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How To Get Out Of Credit Card Debt (On Your Own)

12 years agone, Linda together with I confronted our debt together with decided that we were going to pay off our credit pecker of fare debt on our ain (too fast if at all possible).

We were determined to brand the sacrifices necessary to eliminate it every fleck chop-chop as possible.

How to get out of credit card debt

We had $46k inward total debt (though not all was credit carte du jour debt), as good as we created a makeshift debt-reward programme that guided us to becoming debt-costless.

In our case, we were a little extreme (like budgeting only $45/week for food), but we really wanted to get our credit cards paid off ASAP!!

The skilful word is that for most people, you don’t maintain to brand massive lifestyle changes; you tin take the wearisome together with steady approach. It may have longer, but it volition alive a picayune less painful. Ultimately, it is upward to yous how fast you lot pay off your debt.

Looking back it was so clear that God was involved in the process. The miraculous speed with which we paid off our debt can only be attributed to God. As we stepped out in faith to pay off our debts, He came in and helped us pay it off so much quicker than I had calculated. Unexpected sources of income came in multiple times and shaved years off our debt payoff plan.

Free PDF Download

This exhaustive guide is really more like a short book (and you can just click hither to download the PDF version), or to create your life a scrap easier you lot tin tin click the links below to navigate through.

The problem with debt

Anyone who has really felt the effects of their debt tin understand why the Bible says that the “borrower is slave to the lender”.

The weight of that burden can have got terrible consequences.

Our Marriages

As we all know, money fights are ane of the biggest stressors on our marriages, and they are also 1 of the leading causes of divorce.

Our Joy

According to a 2007 survey yesteryear the American Psychological Association, Money problems are a leading source of stress for Americans.

Our Sleep

A recent study found people with high levels of debt were to a greater extent than xiii times every flake likely than depression or no-debt people to lose sleep at nighttime.

Our Physical Health

studies take hold got institute that high debt levels are associated with a broad get inward at of illnesses including ulcers, migraines, high blood push button per unit area, inwards add-on to pump attacks.

And with all these terrible side-effects, it is no wonder that so many people are choosing NOT to have got on whatsoever to a greater extent debt as good as trying to figure how to exit of debt every flake fast every scrap possible.

9 Benefits to Getting Out of Debt

Check out this video for ix of the best benefits we have constitute from getting out of debt:

How to get out of credit card debt on your own and fast

In this article, I am going to focus specifically on credit card debt, but the methods should work for most types of debt: pupil loans, auto loans, as good as even some medical debt.

And just so we are clear, this isn’t theory for me. These are things that Linda together with I lived through as well as did ourselves when we were working to pay off our credit carte debt.

Step 1: How much debt do you actually have?

Your mountain

Maybe you have been choosing to non human face upward your debt together with aspect to view how much yous owe?

If that’s you lot, it is fourth dimension to human face the facts too add it all upward. You tin tin can’t win this battle without knowing what yous are upwards against.

I’ve been at that topographic dot, and I call upward burying my top Canis familiaris inward the sand together with hoping that somehow it would all just go away.

But, as yous probably know, that doesn’t piece of work. The longer we do that, the worse it gets, together with it has to be dealt with at some signal.

And like I mentioned, God was fighting our battle amongst us, but I don’t think we would have got seen that if we hadn’t been honest as well as acknowledged our “mount.”

“Truly I tell you lot, whoever says to this mount, Be lifted upwards too thrown into the sea! as good as does not dubiety at all inwards his pump but believes that what he says testament hold spot, it testament alive done for him.” Mark 11:23 AMPC

Tell the mount how large your God is

When yous are looking at an overwhelming amount of debt that you need to pay off, it tin live piece of cake to just constantly focus on how large the mount is.

But just similar David running towards Goliath, our strength is inward our declaring to the mountain how big our God is!

Our testimony is that God miraculously helped us go from paycheck-to-paycheck living to pay off $46k on our tiny salaries. And ours is null compared to what I have got heard from some of our readers.

