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Bloggers Best Advice For Managing Debt

Bloggers Best Advice For Managing Debt 22 Comments
managing debt advice

How does debt really build up? One might feel like he or she is doing everything in order to keep his budget in place and never fall into the trap of overspending but still not get it right. Many others cannot manage to pay their student debt and others their mortgage loan Whether this matter turns out to be a financial one or turns to affect your personal life; a successful debt management can really save the day.

We asked the top bloggers in the finance world to share their viewpoints on how to efficiently manage debt and here are their pieces of advice:

 Peter Anderson (Bible Money Matters)

My best advice for managing debt is to get out of debt as soon as you possibly can. A lot of people get caught up in trying to find the right debt management program to use, or finding a debt program that fits their lifestyle perfectly. I believe it really comes down to finding and choosing a program, any program, as soon as possible to get out of debt, and then putting a plan in action. The longer you put off making a change and putting in place a plan for getting out of debt, the worse off you’ll be. Peter’s top debt free strategies:

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Lance Cothern (Money Manifesto) 

My best advice for managing debt is to always be aware of everything about how much you owe. Know who you owe, how much you owe, what the minimum payment is, what the interest rate is, whether the interest rate is fixed or variable and any other important information. When you have this list, it’s easy to see if you have a debt problem, which debt you should pay off first and how to go about paying off your debt.

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Doug Schantz (Cheap Scholar)

I spend most of my time working with college students. As such, I always advise them to live like a college student while they are in college so they don’t have to live like one afterwards. Being vigilant and making good financial decisions each day (no matter how big or small) will go a long way when it comes to managing debt.

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Todd Tresidder (Financial Mentor) 

Debt is a personal problem masquerading in financial clothing. That’s why it’s so deceptively difficult to solve. When you just pay off your balances, you relieve the painful symptoms. But the underlying condition that put you in debt in the first place still lurks under the surface like an insidious cancer ready to return. Debt’s real cause is personal life habits and attitudes that result in overspending. In other words, the true solution is personal – not financial.

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michelleMichelle Schroeder-Gardner

  (Making Sense of Cents)

My best advice for managing debt is to first realize why you went into debt. By understanding this, you’ll better learn about your situation so that you can prevent going into debt in the future. Debt can be a vicious cycle, so it’s best to learn how to stop it as soon as you can!

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Hank Coleman   (Money Q and A)

In order to manage your debt, you have to know exactly how much debt and at what interest rate your debt charges you. Too many people hide their heads in the sand and don’t even know how much they owe overall.

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Tracie FobesTracie Fobes (Penny Pinchin’ Mom)

First of all you need to own. Whether it came from medical issues, being laid off or overspending, it is your debt. Once you can do that, you can start to focus on your debts and pay them off one by one.

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Fitz Villafuerte (

Focus on how to make more money, rather than wasting time in worrying about how to pay your debt. It sounds like common sense, but I’ve seen a lot of people become paralyzed by debt and spending days blaming themselves for incurring it. Instead, snap out of the self-pity and worry, then ask yourself, “What can I do to make more money?”

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Holly Johnson (Club Thrifty)

Start using a zero-sum budget. When you give each dollar “a job,” you’ll eliminate waste and have more cash to pay off debt.

Scott Bilker (Debt Smart)

Always maintain as much in available credit as debt so you can actively transfer balances to lower rates. You need to get lower rates to save money. The best place to do that is with your current cards. It’s easier to call your current cards to negotiate lower rates than it is to get new credit cards.


Michael Kitces (Nerd’s Eye View at Kitces)

You can repay your debt, but you have to BELIEVE you can in order to succeed. Consider paying off your smallest debt first – whatever it is – so you can feel a real sense of progress when that debt is ELIMINATED. Then build towards tackling the bigger ones next.

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Charles King (Finance News Pro)

1. Cut spending
Obviously, there are things you have to buy, such as food and clothing, but getting serious about getting out of debt requires that you cut down on other things. For instance, maybe you can cut out a weekly pub visit or two and direct the savings toward paying off your debt.

2. Cut up your cards
This is a drastic move, but if you don’t have ready access to credit cards, you are unlikely to spend money you don’t have. Keep one card for emergencies, and destroy the rest.

3. Get a plan
To get rid of your debt, you’ve got to have a plan for paying it down. There are different methods you can use. Some people like to concentrate on paying off the smallest debt first because you get it paid off faster and get a psychological boost. Another method is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, which saves you the most money in the long run.

