How to Destroy Debt Like It’s Your Job

3D Shackled Debt

This is part one of a multipart series. You can find Part Two here.

Debt is one of the nastier four letter words in some circles. In fact, it is so gross that many people want to destroy their debt as fast as possible. They take it as serious, or more serious, than their jobs. I can definitely understand why people would want to destroy their debts, especially the high interest rate debts so I thought I’d let you in on the secrets of how to destroy debt like it’s your job.

Get Serious

In order to treat anything like your job, you have to get serious about it (at least I hope you’re serious at your job). If you just want to kinda sorta get rid of your debt, it isn’t going to work. You won’t annihilate it quickly and you might end up in more debt! Yikes. So where to start after you decide you’re serious?

Collect All Debt Paperwork Or Pull A Credit Report

The best way to get started is to know your debt like you know the back of your hand. Get all of the paperwork related to any debt you may want to destroy. Whether the debt is a credit card, a mortgage or a student loan you probably received or signed paperwork at some point in time. Go dig it out…. I’ll wait!

Of course, there is a chance you don’t even know everyone you owe money to… a very scary thought! What do you do? You pull your free annual credit report. Don’t know how? Check out this detailed step by step post to get started. Make sure you follow the instructions and get the free report rather than a report that requires you to sign up for some service.

Once you have the credit report you can take a look at all of your outstanding debts and then go find the paperwork or request paperwork from your lenders. After you have all of the paperwork present, write down the terms of all of your loans. Important factors include the time period of the loan, interest rate, any fees or other monetary information. Once you have this information you’re in a good position to get started in the epic battle of destroying your debt.

But Wait… Why Are You Destroying Debt In The First Place?

Before you get started on destroying your debt, you need to figure out why you got into the debt. Why? Because if you don’t know why you got into debt, you could easily slip further into debt. Before you analyze which debt to pay off first, you really should get to the bottom of why you got into debt.

For some, figuring out why you ended up having a pile of debt up to your eyeballs may be an easy analysis. For instance, if your only debt consists of student loan debt from your college years it might be straight forward. However, if you maxed out six credit cards with random purchases here and there you might need to do a bit more digging. Once you’ve found the real reason why you’re in debt, you’re ready to start to destroying debt like it’s your job.

Go figure out what debt you have and why you’ve gotten to the point you’re at today. Then, continue on to Part Two of How To Destroy Your Debt Like It’s Your Job.

Do you have a massive amount of debt you want to destroy? Share your debt story in the comments below!

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

Comments

  1. YEAH BUDDY! You definitely have to get serious about destroying debt if you are going to wipe it out. You’ve got to focus on it hardcore. Whenever we have really focused on it, we kill it. When we don’t, we slip up a little bit.

  2. I think that ‘Set Goals’ is a critical piece that has to be included. In most cases, ‘Pay off my debt’ is not a goal you can set and expect to succeed. At least it can’t be your only goal. Most people will lose steam as paying off debt can be a very long process. You have to set goals and milestones which can be achieved along the way. Hitting these intermediate goals can provide distinct signs of progress and can keep your motivation level higher in the long run.

  3. Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries says:

    Love this! You absolutely have to be serious about paying off your debt if that’s what you wish to accomplish. People don’t achieve incredible things by being wishy-washy with their goals. Leslie and I are currently in quite a bit of debt, some schooling and some medical…ok there’s some not-so-smart purchases from the past thrown in there too. We’re totally jacked about getting rid of it all and working hard to earn a brighter future.

  4. I agree with you totally. If you do not know what put you in debt you can easily slip back. I finally opened my eyes and my personal finances were going down the wrong path but I have made a decision to take care of it.

  5. You definitely need to be serious about paying off your debt, or your focus will be elsewhere and you mind find yourself spending a little too much. If you’re fully committed to paying off your debt, you will do what is necessary (within reason) to wipe it out. I’m currently paying off my student loans.

  6. I have a small mortgage and a car loan I want to pay off before I retire in 4 years. I am making automatic principal payments every month to accelerate repayment and it will be paid off by the time I retire.

  7. Good call on figuring out why you got into debt in the first place. And you really need to despise it if you’re going to kill it. No one ever said “I’m going to kill my debt by going out and feeling indifferent about it. YEAH!!!” Doesn’t work that way. You need to see it for the slimy, life-sucking leech that it is, pull out the sword and chop it’s head off! (sorry for the graphic illustration)….. 🙂

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