Running this website for the terminal decade, I have seen some miraculous stuff inward the lives of our readers together with permit me tell you lot that there is no amount of debt besides large for God to maintain!

Almost every debt-payoff testimonial I have heard involves piece of work towards the finish, rather than God dropping a cheque inward the mailbox (though that has happened).

nearly every Christian testimony I hold heard skillful-nigh paying off debt had a similar story to ours inward that they stepped out inward organized religious belief together with God came inward to amplify together with speed up the debt payoff physical process.

It reminds me a fleck of Peter walking on the H2O. He had to bring that showtime stair 100% on organized religious belief that Jesus would back upwardly him. Surely in that location were fears too doubts inwards his hear, but he chose to trust inward his Lord.

The other disciples never stepped out of the boat as good as missed out on the testimony that Peter volition e'er have got that he walked on H2O.

Let me encourage you lot that though you lot may be staring at a huge mount of debt right similar a shot, God is bigger as well as is able to take hold tending of it inward ways that you inward improver to I testament never live able to imagine.


We take maintain to pace out of the boat to view those miracles.

Homework: Add it all upwardly

  1. Create a simple Google Spreadsheet (or newspaper) too add together upwards every slice of debt you withdraw handgrip.

  2. Tell your mountain how big your God is!

  3. Extra Credit: Spend an extra 10 minutes and use our balance sail spreadsheet to identify your cyberspace worth.

Step 2: Quit spending

Plug The Holes

If you lot were inward a boat inwards the middle of the bounding main too you lot noticed that torso of H2O was coming inward through a hole, would you lot laissez passer on your time scooping the H2O out over the side of the boat, or would you lot plug the hole?

boat in the ocean

Getting out of credit carte du jour debt uses the same principle. Our spending is similar the torso of water coming into the boat, as well as the agency to railroad train it is to QUIT SPENDING!

Yes, it is obvious, but it needs to alive repeated because for some ground our brains tin can realize that it is truthful, but not do anything most it. So our destination similar a shot is to plug the hole, stop the haemorrhage, whatever you lot want to telephone telephone it: just quit spending.

Spend Less Money Than You Make

Getting out of debt, creating wealth, living financially loose, together with retiring with some cash inward the banking concern tin can all be achieved yesteryear next 1 uncomplicated regulation:

Spend Less Than You Earn

If you lot do everything else wrong, but get this right you volition all the same be okay.

But, the scary truth is that if you do everything else right, but acquire this wrong you volition cease upwards deeper inward debt.

It is real unproblematic, but it is non like shooting fish inwards a barrel.

It is the only means to remain debt gratuitous. It is the only agency to have whatever lasting wealth.

It doesn’t affair if yous acquire $10 i thou G from lottery winnings; if yous tin’t follow this uncomplicated dominion yous testament live dorsum to where y'all started inward no 4th dimension (too ofttimes even worse.)

It doesn’t affair how much you do. Everyone (I used to do this likewise) thinks that when they make to a greater extent than money, they testament live able to pass less than they earn. Rarely is this truthful.

We all know someone who no affair what 4th dimension something starts you lot tin tin can count on them beingness 15 minutes late. It doesn’t matter if they take hold got the entire xx-4 hours gratuitous, they testament however alive belatedly. It isn’t a affair of the 4th dimension available equally much every bit it is a thing of land of study surface area. It is the same agency with our spending.

If you can’t spend less than you earn with what you have now, you will not be able to when you get more. Parkinson’s law states that “expenses ascent to run into income.” So without a deliberate too intentional essay, each increment inward income that you acquire testament chop-chop live used upwards yesteryear novel expenses.

This is the frustrating office nigh getting a elevate. As much as I loved getting them, they never seemed to do neb paying whatever easier.

Have y'all ever felt this means?

So I Know I Need To Spend Less Than I Earn, But How?

Make H5N1 Budget

A budget is absolutely one of the best tools that you will find to help you spend less than you make. I have written extensively about how to budget, but I suggest you start with this post – how to create a budget or take our Real Money Budgeting online course of didactics.

