When your debt reaches the $10,000 level, it can begin to seem unmanageable. That’s more zeroes than many people have in savings.
However, to put it in perspective, $10,000 is actually less than the average family has in credit card debt, and the total debt amount for the average household can be more than $90,000.
Getting married, having a child, an unexpected crisis or simply letting your spending get a bit out of hand can lead you to that $10K number.
The question is how to do you get out of it? A methodical, steady approach may consist of the following tactics:
- Get organized
- Make a plan you can stick with
- Calculate savings by consolidating debt
- Find better deals as a consumer
- Seek extra income
Student loans, credit cards, car loans, you name it — each with their own fees, interest rates and payment dates. It all adds up to a pile of statements that can confuse and frustrate you, but don’t let it get to you.
Start by organizing all of your debt.
Whether it’s on a spreadsheet or just a piece of notebook paper, the simple act of recording your debt can help you visualize your debt more clearly so you can more easily take control.
Make a Plan
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating your debt, but there are two basic schools of thought you may want to start with.
- Eliminating your debts with the highest interest rates. This is the most logical approach because if done properly, you will pay less money over a shorter period of time.
- Paying off your smallest balances first. This approach can decrease the clutter and give you the emotional boost that comes with paying off a loan in full.
While these may seem like very basic ideas, your plan for paying off the $10,000 likely won’t work if you can’t stick with it. Starting with a simple approach may help.
Debt Consolidation Savings on $10,000
Unfortunately, sometimes the money just isn’t there to begin paying off high interest debt or taking care of even relatively small bills. And it doesn’t get any easier if you have other bills with high interest rates or you’re incurring penalties for overdue balances.
One strategy for paying off debt fast is consolidating your debt with a personal loan.
Debt consolidation allows borrowers to combine multiple balances into one statement by paying their creditors through a personal loan.
Not only does this make payments more convenient, it could lower your interest rate, providing significant savings on future interest payments.
Every scenario is different, but you can use our debt consolidation calculator to estimate how a personal loan could change your outlook.
Ask for Better Deals
We usually think of our monthly bills as rigid payment schedules that our services depend on. But in today’s hyper-competitive business environment, many vendors are willing to work with you to keep your business.
Think of things like cable and phone bills.
You could also consider comparing prices at places where you do regular shopping such as grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants.
A freelance or side job can be a great way to earn additional income. In today’s “gig economy” with things like Uber and Lyft, there are a number of options available for very flexible part-time work. Maybe there’s overtime work at your current job.
However, many people don’t have time to add an extra job. There are, though, still plenty of opportunities for extra income.
Take a look around your apartment or house, and decide if everything you have is necessary. Chances are you can find a handful of items, at the least, to sell either online or through a garage sale. If you can’t find anything to get rid of, consider renting out your home or apartment while you’re on vacation. Just be sure to consult local laws and check with your property owner before advertising your space.
You may also be able to find an online savings account that could pay you more in interest.
The good news is that while $10,000 of debt can be daunting, it doesn’t have to take forever to pay off. In fact, you may be able to do so quicker while saving money in the process.