4. Don’t pay late
Making late payments not only hurts your credit score, it also adds late fees and finance charges to your bill that make it more difficult to get it paid off.

5. Ask about lower interest rates
If you have good credit and have been making your payments on time, ask your credit card company if it will consider lowering your interest rate. This will lower the amount of finance charges you have to pay every month, which will help you pay off your debt faster.

6. Consolidate balances
If you get an offer for a balance transfer with a lower interest rate, take a good, long look. If it offers a significantly lower interest rate, it’s likely worth it, even if there are fees involved. The lower interest rate will save you money over the long run.

7. Direct any extra money to debt
If you get a bonus at work or unexpectedly inherit money from aunt Frances, use all or most of it to pay off debt. It may be tempting to buy a new TV or finally get season tickets for your local football club, but paying your debt should be your priority.

8. Find ways to generate extra money
While unexpected found money is great, it’s not realistic to expect some. Instead, make your own luck. See if there are any extra shifts you can pick up at work or sell some stuff you don’t need.

9. Use a rewards card
This takes discipline, and if you are in debt because of out-of-control spending habits it could be risky, but getting a cash-back rewards card could help you cut your debt. The trick is only to use the card for necessary purchases — food, petrol, etc. — and then pay the bill in full every month. You can use the cash back you generate to help pay down your debt.

10. Ask for help
If your efforts aren’t paying off fast enough, don’t be afraid to ask a family member for help paying off your bills. The worst that can happen is they say no.

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Chris Holdheide (Stumble Forward)

My advice would be to watch out for debt creep. This is where you might buy something for someone else and they pay you back in cash but you don’t pay the money back to your credit card but rather spend it on something else. A good example of this for me is at Christmas time my in-laws don’t like to buy stuff online so I help them out and they usually pay me back in cash. The problem comes when you don’t use the money to pay off the credit card but rather spend it on something else. Over time these debts can add up big time.

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Wealth Artisan

If you use debt, use it to purchase assets. The mistake most people make is using debt to finance everyday life. You don’t need to finance your Amazon shopping. Yes, you can use debt to intelligently consume (e.g. getting reward points for using your credit card), but most people don’t handle this very well. If the majority of people did pay their balance off immediately without interest, those reward programs would disappear quickly. Debt can be used to start a business or buy an appreciating asset. Those things will continue to provide you value even after the debt payments are complete. If you finance a huge TV, by the time you’re done paying it off, the TV is largely worthless.

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Edwin C (Daily Finance Options)

It can take mere minutes to get into debt, but it can take you years to get out of it. My advice is to take it slow but don’t ever give up the fight.


Brave New Life

Don’t have any. Seriously. College debt and a home mortgage are the only two acceptable debts. Ever. And even then, you should carefully consider how much debt you should take on (will you get a positive ROI on your college degree?) and work to pay off the debt as soon as possible. No debt for cars and no long term credit card debt – ever.


John Schmoll (Frugal Rules)

My best advice is something I learned when paying off my debt. Set aside a certain amount each month to do something just for you. Paying off debt can take a long time and it’s difficult to deprive yourself the entire time and the last thing you want to do is give in to debt fatigue and not kill your debt. I was taught by someone the power of doing something for myself once a month to help keep me going. In the beginning, it was $10 a month that I’d use to go see a movie or go out for a meal. It was simple, but it kept me going during the times I wanted to give up. The amount will be different for each person and you may also want to choose a different period of time, such as once a quarter, but I found it very helpful in killing debt.

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Derek Sall (Life and My Finances)

Focus – Stop worrying about everything and just focus on one thing, getting out of debt. Once you put your focus on paying off that debt each and every day, there will be no stopping you.

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Andrew Hallam (Andrew Hallam) Andrew

Declare war against it. First, look for the weakest enemy soldier. That might be a credit card with the smallest outstanding balance. Crush the debt with the smallest outstanding balance first while paying the minimum on everything else. This will give you confidence and it will frighten your other debts (when they see what a ruthless bad-ass you are). Those other debts will say, “My God, I might be next!” Then go after your next smallest debt and ruthlessly obliterate it. Put your progress where you can see it every morning. Put the enemy’s name down on a piece of paper. Tape it to the cupboard where you select your shirts in the morning. Write what the debt is, then every month, keep a running tally to document (and help you visualize) your progress towards victory.