It testament walk yous through all the steps you lot demand to acquire started on an effective budget. If you are really serious around getting out of debt, don’t skip this footstep.

You also might want to download one of our free budgeting spreadsheets patch yous are at it.

Everyone who does non budget spends to a greater extent money than those who do. It is as unproblematic equally that. It doesn’t take hold got to be painful together with can l-l live fun.

Eliminate The Temptation To Spend

wallet spending into debt

Look at your credit carte du jour statements too reckon where yous are spending to a greater extent than than you think you should live.

Romans xiii:xiv says to ”produce no provision for the flesh inward regard to its lusts.”

I did this yesteryear times non going to the mall together with not going out to eat.

These were my ii problem areas where I spent way too much money. Find out what your temptations are, run from them as well as set yourself upward to succeed.

Alcoholics shouldn’t hang out in bars, in addition to over-spenders shouldn’t go to Target! Just demand my married woman!

For more check out how to quit spending to a greater extent than than yous brand. Additionally, you might want to check out my favorite ways to salvage coin.

Step 3: Making sacrifices

This i is where the safe meets the road. If yous are ane of the bold ones who has a lot of debt but wants to pay off all your debt inward a yr, so this is where you lot tin can brand some huge headway!

The Sacrifice Is Only Temporary!

The most significant thing to think as you lot are reading this is that it is ONLY TEMPORARY.

By making a sacrifice, you are not condemning yourself to that for the ease of your life. You just demand to brand upwardly for all the overspending that has taken topographic point inwards the past times times.

If you lot maintain done some of the things mentioned to a higher spot, so you are already on a better fiscal footing than you lot were.

But, if your expenses are fifty-fifty so greater than your income, too so nosotros are going to take hold to take a few to a greater extent than steps.

Sacrifice Your Stuff And Sell It!

To acquire this debt paid off – peculiarly if you lot want to do it fast, so yous are in all likelihood going to take maintain to sell some large materials.

The truth is that yous either hold got to cutting to a greater extent expenses or growth your income.

Depending on how deep inward debt you are, you may need to have got drastic measures to acquire yourself back on solid ground.

What do you have that you owe money on?

Take out a slice of paper together with write them downward. Do yous agree loans on your theater, automobile, boat, living room set, or anything else? The finish is to minimize our expenses, so what amend agency than getting rid of some of the stuff nosotros owe on?

Don’t worry, you volition live able to get it i fourth dimension to a greater extent later on, but forthwith your destination is to pause put out from the bondage of debt!

You take maintain to opened upwards your psyche to things that you lot powerfulness non take hold got wanted to do. This is inward all likelihood i of them.

Cars Are Terrible Investments!

Like we’ve talked nigh before, we pay a lot of money for cars too they basically only acquire downwardly in value until they are sent to automobile sky.

In my persuasion, cars acquire people into financial problem to a greater extent than anything else.

Most people don’t pass on tens of thousands of dollars on something that knowingly goes downward inward value.

The way to defeat this is to drive older cars (older cars have already suffered much of the depreciation together with so lose a whole lot less inwards value each solar yr).

Now I know everyone’s province of affairs is different, but the goal is to acquire you lot to kickoff asking, “what if nosotros sold _______?”

So, if yous have got got a boat that you lot owe thousands on all the same or a distich of cars, it doesn’t really affair; if yous are making payments on it, y'all should consider getting rid of it.

And come upwardly to think of it, if you lot do have got it as well as it is all the same worth a decent amount, yous tin sell that also!

“But If I Get An Older Car, It Will Be Expensive To Maintain.”

Not necessarily. Go to Consumer Reports too give them $one-half-dozen.95 for i month of access to their website. They take away maintain hands downwards, the best in addition to most useful information for buying a used auto. They grade just nearly every auto inward the book for all kinds of criteria. Not the to the lowest grade of which is reliability.

What I hold got found over the years is that Honda too Toyota (on average) have got got consistently made the most reliable cars.

But, do your possess homework at Consumer Reports.

Sacrifice your time and get to work! Again.

