Hello and welcome back for Part 2 of our 3 Part blog series on the Top 10 Best Ways to pay off debt. In Part 1 we gave you 2 excellent ways to pay down your debt, including something called “snowballing”. If you’re set to learn a few more excellent debt payment methods, let’s get started. Enjoy.
- Ask family or friends to lend you money.
This isn’t exactly a method that your financial advisor will give you (although some will) but asking a family member or friend to loan you money to pay down your debt is still a viable option. In most cases you’ll get an excellent interest rate (or maybe none at all) and a little bit of extra leeway in terms of time to pay them back. It would probably be an excellent idea to have a written agreement and a clearly established repayment schedule in order to make sure that you don’t end up with a ruined relationship and resentment. Other than that, if your rich Uncle Bob has the money, why not ask?
- Use your life insurance and borrow against it.
If you have life insurance with a cash value, you can borrow against that policy at rates that are typically far below those of commercial rates. You can also take a bit more time repaying the loan, but do repay it as fast as possible because, if you pass away before it’s been repaid, the outstanding balance that’s left on it will be deducted from the face value paid to the beneficiary, as well as interest. That might end up being a real burden on your loved ones, so do your best to pay it back as fast as you can.
- Take out a home equity loan.
Home equity loans have been used for years to help people pay for all sorts of things and paying off debt is one of them. If you’ve owned your home long enough that it’s accumulated equity, getting a home equity loan, or HEL, line of credit is an excellent idea. The reasons are two; using the loan to pay down your debt allows you to trade and 18% loan for a 6 or 7% loan and, if you fully itemize all deductions on your income tax returns, a home interest loan is usually deductible.
One problem that you definitely must avoid (and many don’t) is paying off your debts with a home equity loan and then starting to use the credit cards that you paid off, putting yourself into debt once again. The problem now however is that you not only have credit card debt you also have home equity loan debt. The point is, pay off your home equity loan before you start using those credit cards again.
- Use the cash in your savings account to pay down your debt.
Many people look at this option as unreasonable, but using cash from your savings (and other investments) to pay down debt actually makes sense. Think about it this way; unless your savings account and other investments are paying 18% (before federal and state taxes) the debt that you pay down using that money would actually be the same as getting an 18% return with very little risk. In fact, as the interest rate on your debt gets higher, paying it off with your savings becomes much more attractive.
That’s it for Part 2 of our 3 Part blog series on the Top 10 Ways to pay off your debt. We hope that some of the advice and ideas that you’ve heard have been helpful. If you have any questions you can drop us an email or leave a comment and will get back to you right away with information and answers. Of course be sure to come back for our final part, Part 3, soon.