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Peter Christopher (Finance Care Guide)

All you need to be thoughtful with your money and manage it carefully. Getting out of debt starts with understanding your financial situation and priorities.

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 Preston Clark (Best Finance Network)

If your debt amount is huge, your creditors are many & you are a layman in terms of financial knowledge then you must go for debt settlement. This process will help you to get rid of debt in a better way.

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Kurt Fischer  (My Money Counselor

If you’re not already in debt, then establish a robust emergency fund. That’s the best way to head off being forced to borrow at credit card interest rates to pay an unexpected expense. If you are in over your head credit card or other high-interest debt, make an appointment with a certified credit counselor at a non-profit agency. For most people most of the time, a Debt Management Plan, which the counseling agency can administer for you, is the best way to repay high-interest debt. The counselor will explain all the details or suggest other options as appropriate.

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Dr. Jason Cabler (Celebrating Financial Freedom)

My best advice is not to manage it, but to get rid of it for good! I think too many people believe that debt is just a normal part of life, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you develop the mindset that debt is not something to manage, but something to avoid, that’s when you really start winning financially!

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Stephonee (Poorer Than You)

Create several “small wins” for yourself as soon as possible. Research shows that a series of small wins (bam bam bam!) right out of the gate is the best way to get motivated and stay motivated. For some people, this means knocking out a few debts with a low balance, even if those debts are not necessarily the ones with the highest interest rates. But there are other ways to create small wins for yourself! When I was paying off credit card debt, I downloaded my statements to see all of the individual purchases that made up my balance. Every time I made a payment, I crossed off the purchases that were now paid off. It made every payment into a small win!

Bert Martinez (Bert Martinez)

Money is an emotion. Debt is an emotion too. How you feel is more important than what you know. If you face debt with confidence your decisions are different than if you face debt with fear – does that make sense? Also, keep in mind that not all debt is bad, the right person can do many wonderful things with the right kinds of debt. Getting into debt for fashion or clothing could be bad debt, however, getting in debt for a real estate investment that produces income could be a very smart decision.

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Pauline Paquin (Reach Financial Independence)

Start by paying off your highest-interest debt first. It is the most costly and will be cheaper than making extra payments on all your debt at the same time. Paying off $1,000 on a 20% interest credit card compared to $1,000 on a 3% mortgage is a $170 saving over 12 months.

Shannyn Allan (Frugal Beautiful)

Join a Facebook group for support! Sometimes it can be challenging to find support with your local friend networks, or sharing that debt information might feel too personal. Connect with people on Twitter or Facebook so you can have a network of support, and ask questions to help stay on track for your goals!

Ginger (Girls Just Wanna Have Funds)

Be smart about your dept repayment and the dance with credit card companies and collections agencies. Put as much extra money as you can towards your monthly payments to avoid paying exorbitant amounts of interest. Understand and use the statute of limitations in your state to your advantage (avoid paying zombie debt) and really begin to gain some insight into how you ended up deep in debt in the first place. Without that you’ll end up back in debt again in short order.

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Ben Reynolds (Sure Dividend)

High interest rate debt should be eliminated before investing. It doesn’t make to invest for (in a favorable scenario) 10% returns when you have debt charging you 15% or 20% a year in interest. Paying off high interest rate debt is very important to your financial health. First, create a budget. Then, pay off your budgeted amount of debt at the beginning of the month rather than the end. Debts should be paid off in order of interest rates, from highest to lowest.


J. Money (Rockstar Finance

The best thing that got my money straight was taking a 40 day “no spend” challenge. Where I wasn’t allowed to spend money on anything outside of necessities (bills, mortgage, food (not take out), etc). I started it to just save for a bit, but little did I know it would completely change my habits going forward as I didn’t realize how often I’d go shopping when I was bored! And I quickly found out that if I don’t physically walk into a store I magically don’t spend any money 😉 I’ve since saved at least $200/mo changing my patterns. So if you’re strugling with debt or just spending too much in general, I highly recommend giving it a shot for a month and seeing what you uncover.

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Barbara A. Friedberg (Personal Finance)

Cut up your cards. Cut back non-essential spending. Commit to huge loan repayments until debt is gone.


Trent Hamm (The Simple Dollar)

Stop adding more debt! Put the credit cards away completely, build up a little emergency fund, learn how to live without debt, and start chipping away. You’ll never make progress if you keep adding debt!