Yep, if everything upwards to this dot isn’t giving yous some extra cash to tending y'all leave of debt, so you lot may demand to think almost getting a 2nd project.

The good news is that second jobs aren’t what they used to be. I remember when I was younger I would put in a hard hateful solar xx-four sixty minutes menstruation’s piece of piece of work at the grocery shop inwards addition to as well as as well as so create my way to the eating house for the completion of nigh 12-xvi hours on my feet.

Needless to say, those days were very tiring, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanks to technology there are so many legit ways to do coin these days, many habitation-based businesses you tin outset, or a bunch of existent companies that will pay you lot to piece of work from habitation that yous could piece of piece of work with temporarily as y'all knock out your debt.

Work Overtime

Ask your boss if he/she has anything extra you tin piece of work on to choice up some extra hours. This testament probable alive the best paying additional income yous could notice.

Sell On eBay

sell clothes to pay off debt

This is in all probability the most pop method these days for people looking to supplement their income. The greatest role almost it is that you lot tin start with materials laying around your task venture. If yous have got got non sold on eBay before, I highly recommend it every bit a way to generate some extra income.

I wrote all about my experience of how I made $2,145 inwards i month selling on eBay inwards plus to Craigslist. Or for more info, you can read the earlier article I wrote for beginners called vii Steps to selling on eBay.

Should you sell your house to pay off debt?

This really is the epitome of selling everything to acquire out of debt! This is a tough i. It really will depend on your situation. I have got got personally known a few people who hold sold their homes to leave of debt, inwards improver to they all seemed happy that they did.

But, you have to remember that it generally costs a good amount of money to sell a habitation together with give the sack to a novel seat. Not to cite all the quaternary dimension involved.

You might live ane of those people inward a province of affairs where selling your venture as well as moving into an apartment for a piece makes sense. But if yous are unsure, definitely seek wise counsel almost the details of your specific nation of affairs.

Should you cash out your 401k to pay off your credit card debt?

Like the previous enquiry, this i depends on your province of affairs. First off, if your 401k is at your electrical current employer, yous won’t 50-50 alive able to unless yous qualify for Hardship Withdrawals.

Additionally, even if you can, you will have to not only pay taxes on the withdrawal, but also a 10% penalty (assuming you are under 59 1/2 years old). You mightiness live able to avoid that if your medical debt exceeds vii.five% of your Adjusted Gross Income.

If your credit cards are charging you lot 25% involvement, it could create sense inwards some cases every chip you probable aren’t earning close that much inwards your 401k. But you lot are also giving upwards the long-term earning potential.

Bottom line, this is some other 1 where yous volition want to seek the wise counsel of a trusted advisor who really understands your debt situation.

should you tithe while paying off debt

Should you stop tithing while paying off your debt?

I won’t go into this much here because I already wrote about my thoughts on stopping tithing spell paying off debt.

But suffice it to say, every bit mathematically counter-intuitive as it seems, we continued tithing patch we were paying off our $46k as well as we paid it off agency faster than our reward timeline suggested.

We had surprise income come to us multiple times, and I am convinced that if we had stopped tithing, it would have got taken us LONGER to pay off our debt.

What sacrifices are y'all going to brand to go out of debt?

Tools to help you get out of credit card debt

DIY Debt Consolidation with Balance Transfers

I don’t recommend this for a lot of people because you lot tin acquire yourself into job if you don’t rest on top of things.

But we used this method (in the video below) when we were paying off our $46k of debt. Essentially I transferred all our debt (credit cards and car loans) onto 0% credit cards to salve a ton on involvement charges.

Debt consolidation with Lending Club

This is a much simpler way to trim downward your involvement rank than the residue transfer method mentioned higher upwardly.

You won’t live able to accomplish 0%, but if you take hold credit cards with involvement rates inwards the hitting of 20%+, you lot should alive able to get them greatly reduced.

I wrote a thorough article documenting how to do a debt consolidation with Lending Club that you tin read for to a greater extent info.

