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Step 13

Pay down your debt

There are two popular methods that people use to tackle debt. 

The first is to concentrate on paying off the debt with the smallest balance first (never forgetting to make required payments to all debts, of course). After that balance is repaid, you can then apply that payment to the card with the next smallest balance and continue the process until all debts are satisfied. This method can be very rewarding because you see progress quickly. 

The second popular method is to first concentrate on repaying the debt with the highest interest rate. This method will save you the most in interest charges over time. Regardless of the method you choose, be patient and persistent.

Try using this easy calculator to determine what it will take to pay off your credit cards. For this, it might be helpful to refer back to your debt load worksheet.

If you ever find that you are unable meet your basic financial obligations, contact your creditors immediately to advise them of your situation. Most will offer an individual short-term solution; however, you would likely benefit from a long-term payoff strategy. For help, consider contacting a reputable credit counseling agency such as Money Management International to work on your behalf.

For more advice on paying down debt, check out these insightful articles: Snowball vs. Avalanche, How to pay off a lot of debt in a hurry, and What a Debt Management Plan can and cannot do for you.

Dealing with Debt Worksheet

Month: Year:
Creditors/Debts Balance Interest Rate Finance Charges Payment Made New Balance
Debt 1.
Debt 2.
Debt 3.
Debt 4.
Debt 5.
Debt 6.
Debt 7.
Debt 8.
Debt 9.
Debt 10.
Total: N/A