Eric Rosenberg (Personal Profitability)

Managing and getting out of debt requires a long-term view and short-term action. Create a plan to pay off your debt over time, but always take advantage of lump income to make faster progress. When I had $40,000 in student loans, I paid as much as possible every payday automatically, then I put 100% of any tax refund or bonus right into my loans. That helped me pay off my debt in two years and six days.

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Jon Dulin (Money Smart Guides

My best advice for managing debt is to be smart about it. The more debt you take on, the more you have to work and earn a living so that you can repay the debt. On the other hand, if you avoid debt, you can save the money you earn and as a result, you can work less or potentially not work at all and live off your savings. The less debt you have, the more options you have in life. So only take on debt if you need to, but at the same time, try to limit it as much as possible.

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Michael James (Michael James on Money)

Don’t get into debt in the first place! Debt for a house or education is acceptable, but almost all other debts are a bad idea. For those already burdened with debt, the plan should be to get out of debt and stay out permanently. Work out a budget covering all expenses including debt repayments. Include an extra amount in your budget as a buffer. Unplanned for things come up regularly. You need a buffer to cover the unexpected. If you don’t spend your buffer one month, put it in your emergency fund. Once your debt is gone, your debt repayments can become savings.


Andrew Schrage (Money Crashers

My best advice for managing debt is to get yourself on a budget. Use an online resource such as Mint or create an Excel spreadsheet. That way, you’ll have a better idea of where you money is going each month. Then, do some online research to find ways to cut your monthly bills. There are plenty of strategies for reducing utility, grocery, and even cable TV expenses. Once those strategies are implemented, you should have some extra cash to send in towards your debts. That’s the best way to manage but more importantly reduce your debts.


DJ (My Money Design)

My advice for managing debt is to handle it while not forsaking your other financial goals.
If you’ve got a lot of high-interest debt, then – okay – put a priority on getting out from underneath it. But if you’ve got lower interest debt, then pay it off in chunks that are as manageable as possible.
One of the classic examples I’ve seen of this is when people will put all of their attention on paying off their mortgage. Great goal! But then I learn that they are hardly contributing anything to their retirement plans. Again, even though you’re doing a wonderful thing by eliminating your loan that probably carries a 4 percent APR, you’re doing so at the expense of getting an 33 percent more in savings by passing up tax-deferred savings; investments that could be earning 8 to 10 percent per year on average. On top of that, they may not even be getting their full 401(k) employer matching. That’s just leaving money on the table. All-in-all, consider your options from multiple angles.

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Aaron (Three Thrifty Guys)three thrifty guys

What has worked for me is the snowball method – where you pay off the smallest balance first and then add that amount that you were paying on to the next smallest balance and keep rolling those payments on to the remaining debts.


Denise Caggiano (Coupons for Your Family)

The simplest and most successful practice for paying off debt is to spend less and earn more in order to pay off your existing debt. In order to start this practice, you need to know your income and expenses by way of a budget process.

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Derek Lim (The Finance

Don’t procrastinate. Seek help.


Lisa W. (Dealicious Mom)

Let Tech Help Manage Your Debt! Are you actively paying off debt? Are your budgets the same as last year? Are you saving as much as you’d like? If your answer to any of these questions is not a resounding “yes”, put yourself on a debt management plan with any of these free financial tools:

1) Illuminate is an iPhone app that helps you prioritize paying off your debts, project debt payoff dates, create and manage budgets for different spending categories, and identify opportunities to save more money.

2) Unbury.Me offers a simple and straightforward calculator tool to help you regain your financial footing and two different debt payoff strategies. The app is free and no login is required.

3) The Debt Eliminator is an online calculator and customized plan created by financial guru Suze Orman. Unlike some of the other tools out there, any information you input into this
calculator isn’t stored or saved. Simply type in your name, the number of credit cards and other loans you have, and how much additional money (if any) can be put toward your debts.

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Anthony Kirlew (Fiscally Sound) 

I believe that budgeting is very simple (in principal). The key is to make sure that your income is greater than your expenses, otherwise, you will be getting further in the hole every month. If not, I would first suggest looking at how you can cut expenses. as this does not require as much effort as generating additional income. Second, look at how you can bring in additional income. Having a side hustle is a great way to generate income, just be cautious with regard to start-up and ongoing expenses associated with running a side business. Lastly, make sure you use a debt snowball to eliminate your debts at the most rapid pace.