Debt Snowball spreadsheet or calculator

This is the “go out of debt conception” I by too big recommend. For most people, it is simply the best agency to leave of absence of credit carte debt.

Though it takes you lot a picayune longer to pay off the debt, it isn’t much longer, too in that location isn’t whatever adventure of making things worse (like the residual transfer method above). And the quick, little-scale victories are really motivating.

We have full details about this debt payoff plan here: Free Debt Snowball Spreadsheet Calculator.

Pay off debt computing device

If you are wanting to see how long it is going to take to pay off your debt, I found a complimentary computing device that you lot can business.

You just driblet in a few details (relaxation owed, involvement accuse per unit of measurement of mensuration, monthly payment) too off you lot acquire!

debt repayment calculator

Desktop backgrounds

A couple of years ago, we created some desktop backgrounds for our students and I personally still use them. I love regularly seeing quotes or bible verses that inspire me, as good as this is a elementary agency to do that. The 2 below are specific to paying off debt, so they are yours to download as well as utilization!

desktop background debt 1

desktop background debt 2

Getting out of debt is not a one-time decision

I want getting out of debt, losing weight, together with exercising were ane-fourth dimension decisions, but they are non. They demand to be decided over too over once to a greater extent.

Every 4th dimension you lot get tempted to purchase something you don’t demand, or hold a potluck at piece of piece of work, or just feel like sitting on the couch – yous have a determination to do. Are y'all going to do what yous should do, or what yous FEEL similar doing?

You inward all likelihood know what most people do most of the fourth dimension – what they FEEL similar doing. You are acre dissimilar. You wouldn’t even so alive reading this if yous were similar most people.

So, you may have “decided” to get out of debt, but as you go on this journey, at that topographic point testament alive some tough days where yous experience similar quitting.

I know I had plenty of them.

The thing that helped me was continuing to dream of my “promised solid ground.” For me that meant dreaming of:

So figure out what your KEY motivations are for wanting out of debt – your “Promised Land” – as well as focus on that on the tough days.

As someone who has been through it too has interacted with thousands of other readers who have got got, allow me assure you that past times God’s grace you lot tin do this!

Getting out of credit card debt is a bigger deal than you realize

I believe that God put each person down here for a reason and that reason is to bless others. In doing so, nosotros testament be blessed.

I take maintain found inward my possess life that my most joyful moments oftentimes revolved around me helping or doing something to do goodness another mortal.

Meanwhile, my most painful, sorrowful, together with lamentable moments were taking seat when I was thinking most myself. Often 1 of the quickest remedies to a struggle that nosotros are having is to acquire our minds off ourselves together with go do something for someone else.

So what does this take away concord to do with getting out of debt? H5N1 whole lot actually.

Our motivation for wanting to leave of absence of absence of debt should acquire beyond ourselves.

Sure, it will live awesome when you lot acquire to suspension out of the paycheck-to-paycheck wheel inwards improver to when yous tin tin can purchase that motorcar with cash, but that is just business organisation region of it.

God wants to piece of work you lot to financially bless others! This is a existent skillful thing because:

  1. Giving is one of the most fun in addition to self-fulfilling activities you lot tin live usage of.

  2. You are storing upward treasure inward Heaven for eternity, rather than downward hither for a few to a greater extent than years (Matthew half-dozen:20).

  3. Giving is a great way to send away selfishness out of your life.

  4. When y'all give, it volition alive given dorsum to yous inward abundance (Luke vi:38)!

You need to have it to give it!

If you are like most Christians I have met, you want to be able to give more. You have a good heart and wish you could give more. You really want to be able to bless people and give more to your church building.

But once again, if you lot are similar most that I have got met, you lot are thinking, “it is hard enough just to pay the bills each month, allow solitary give to others the way I would similar to.”

This is precisely why you lot demand to leave of absence of debt!

Imagine how much easier it would be to give if you didn’t have any credit card payments or car payments, or (dare I even say it) a mortgage payment! This has been my motivation over the finally few years too this is where yous too I are headed!

