Hello and welcome back for Part 3 of our 3 Part blog series on the Top 10 Best Ways to pay off your debt. We’ve already given you 6 excellent ways to do it and, in today’s final blog, we have 4 more, so let’s get started. Enjoy.
- Use the threat of bankruptcy to renegotiate terms with your creditors.
While this might sound a bit unethical or even sleazy, the fact is that if you’re deep in debt and have nowhere to go except bankruptcy, letting your creditors know this might be the impetus they need to work with you. The first thing you need to do is let them know about your situation and tell them that, unless they’re able to renegotiate their terms with you, bankruptcy will be your only choice. Once they know this you can ask for a new and, hopefully, lower repayment schedule, or a lower interest rate.
What you want to do is let them know that, unless they help you, they won’t be getting anything. In most situations you’ll find that creditors will do everything they can to protect themselves from getting nothing. Most will be more than willing to negotiate if they’re fearful that they won’t get any money and, frankly, you really don’t have anything to lose from asking.
- Borrow money from your 401(k) to pay down your debt.
Most 401(k) savings plans offered by employers allow you to borrow as much as 50% of the face value of the account, or $50,000, whichever is the smaller number. Since interest rates are usually one or two points above prime, they are instantly cheaper than the interests on almost all credit cards. This makes using money from your 401(k) to pay down your debt an excellent option. Interestingly enough, the interest that you pay is not only lower but you pay it to yourself, not the lender, which is extra gravy for the goose.
- File for bankruptcy.
This is really your last resort but, if there’s simply no way to pay down your debt using the other eight ways that we talked about in these 3 blogs, you might not have any other choice.
Be aware that declaring bankruptcy comes with a number of substantial disadvantages, including the fact that your credit report will keep your bankruptcy on file for at least 10 years. This will make it extremely hard for you to get credit during that time. Also, most people don’t realize that it actually costs money to file for bankruptcy and, if you’re flat broke, you might not actually be able to.
Bankruptcy laws have gotten much tougher in the last few years also and, while you might be able to file, you might not be able to get 100% relief from all of your debts. For example, child support, alimony, student loans, legal judgments against petitioner and taxes aren’t discharged when you file for bankruptcy.
- Don’t go into debt to begin with.
While many of you might be saying “well duh”, the simple fact is that if you don’t go into debt you won’t ever have to get out of debt. That might be easier said than done but the fact is that nobody’s holding a gun to your head and telling you that you have to max out your credit cards, purchase the most expensive automobile on the lot or spend every last dime that you learn.
If you’ve learned anything from our 3 Part blog series, hopefully it’s that paying down debt isn’t easy. If you want to make your life much easier, do your very best to not go into debt to begin with.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this 3 Part Blog series and that it’s opened your eyes to the options that you have. If you have questions or comments, drop us an email or leave a comment and we’ll get back to you ASAP with answers and information.