Shafi Farooq (Doable Finance)

Use credit wisely.


Evan (My Journey to Millions) 

Figure out why you have it


Leslie O’Connor (Leslie Beslie)

Don’t look at debt as “the enemy” or “a disease”. It is just one small factor in your overall, long-term financial growth.

Juan Carlos Moya (Millionaire Dad)

Spend within your means, if you are able to have some extra € after your monthly expenses then you are on the right track. If you have a consistent debt that needs to be paid pay the credit cards with higher Interest rate and then follow these tips.


Joy (Her Every Cent Counts)

The best thing you can do in order to manage debt is to make more money. You can try to spend less, but at some point you will run out of lattes to cut. If you have a full-time job already, see how you can move to a new organization and obtain a significant pay raise. If you like your job and don’t want to change it, but have some extra time, use this to obtain a second job in the gig economy, such as riding for a rideshare service or delivering food. You don’t need to do this forever, but getting out of debt and being able to start investing your money as soon as possible is extremely important. This isn’t always possible for every person as each situation is unique, but esp if you are a new college grad with student loans, pay them off fast and get above water.

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Derek Olsen (How Do I Money) 

Make crushing your debt your new hobby. Focus all your attention on getting rid of it as fast as you can.


Dividend Growth Investor

My best advice would be to live within your means, in order to avoid getting into debt. When spending is lower than earnings, a nice surplus is created that could be used for retirement, specific needs etc.
Before getting into debt for a major purchase such as a house for example, make sure you can afford the payments. It is always helpful to have a cushion, or a healthy level of safety just in case. You want to know your debt to income ratio, in order to have some breathing room in your finances just in case.
If you are in debt, however, you need to calculate how much money you owe. You want to make sure you pay bills, and payments on your debt on time using reminders as much as possible. Always try to pay off credit cards on time. Know your credit limits, and do not go above them. You also want to rank your debt by interest rate and pay off the one with the highest interest rate first. Those who have a high-interest rate debt, consider if you qualify for lower interest rates. An example includes doing an interest-free balance transfer from one credit card to another so that you can cut the interest rate you pay. Another example includes refinancing a mortgage if interest rates have declined. Depending on the severity on a debt crunch, consider cutting some expenses or perhaps find a second job. Be careful about obtaining new debt.


Denny Jones (Personal Finance Opinions

Simply we should make all payments on time and we should avoid excess uses of credit cards. We can make a healthy budget where we can include the necessary items for the month and we need to stick to it. Also, we need to avoid going outside for dinner or lunch all the time. If we can follow few tips like these and go through a frugal living path then definitely we can manage our debts.


Mark Seed  (My Own Advisor)

Before you seek out credit counseling, before contacting debt settlement companies, before you run to financial programs – do all you can on your own. That means figure out your spending habits and track your spending. You can’t fix something in life until you define the problem. Define your debt. How much have you been overspending? On what? Where? When? Why? These are answers you can arrive at on your own. Besides, it’s cheaper to arrive at these answers on your own instead of paying someone else to do it. By understanding your spending habits and having a detailed list of where your money goes, you can get a better handle on debt. You can put a plan in plan to manage it – to avoid it managing you.
Figure out why you have it


Philip Taylor (PT Money)

If you don’t have debt, do your best to avoid it. It only hand-cuffs your future self. If you have debt, pay it off….sooner rather than later. If simply living beyond your means was the cause of your debt, try to understand why you are doing this and what you can do to fix it. When paying off debt, focus on the debt with the smallest balance first – throwing all of your extra money at it until it’s paid off. Then move to the next debt. Rinse and repeat until you are debt free. Trim your expenses and look or ways to bring in extra money as a way to speed up the process.

Ivan Widjaya (Aseponde)

Following the experts’ advice, my best advice would be to pay for debt that carries the biggest interest rate first. This will significantly lowering your interest payments for the coming months. One warning: Once you repaid your biggest debt – e.g. credit card debts – make sure that you never, ever use it again until you pay off all of your debts. Break the cycle, and reprogram your mindset when it comes to taking (bad) debts.


Victoria Hay (Funny About Money) 

My best advice is not to get into debt. If you can’t pay for it with cash dollah, don’t buy it. Pay off credit cards in full at the end of each month. If you don’t have enough self-discipline to keep charges in the affordable range, then don’t have a credit card.

