If you have debts that need to be paid but aren’t sure how you’ll be able to pay them off, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 60% of adult Americans carried credit card debt in 2017. When you add in student loans, the percentage gets even higher and makes it incredibly clear that debt is more common than you think, and you don’t need to be ashamed to have some of it. You just need to take steps to earn extra income to pay down debt and liberate yourself from the statistic.
Nobody likes to owe money, and when you add in that you’ll have to pay interest on top of the balance, it hurts even more. Whether the debt was incurred as a result of an unexpected emergency, paying for your education, or some regrettable purchases, the best way to clear your mind of the cause is to rid yourself of the debt entirely. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. If you can’t keep up with the payments on your balances and the interest rate is slowing your progress, you’re going to need to earn more or owe less.
Earn Extra Income to Pay Down Debt
The best way to start paying down your debts is to earn more money. Simple, right? The more you earn, the more you can put towards paying down debts and reducing your balance, lowering interest accrued and overall cost to you.
Unfortunately, you can’t just get a raise at work or win the lottery at will. If you want to earn some extra cash to help you crawl out of debt, consider these options:
1. Get a Second Job
While it is the most obvious and effective way to earn more money, it’s not the easiest. Many people work 8 hours a day, and if you’re getting the recommended 8 or so hours of sleep (consider yourself lucky!), that only leaves about 8 hours to spend freely. However, if you’re determined to become debt-free, you can certainly make a dent with the extra income.
Consider odd jobs or things you like to do that you can be paid for to make it easier. Handy with tools or computers? Post a listing offering to fix a broken PC or build a shelf. Love kids or animals? Babysit either of them while their parents are away.
2. Sell What You Don’t Need
Remember that dining set you have in storage that you haven’t used in years? That’s a free 2 months of debt payments right there! Have a collection of sports memorabilia that just sits in a room? Pay off a credit card with it!
It can be hard to let go of the things we have (especially if they’re what put us in debt in the first place!), but if you’re not using it regularly or even forget you have it, chances are that it can be sold. Consider a garage sale, eBay, or Craigslist as easy ways to get rid of your extra stuff and bank some free progress towards becoming debt-free.
3. Cut Down on Extra Spending
One way to put more money in your pocket is to take less out of your pocket to start with! If you’re one of those people who love to buy name brands, go out to eat, or own a fancy car, you’re paying a “luxury tax” that costs you more money than you need to spend. Saving a bit of money a week on eating or entertainment can go a long way over the course of a year!
Continued after infographic:
4. Sell Plasma
Are you okay with needles, or at least like money more than you hate them? Donating plasma is a quick and easy way to make up to a few hundred dollars a month (depending on your location). By simply having your blood drawn and the plasma extracted by the doctor, you can put anywhere from $15-$50 in your pocket 1-2 times a week for just an hour of your time. In a month’s time, you could be putting an additional $400 towards your debts on the road to debt freedom.
5. Participate in Clinical Trials/Medical Studies
If you want to contribute to medical advancements while earning a pretty penny, consider participating in paid clinical trials. These often include testing the effects of a new drug, treatment, or other medical product to give researchers an idea of how people react to different treatments or procedures. While there is inherent risk with any kind of medical testing, these trials are heavily monitored and safer than you think. You may even be a part of the control group and won’t even be affected!
Lower Your Total Debt
If you aren’t able to earn some extra money to put towards your debt, you can attempt to lower the amount you owe in other ways. Rather than adding money towards the goal, you may be able to move the goal closer to you (or stop it from moving further away!).
To save yourself some money, you can:
6. Consolidate Debt
If you’ve got a variety of debts to pay and are finding it hard to keep track of all the payments and balances, debt consolidation may help. Debt consolidation services will allow you to combine all your debts into a single payment – often with a lower interest rate – to make it easier to manage, track, and pay them.
7. Pay High-Interest Debt First
Not all debts are created equal. Depending on the type of loan and your location, your interest rates could be anywhere from 0% to 20% or more per year. If you’ve got a high-balance account that is accruing interest at 8% and you’re trying to pay off the 4% interest-rate account instead, you’re costing yourself money in the long run.
8. Setup a Payment Plan
If you’ve run out of other options, consider talking with the owner of the debt to discuss a payment plan. If the choice is between them possibly never seeing the money from you or receiving less than they’re owed but receiving a payment, many times they will accept a payment plan. This can be a single lump-sum that is less than the balance, or regular payments that will avoid further interest piling up as long as you pay on time.
It’s easy for debt to weigh you down and make your life more difficult, but there is hope. Through a combination of our recommendations for earning extra income to pay down debts and lowering your debts overall, you can put an end to the debt cycle.
At Christian Debt Counselors, we’ve helped thousands of people just like you consolidate their debt by lowering payments and taking the stress out of managing multiple balances. With fast payments and incredible rates, you can stop worrying about potential bankruptcy and instead focus on better spending habits to help get you back to being in the black.