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5 Steps to Paying Off Debt

Faith & Finance (formerly MoneyWise)

Christian talk radio with Rob West

March 12, 2020

The rules for getting out of debt are pretty simple: stop charging things and start paying it off - not a difficult thing to grasp. But like so many things in life, simple doesn't always equate to easy. It's a question we get a lot, "I have $10,000 or more in debt. How do I pay it off?" Today our host, financial planner, and teacher Rob West tells you how to make that happen. Interest is the process that slows down freedom from debt. So first, call your credit card issuer and ask for a lower rate. You'll increase your chances of getting it if you have an offer for a balance transfer to another card in hand. Transferring balances should be done with a great deal of caution. You shouldn't even consider it unless you're living on a budget and within your means. That means you've stopped using the credit card for at least six months. Start paying more than the minimum on your credit cards. Employ the snowball method. Put half of your discretionary income on top of the minimum payment for the card or debt with the lowest balance. Don't worry about interest rates. Pay off the smallest balance first to get the psychological boost of making headway on your debt. Put the other half of your discretionary income to work building up your emergency fund. Start putting money aside for emergencies. Ultimately - and we realize this will take awhile - you want to have 3 to 6 months living expenses in liquid assets where you can get to it if you need it. Leave home without it. Make it harder to spend money. Hide your credit cards. You can also switch to an all-cash system. Avoid the idea that you can use plastic to buy things. Studies show you'll automatically spend less when using real dollars instead. Use it and lose it. If at any time in this process you find yourself using a credit card you have to get rid of it or you'll never make any progress. On today's program we also answer your questions: Is inheritance considered income for federal income tax purposes? Will I avoid finance charges if I pay my car off early? Go to KBB.com to learn more about the current value of your vehicle. I'm recently retired. Should I pay off my mortgage using my Thrift Savings Plan? Ask your questions at (800) 525-7000 or email them at [email protected] Visit our website at moneywise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, purchase books, and even download free, helpful resources. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab at the top of the page.

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