Build an emergency fund to cover large surprises: automatically transfer as much as you can afford into a savings account each month — $50 to $200 would probably be good. Also build a car purchase fund: select the car of your dreams (or nightmares); figure out what the monthly payment would be; and then set that amount aside in a savings account. If you can afford to indebt yourself to that amount, then you can afford a monthly set-aside BEFORE you get yourself into that much debt.

Sometimes that’s not practical. In most American cities, you must have a car to get around. In that case, OK…buy the thing on time. But be CERTAIN that you can prepay the loan’s principal. Then throw every extra penny that comes your way into the principal: credit-card kickbacks, tax refunds, gifts from Mom, pay from a side gig, yard sale proceeds, whatever: it all goes against principal. Also set up the loan so you can autopay every two weeks. This will add two extra payments per year, accelerating the payoff date by a few months. Every little bit helps.

As soon as the car is paid off, start putting the equivalent of the payments into savings. If you had a five-year loan, then in another five years you should have about enough to pay for a similar car in cash. Since most cars last longer than five years, this strategy may allow you to buy a fancier ride next time. Or, given the rate at which car makers are jacking up prices, at least you can get a car of equal quality.

You’ve already run up debt on credit cards? Bad basselope! Don’t do that anymore! Stop charging immediately. If you don’t have the cash to buy something, don’t buy it. Pay off the cards one at a time: pay the required minimum on every card, and then, starting with the card that has the highest interest, pay down the debt with every penny you can collect. Once that’s done, move to the card with the next-highest interest rate…and so on. It’s surprising how fast you can pay off cards that way. You’ll have to live like a monk until you get it done…but that’s good training for life in the real world.

Don’t cut up the cards after you’ve paid them off. The lines of credit and the proof that you DO pay your debts will help your credit rating. Use cards only for emergencies or, if you have the self-discipline, charge only what you can pay off at the end of the month — and pay each bill in full.


Finance Guy

That is a big question and could certainly lead to a few pages of thought. But I will leave it at this… If you are managing the debt then you are doing alright. If the debt is managing you then there is a problem.


Anthony Middleton (Man Vs Clock) 

With the subject of achieving goals; I always tell people that they need to have a good enough reason WHY, or they will inevitably fail at the first hurdle. Merely wanting something is simply not good enough, but once you attach a strong emotion to it – that being the reason why you want to become debt-free – this will keep you focused when you’re feeling weak and about to give in.

For me, becoming debt-free was the first step towards never having to work for anyone ever again. I absolutely hate being an employee and I wanted to become my own boss as badly as I wanted to breathe, eat, drink and sleep. I was completely insatiable about making this happen and therefore I did.

Just writing numbers on an excel sheet and tapping away on a calculator is a recipe for disaster for most people. We are creatures of heightened emotion – so tap into that and you will become a force. Find your reason why – It could be looking into your child’s eyes and promising them a better life. The thought of taking your loved one on holiday. Providing you and your family with nutritious, healthy food, which nourishes your bodies. That’s totally your call, but whatever it is – fantasise and obsess over it and you will have a better crack at achieving your goal of becoming debt-free

Ben Rome (Young Finance Guy)

Proper debt management can do wonders for an individual’s wealth. Use debt only when the leverage allows you to safely build more wealth than you would be able to without using the debt. The idea is really as simple as that and that principle guides the financing decisions of all the big companies we watch grow and become bigger and bigger every day. No doubt we have to be careful with what kind of debt we use and how we use it. Overall the American people don’t do a great job. We have over a trillion dollars in credit card debt that we pay interest on at 19.4%. That is not a good use of debt. You can see more of the stats here: Use low-interest debt that you can easily pay back and only use it when there is a good reason to do so. For instance buying a home with a mortgage loan is a great use of debt. Just think out your financing decisions and you will already be ahead of the game.

Kalen Bruce (Money Mini Blog)

There is no reason to manage debt. Eliminate all debt (with the possible exception of a mortgage) and save for large purchases. When you save for large purchases, you can earn interest. If you buy large items on credit, you pay interest. Seems like a no-brainer! You can pay off your debt with the Debt Snowball or the Debt Avalanche. Snowball: Sort your debt by payment size. Pay off the debt with the smallest payment first. Then put that payment towards the next smallest debt. Continue until debt free. Avalanche: Same as the snowball, except you sort by interest rate (highest to lowest). The Snowball is better for more emotional people who need to see small wins, the Avalanche is better for more analytical people who need to see the numbers that make the most sense. It’s that simple. Well, simple to grasp, but not as simple to accomplish. Stick with it, pay off your debt, and you won’t have to worry about managing it.


