If you want to get out of debt on your own (and quickly), I’ve got the post that will help you do it. That said, I think it IS fair to say there are a few requirements to permanently ridding yourself of consumer debt. Now, let’s break this down and see how you can apply these three requirements to your debt. Although your absolute total debt is important, it’s not as important as how that debt compares to your annual income. A debt-to-income ratio is a commonly used figure, but it’s often calculated different ways. Although not one of Farrell’s ratios, I like to calculate a Debt Ratio as the amount of total debt (excluding mortgages) as a percentage of gross annual income. If you took out $50k in student loans for a bachelor’s degree, don’t take out $100k more for a PhD.
If you fell into a pile of debt after losing your job, resolve (once you get out of debt), to work on an emergency fund should this happen again. If you, like me, spent years living a life you couldn’t afford, then figure out what the life you can afford looks like, and get there.
Getting out of debt (and doing it on your own), not only requires you to live within your means, but to live below it.
Personally, I knew I was never going to get out of debt just by cutting spending unless, perhaps, I lived with my parents until 35. For anybody who wants to get out of debt on your own in 2011, there’s some very good news. For newbs: As a way of attracting new customers, credit card companies will let you transfer a balance (in other words, transfer debt) from another credit card to their credit card at a low interest rate for a said number of months. Eventually, I got to a point where a) I had too much debt to get new credit cards and b) balance transfers obviously didn’t work for me because I would transfer the balance and just spend again on the old credit card.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a non-profit organization of reputable credit counselors that can direct you to somebody in your area that can help you make a plan to get out of debt. You may also want to research (either through your counselor or on your own) entering a debt management plan. I have read many blog posts, but this one seemed to spark something in me and re-motivate me to pay off my debt.
Today, instead of spending time on a Christmas gift, I will complete a work-related project that will earn me an end of the year bonus I can put towards my debt. I graduated college in 2014, spent a year in law school before realizing it wasn’t for me.

I have just stumbled upon your website and I am very motivated to pay down my debt i have acquired since 2002. I have gotten a small settlement check in the mail for 500, so that will go towards my debts for sure.
My wife and I are about $7,000 in debt, her car is falling apart, and she is having a tough time finding a job.
I recently became fed up with the credit card debt that I have been carrying for 6 years and have *finally* taken action to eliminate it, such as making a budget (and sticking to it!), trying to negotiate a lower APR rate, selling stuff (au revoir, gitane bicycle) and making additional payments on my credit cards.
If you consider the fact that I STOPPED piling the debt ON and started digging OUT just before my 27th birthday, then it took me almost exactly two and a half years. A good tip that I found on debt reduction somewhere is to try to pay 10% more on the highest debt each month, and that should speed up the time needed to pay it. Oh, and I happened to do several of those steps this morning before reading this article (write down total debt, examine budget, and made an extra payment). I’ve use this method in the past and it greatly helped me pay off debt more quickly and cheaply. With the Holidays fast approaching, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you my top 10 tips for staying debt FREE!!! I can show you how ProjectMAHMA can change your life like it has changed my life and offered me the chance to make money and still be at home with my son! I hope these tips have helped you figure out how you can stay debt FREE, even in times of our economies recession and times when we would typically spend more money, such as the Holidays.
I tried to make it as skimmable as possible, but you can jump to sections like the three prerequisites to permanently ridding yourself of debt, how to calculate your Debt Ratio, or the debt toolbox which shows you how to use things like balance transfers and social lending to get out of debt faster. I ran up credit card after credit card living like my salary was about four times its actual size. There was a time in my early twenties, when my debts were steadily mounting, that I knew I was in trouble, but I was too scared to actually tally up how much debt I was in. For example, when you apply for a mortgage, the banks calculate your DTI as the percentage of monthly debt payments of your MONTHLY income. Although you can save money by getting out of debt on your own, sometimes it just doesn’t work. I find that interesting since the debt interest rate is 4% and costs only $230 a month on a 10 year plan. Although I have a good paying job now, I didn’t realize how expensive law school really was! If you consider the fact that I was IN DEBT since I was 19, then I guess you could say it took me 10 years.

Well, with work, dedication, and a commitment to myself that I can live a blissful life on less!  Let me show you how you can too! On a piece of paper, list out the amounts of debt you have smallest to largest.  If you have debts that are around the same amount of money, list the one that has the higher interest rate first.  Paying off the smaller debts will give you gratification and keep you motivated to keep going!!
If your debt ratio is in the fair range, don’t brush it off…that only means you should be able to pay it off—on your own—more easily (and quickly). And the faster you want to become debt free, the more you have to earn above and beyond what you spend. My credit card debt for networking and socializing was drastically higher than it was for undergrad (where I paid it off every month). Although in college I did it by travelling, I could provide similar resources and work via a web site. Once you pay off one debt, work on the next one, until every single amount of debt in GONE! I needed a reality check and to stare down exactly how much debt I had and what it would take to get out. Read 10 things to know about debt management companies to help you decide if this is a route you want to go. With Christmas around the corner, it’s hard not to push getting seriously about paying off debt until the new year, but I know if I can manage it now, I can do it all year. This is because instead of using a credit card to pay for emergencies like new tires, a broken washer, or unexpected medical bill, you can use cash from your $1,000 stash.  This is a very important step for getting and staying out of debt.
In these cases, I’m using debt conservatively and consciously to advance my financial goals. Although the government has cracked down a bit in recent years, there are a lot of companies out there that advertise these kinds of services that will only make matters worse.
AVOID debt settlement scams or any service that promises to reduce the total amount you owe. The bad news is it’s not sustainable; sooner or later, you’re going to run out of crap to sell. If this is the route you want to go, however, there are options: food service, babysitting, mall stores, delivery routes, security guarding, tutoring, teaching prep classes, bartending, cab driving, etc. If you are in the positive, think about how much of that money can be transferred over to savings.

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