What are your tips to start paying off debt?

Apparently with the unemployment rate remaining high, families are struggling with their bills. While I’m not in that struggling category, it’s getting harder and harder to stay afloat.

I’m working on a paying off all my credit card debit in the next 3 years, and I think a good amount of debt will be paid off within the next 1 1/2 years. Although I realize I can pay off debt more quickly by starting with the cards with the highest interest rate, I like being able to “see” progress, so I’m starting with the cards with the lowest balances.

But those of you who have more debt and are having trouble paying even the minimum balances, more drastic measures may be appropriate. You’re probably trying to determine the differences between Debt Consolidation or Credit Counseling, and which of the 2 is more beneficial.

Although credit counseling usually has lower fees than debt consolidation, it can take up to 5 years to pay off the debt, the minimums payments may be higher than you can really afford, and you’ll need to pay off your entire balance plus additional interest.

With debt consolidation, you can reduce your principal balances and pay off your debt in 48 months or less. You also have the opportunity to have lower, affordable monthly payments, which is very important.

If you were to tell a friend 1 thing that helped you start the path to paying off debt, what advice would you give?

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