Renée (Nickel by Nickel)

Pay it off highest balance first or snowball, whatever motivates you best, but pay it off and don’t take on further debt. Interest adds up incredibly fast.

Usiere Uko (Financial Freedom Inspiration)

Pay yourself first (you are your number one creditor), then eliminate the smaller debts first. That will give you momentum and more funds to tackle the bigger ones. Then go and sin no more 🙂


Steve (Think Save Retire)

Don’t get into it in the first place, but if it happens, prioritize paying off your debt over everything else. Personal debt murders our chances of building serious wealth, and the quicker that we get rid of it, the easier it’ll be to “get rich”. Setup automated transfers from your bank account to your indebted accounts. Make it automatic so you don’t even have to think about it. It just happens, every month, without fail.

Joe Taxpayer (JoeTaxpayer)

Managing debt starts with planning. There are really 2 simple steps to success. First, the budget. If you are spending more than you earn, you are digging yourself in deeper, and first need to review all your spending. This is a huge first step as it will make clear what is a need vs a want. The budget process identifies past spending and then creates a livable plan for spending that includes a reasonable amount for debt repayment. This is where you start to look at the $100 night out and remind yourself that this $100 is going to cost you $18/yr for years to come. Next, you line up all debt and after making minimum payments, take the extra money and apply it to the highest interest rate debt.
This is the simplest way to describe a process that can fill volumes of books by financial authors.

Selena Ray (The Debt Darling)

Having focused intensity is the best thing you can do in managing your debt. Pick the smallest debt and go at it with a vengeance! Any extra money that comes in is not money to spend, but money towards debt. This works!

Mrs. Money (Ultimate Money Blog)

Don’t live beyond your means. If your expenses exceed your income, you’ll be in a trap and it’s really hard to get out of debt and stay out of debt when that’s the case.

Big Cajun Man (Canadian Personal Finance Blog)

Live like you did when you were a student, and don’t succumb to lifestyle creep. You don’t have to keep up with anyone.

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Martin Dasko  (Studenomics)

Make a public commitment to paying off your debt. Add this on your social media so that your friends hold you accountable.

Miranda Marquit (Planting Money Seeds)

Make sure your debt plan is sustainable. It doesn’t do you much good to put a bunch of money toward your debt if you run into an emergency later and have to use your credit cards. While we all want to get rid of debt as quickly as possible, it’s important to take a step back and make sure we can sustain our efforts over time. You want to make sure you can handle small emergencies and pay your other bills. Otherwise, you just get stuck in the same old cycle.

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Shane & Jaime (Coupons and Freebies Mom)

When thinking about debt in general, remember there is more to finances than just debt. While debt reduction and elimination are a great focus, don’t forget to also examine your assets and be thankful for all the things you have already paid off (or almost paid off, depending on your circumstances). Successful debt reduction is just as much psychological as it is financial. The right state of mind can change everything for you, so remember to stay positive and “stop and smell the roses” along the way.

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John Wedding (Mighty Bargain Hunter)

If you can’t avoid getting into debt in the first place, then accelerate the payments to get rid of the debt. The minimum payment amount will keep you on the hook for a long time.

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Jenny Kerr (The Penny Pincher)

My go to answer in the past would have been to pay off the debt as quickly as possible and not accumulate it any more debt. While I don’t necessarily disagree with that advice, I’ve come to realize there is more to the story we need to consider.

My first question would be “How do you feel about that debt?”. If your only debt is a home that you absolutely love and you are making extra payments on it to get it paid off quickly, I’d give you an internet high five and say you are on the right track. Or if your debt is a modest car loan that gets you to and from your dream job so you are able to pay your bills and work towards your personal goals, again I’d say great work! Do what you can to get your debt paid off as fast as you can, but don’t feel bad about using debt in a reasonable way to go after what makes you happy.

However, if your debt brings up a lot of guilt, shame & fear because you feel like you have too much of it (since you bought things you didn’t really need and later didn’t end up wanting) and you’re worried how you are going to pay that debt off, I’d say it’s time to take a look at your behavior and begin making changes to the way you do things. My first piece of advice would be to stop accumulating debt that you don’t feel good about. Stop buying things you don’t need, create a budget to direct where your money will go each month and get to work doing what you can to pay off your debt quickly. This may mean selling things, taking on extra jobs or whatever creative ideas you can come up with to get yourself to a better place as fast as possible.