It is non really our money

One of the biggest financial revelations that I have received is that our money is really not our own. We are merely stewards of what we have been given by God (read the Parable of the Talents for a refresher.)

Even if we insist on proverb that nosotros worked hard to earn it, who gave us our encephalon, the hands we used, too l-l the air nosotros spot inwards our lungs?

We came into the world with nothing; we will leave with nothing. It is all God’s (Psalm 89:11). We have the privilege of beingness stewards. When we are slack or wasteful with our money, it is not our money we are wasting, but God’s. It is non only ourselves that nosotros hinder but others equally adept.

Fund the Kingdom instead of paying involvement

What if we took all the money we were paying in interest charges to our credit cards each month and gave it to missionaries together with charities making an bear upon?

It would be the most painless giving because the coin wasn’t even coming to our pockets inward the kickoff spot! It would simply live transferring that money from Visa as well as Mastercard to organizations that we WANT to give it to.

Can you lot imagine how many lives would alive impacted? Can you lot imagine how many souls would live impacted?

I testament live the showtime to tell you that getting your credit cards paid off feels absolutely liberating together with amazing, but what if we could add to that the additional motivation to acquire out of debt to do skillful the Kingdom of God?

Ultimately, we have a subdivision to play, inwards addition to so does God (1 Corinthians 3:9).

But I tin can’t assist but dream virtually how much more than effective we could be if nosotros were out of debt?

Psalm 67:vii “God blesses us, that all the ends of the ground may fearfulness Him.”

The importance of having an open mind

Our greatest battles every flake Christians are inwards our minds.

I maintain constitute that the greatest breakthroughs inwards my life came every fleck a termination of opening my psyche to a new agency of thinking. It requires humility to admit that something yous maintain e'er done or ever thought is non necessarily the only agency or that it is 50-fifty correct at all. These mindset changes tin tin can alive existent hard, but they are absolutely essential to follow God together with accomplish anything worth accomplishing inward life.

What does this all hold to do with paying off my debt?

Maybe it testament live easier for you, but for me, I had to alteration a lot of sometime mindsets that I was property onto inward monastic enjoin to dig out of our debt.

Just a few:

  • I decided to give up my hard-earned free time after my 9-hour workday and use that time to kickoff a business concern concern to earn extra income.

  • I would go out to dinner with friends but didn’t say anything because nosotros didn’t have the coin inwards the budget.

  • I had to acquire to create at domicile, every flake our nutrient budget shrank to a tiny amount.

  • I had to sell off some items that I truly valued.

  • I had to select NOT to tending what people thought most me equally I drove around inward a xiv-yr-erstwhile machine.

Anyway, these were just a few that I had to fight through. Yours might be different. But the thing you have to remember is that it is only temporary!

None of those things listed higher upwardly lasted more than 2-3 years for me.

And looking dorsum, I would do it 1 fourth dimension over again inward a heartbeat if I had to.

Being out of debt has been so much to a greater extent than liberating, fulfilling, too financially beneficial than I ever could take away maintain imagined.

Now it is time for you to take action!

Bookmark this too come upwards dorsum to it each month or every bit needed.

And whatever you do, don’t quit until you lot arrive at your goal!!!

conquering the mountain

Quick Favor:

If you know anyone else who mightiness alive trying to figure out how to acquire out of debt, I would honey it if you shared this with them.

I poured my view out into this monster-article because I want it to tending every bit many people every flake possible. My prayer is that it would get into the hands of whoever would really benefit from it, so whatever shape of sharing with others is greatly appreciated!!

Prayer to get out of debt

I’ll leave y'all with this prayer.

If you’re in debt and want to get out, spend a moment praying for God’s assist:

God, I know You tin tin do all things, too that I tin do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I want to leave of absence of debt, but I demand Your assist. Lead me by Your wisdom as I set virtually this journeying. Help me modification my habits too my mindset. Work through me inwards add-on to others so I tin tin eliminate all of my debt. Lead me to a place where I tin can live inward a spot to give more than than to others.

For Your glory too inward Jesus’ Name,


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