Six Simple Steps to Reduce Personal Debt

Paying off your bad debt so you can build great wealth

When my first business failed, I personally had over $1 million in debt that needed to be paid off. Those were hard times for Kim and me. For a short time we even lived in our car.

Having as much debt as we did, coupled with the emotions of losing my business, it would have been easy to roll over, get a good job, and give up on my dream of building a successful business. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t tempting.

Thankfully, we didn’t give into that temptation. Instead we made a plan.

Using all we had learned about money and how it worked, we looked for great opportunities to build our asset column—and eliminate our personal consumer debt—bad debt. By implementing this plan, we were completely debt free within a few years and on our way to financial freedom.

The following are the six simple steps you can use to eliminate your personal debt. If you implement them, they will work.

Step #1 – Lock it down

If you have credit cards with outstanding balances, discipline yourself to use only one or two credit cards. Any new charges must be paid off in full every month. Do not incur any more long-term debt.

Step #2 – Up the ante

Come up with $150 to $200 extra per month. If you have a good financial education and understand how to have money work for you, this should be relatively easy to do. If you can’t generate an additional $150 to $200 per month, then your chances for financial freedom may only be a pipe dream.

Step #3 – Focus on one

Apply the additional $150 to $200 to your monthly payment on only one of your credit cards. You will now pay the minimum payment plus the extra money on that one credit card.

Pay only the minimum amount due on all other credit cards. Often people try to pay a little extra each month on all their cards, but those cards surprisingly never get paid off.

Step #4 – Keep it rolling

Once the first card is paid off, apply the total amount you were paying each month on that card to your next credit card. You are now paying the minimum amount due on the second card plus the total monthly payment you were paying on your first credit card.

Continue this process with all your credit cards and other consumer-credit debt. With each debt you pay off, apply the full amount you were paying on that debt to the minimum payment of your next debt. As you pay off each debt, the monthly amount you are paying on the next debt will escalate.

Step #5 – Go big

Once all your credit cards and other consumer debt are paid off, continue the procedure with your car and house payments. If you follow this procedure, you will be amazed at the shortened amount of time it takes for you to be completely debt-free. Most people can be debt-free within five-to- seven years.

Step #6 – Build your wealth

Now that you are completely debt-free, take the monthly amount you were paying on your last debt, and put that money toward investments. Build your asset column.

That’s how simple it is.

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