While most of us don’t want to carry or accumulate any debt, we also don’t want to work for 30-40 years and deprive ourselves of everything. Sometimes it’s necessary to go into debt in order to move to the next steps in life. Sometimes it’s necessary to cut back and get rid of the debt we’ve accumulated for the wrong reasons. There is a fine balance between the two and your mission is to find that balance that works best for you. This definitely won’t be the same for everyone!

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Financial Samurai

Never get into consumer debt. If you can’t afford to pay in cash or pay in full your monthly credit card bill, don’t buy it. Credit card interest rates are highway robbery. Keep mortgage debt below 30% of net income.

Jonathan Ping (My Money Blog)

Build yourself a cash cushion to avoid having to take on more debt in the future.

Andrew Henderson (Nomad Capitalist)

My best advice is not to have debt. I prefer businesses that produce cash early on, so you don’t have to go into debt financing them. And if you have debt, consider living somewhere more affordable (digital nomad style) to put more of your earnings to pay it off… from the smallest debt to the largest debt.

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Matt Bell (Matt About Money)

At very least, “fix” your payments. If you have a balance on a credit card you’re trying to pay off, and if you don’t charge any more, your required minimum payment will go down a little bit each month. Isn’t that kind of the credit card company? Of course, it isn’t kindness; it’s math. Your minimum payment is based on a percentage of your balance, and if your balance is going down a little each month, so will your required minimum payment. If you accept the kindness of the credit card company and pay a little less each month, you’ll stay in debt for approximately forever. But if you just fix your payment on the amount due this month, you’ll greatly cut down the time it’ll take you to wipe out that debt. Of course, even better if you can pay more than the minimum, but at very least, fix your minimum payments.

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Stephanie (Graduated Learning)

Lay out all your debts in front of you, no matter how big or how small. Credit cards, student loans, car loans, mortgage, etc. Look at which debts carry the highest interest rates, and try to pay those down first. This is usually the credit cards. Continue to pay the monthly payments for the rest of your debts, but direct your extra dollars towards that highest interest debt. Once you’ve paid the first one off, start on the next one!
It’s important you have a plan, and also try your hardest to not accumulate additional debts while paying off these!


Tyrone Solee (Millionarie Acts)

The best advice I always give consists of only four words: EARN MORE and DESIRE LESS.

Earn more by transferring into a higher-paying job or have multiple sources of income by taking in freelance jobs and investing your money for it to grow.

Desire less by means of budgeting, prioritizing needs versus wants, and always live below your means. In this way, managing debt requires not only skills but also discipline.

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Christopher Burns (This That and The MBA)

Look at the whole picture, when you are sitting there looking at how much debt it can be daunting, but you need to keep in mind the big picture.  After looking at all of the debt, look at income sources and monthly expenses and see where you can trim.  Once you have a clear grasp of the big picture, look at the individual balances and start aggressively tackling some of the smaller balances.  The smaller victories will not only boost your morale, but they will also get rid of some of the smaller minimum payments so that you can focus on the larger debts.   I am sure you have heard of this tactic before, some like to call it the debt snowball method.

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Joe Udo (Retire By 40)

Honestly, I hate debt so my advice is to pay them off as soon as you can. Pay off the highest interest debts first and then work your way down the list. The only exception to this would be the mortgage. Almost everyone needs to get a mortgage when they buy a house so it’s almost unavoidable. Luckily, the interest rate is still low so I think mortgage debt is neutral. Just pay your mortgage off a month at a time.



  1. Hey Kostas,

    Thank you for including me in your debt management panel. I hope it helps your readers out. I think one additional take away people can have from this is that there is plenty of free advice if people will just ask. No one has to go it alone. It’s great that so many of the top financial blogs came out to offer their advice.

  2. This is an amazing collection of knowledge! Thanks for including me in this post.

  3. Wow, what an impressive set of suggestions! These are some smart people! I am honored and humbled to be included; I can learn something from each of these folks I think.

  4. Debt is used by many corporations and individuals as a method of making large earnings. If you haven’t repay the loan plus interest on time, these might affect your business. The tips you describe in this article are fantastic. Thanks!

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