer promotions for balance transfers at a very low percent, so consider moving your debt around to these offers. (Always read the fine print for the stipulations.)
- The best way to get out of debt is to use all your assets at your disposal towards paying it down. Money sitting in a savings account is making a very low rate of return. Using that money to pay off a chunk of your debt will save you many dollars – it is like you are earning the %APR of the credit card back into your pocket! Also, if you have any assets you can sell – car, boat, motorcycle, electronics, etc. – consider parting with it to help pay off your outstanding debts. It may hurt now, but you’ll save yourself a deeper, more significant long-term pain.
- Borrow from other sources – 401(k)s, friends and families, life insurance plans, etc. Be careful of any penalties that may be assessed by withdrawing money early. If you borrow from friends or family, make sure you draw up the terms of the loan in writing so that everyone involved is clear and comfortable with the arrangement.
- Stop buying stuff. The more your debt increases, the worse it will get.
- Find other ways to entertain yourself aside from gadgets and expensive goods. Find cheap hobbies that can take up your time and save you money which you can then use to repay your debts.
- Find some odd jobs/part-time work to increase your income, and use that money to pay off your debt.
- Hire a debt counselor to help you overcome your debt. These professionals will help you tailor your plan to your individual financial situation. For instance, a group like this may help you…
- Reorganize your debt and get better terms. If you are near the edge of bankruptcy, lenders may work with you to lower your payments and improve the terms of your credit. They don’t want you to go bankrupt because it is a financial risk to them, so they will often go the extra mile to help you.
- In the end, bankruptcy is the final option. Do not do this lightly. Always consult with professionals, including lawyers, to go over all your options.
For more information, check out The Debt Solution System.
Just like it’s easier to avoid unhealthy foods than to burn them off with exercise, it’s easier to avoid paying unnecessary money than to have to work extra to account for that cash. In other words, sometimes the best way to make money is to save money! Everyone – poor, rich, or in between – can benefit from easy ways to save money. This list of ways to save money will start with the larger money savers and descend to the smaller ones. Here are some tips that will help you in your question for wealth:
- Big purchases have the most impact on your bottom line. Making your best effort to save on cars, boats, homes, education, and other large expenditures will save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. While the rest of the tips are useful in saving you dollars and cents, concentrating most of all on getting great deals on these purchases is the best way to save money.
- Related to the above, watch out for high interest rates on loans. Whether a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, or the dreaded credit card, interest payments can eat into your savings and lower the amount of cash on hand. Try to avoid using lines of credit whenever possible. Credit cards are OK as long as you pay them off in full every month and avoid interest charges.
- One way to lower your interest charges if you do have to take out a loan is to maintain a high credit score. This means you must avoid late payments, don’t max out credit, and pay off your debts in full. Order a free credit report from each of the credit agencies once per year to monitor your current status and to check for errors that may be hurting your credit history.
- Look for ways to get extra money without having to do a bunch of work. This can come in the form of gift certificates, gift cards, prizes, and other offers that you can use to make ends meet. For example, click here for a way to get a $1000 Visa gift card (details apply).
- Cut back on non-essentials. This means actually going out and stop purchasing the gadgets and gizmos that drain your bank account, even if they are fun.
- Lower you food bills by cutting out the restaurant trips. This doesn’t mean you have to totally stop going out to restaurants, especially if you have coupons.
- Don’t buy or lease new cars. Automobiles lose a ton of their value the instant they leave the lot. To get the reliability and ‘newness’ of a car without paying inflated prices, buy ‘like new’ cars with around 30,000 miles or less.
- One of the best ways to save money is to cook more breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at home. Eating out constantly, especially with the high costs associated with drinks, alcohol, and tips, can really add up over time. This is especially true if you have a large family. The more you can coordinate meals, buying in bulk and preparing food ahead of time, the more overall money you can save.
- Also, avoid snacks and drinks (including coffee) when you are out on the town. They may seem cheap at the time, but $1 -$3 charges will accumulate rapidly, hitting your bank account hard without you even realizing it.
- Determine what you truly love to do and invest your money into that. Buying useless trinkets, gadgets, DVDs, and other stuff may make you feel good at the time, but the fun fades as the novelty goes away. Then you’re off to buy the next hot thing. Find a hobby or two that you enjoy and spend your time and resources on that. Perhaps you love to play the piano, so you spend money on instruments and music. Or perhaps you like your car, so you spend more time with that, or you like to cook, so you buy cook books and kitchen accessories. Whatever your love, find it and develop it.
- Use more public transportation, car pooling, or walking/biking to get around. The price of gas isn’t going down anytime soon, and it will most likely continue to ride. Also, the more you use your car, the more maintenance is required. If you could get rid of your car altogether, think of how much you’d save in insurance, maintenance, and car payments! This is one of the great ways to save money on a tight budget.
- Buy in bulk. The more you buy at one time, the less you’ll pay for each unit, saving you cash in the long run.
- Buy items online. You can save tons of money by buying from sites like amazon.com that can get you steep discounts on everything from clothes to household supplies to toys. Also checkout sites like craigslist and Ebay for other great deals on secondhand goods. In fact…
- Buy used goods whenever possible. A huge secondary market exists filled with people wanting to sell their stuff. You can get so much like new stuff – including clothing, cars, video games, furniture, whatever – for a mere fraction of the cost if bought new. Check out thrift stores, garage sales, and discount stores in real life, and auction sites, craigslist, and other sites on the internet.
- Drain the maximum value or use out of everything your purchase. Whether it’s food, clothing, or entertainment, get the most out of every dollar you spend. Look for ways to get extra cash to supplement your budget as well.
- Use the library. Your local library has thousands of books and DVDs that you can borrow for free. Stop buying books for full price at the book store, and don’t waste your cash on movies you watch once, even if you rent them. Exploit the library to the fullest possible extent. You might even learn some new info and skills in the process.
- Always be on the lookout for places to cut, scrimp, and save. Saving 50 cents here, $1.50 there, and 35 cents here will add up over time for a minimum of effort.
- Avoid silly fees wherever possible – late fees, annual fees, interest fees, overdraft fees, etc. These are all completely avoidable with some careful attention to your finances and financial choices.
- Use fewer utilities. Conserve electricity, water, and heat, and kill your internet, cable, or phone bill. Your wallet will thank you for it.