Average student loan balance. (Source: Debt.org/students - 2017)
Percentage of Americans who buy things that they can not afford. (Source: DaveRamsey.com)
How to Start Getting Out of Debt
With all that money you never actually see going right back out to your monthly payments, you truly have nothing left for yourself. To cease all parts of this debt cycle, you must first change your thought process and habits. This includes maximizing your true income potential, creating separation of your debt to income ratio, living on minimal and only the extreme necessities. We will show you how you can do this and achieve a debt-free lifestyle.
Let's Attack this Debt
- Create a listing of all of your debts from smallest total balance owing to the largest balance, no matter the interest rate.
- Pay the smallest balance off with as much as you can first. On the remaining balances, just pay the minimum amount due to keep them on time and to prevent additional fees.
- Once you've paid off the smallest balance owed, roll the amount paying on that balance to the next lowest balance along with its minimum payment you have already been paying.
How to Begin the Debt Payment Process
Here’s a quick example. Say your debt snowball looks like this:
- Credit card 1: $500 at 13% with a monthly payment of $25.
- Credit card 2: $1,000 at 19% with a monthly payment of $50.
- Car loan: $6,000 at 4% over four years with a monthly payment of $135.
- Student loan: $15,000 at 5% over 10 years with a monthly payment of $159.
If you pay the minimums on everything and add an extra $100 to the smallest credit card payment, you’ll pay it off in four months. Then you can attack the second credit card to the tune of $175 per month ($100 plus the newly freed-up $25, plus the $50 payment you’re already making). That one will be gone in five months. Now you have $310 a month ($175 plus $135) to put toward the car! At that rate, the car loan will hit the road in 15 months!
By the time you get to the student loan, you’ll be paying $469 on it each month! You’ll wave goodbye to Sallie Mae in another 24 months and be totally out of debt.
That’s what happens when you have focused intensity and start with your smallest debt—it leads to big results!