The statistics for household debt in the United States can be jarring. Take, for instance, the fact the average U.S. household debt in 2018 was $144,100 among those with at least one type of debt. The total of this debt is more than $14 trillion, which is nearly equal to the amount of money currently held in American banks and in circulation.

It should not be a surprise that most Americans want to get out of debt. If you’re reading this, I suspect you’re interested in eliminating debt as well.

So how can you pay down debt? What strategies can you use to pay off your accounts quickly?

Continue reading to discover five debt elimination strategies now.

1. Stop Using Your Credit Cards

First things first. Stop using your credit cards to make sure you’re not spinning on the hamster wheel. Remember, when you swipe your card, your balance goes up and thwarts any momentum you may be gaining.

If you find it hard to stop using your cards, put them in the freezer. This can put any impulse buys on ice and give you time to change your mind about incurring more debt.

2. Pay More Than the Minimum Payment

If you only pay the minimum payment amount, it may take you several years, possibly even more than a decade, to pay off the balance. Credit card companies keep the minimum payment low to ensure you’ll be paying them for a long time.

Look for opportunities to get extra cash and pay as much of it as possible towards your credit balances. For example, you can use coupons and rewards to save money at the grocery store. The same goes for any overtime earnings and cash windfalls you may be receiving.

Apply the savings you generate towards your debts. The goal is to pay as much as possible to accelerate the time-frame to becoming debt-free.

3. Create Extra Income

Adding a side hustle or part-time job can create extra income that you can throw at your debts. Most people have a talent or skill they can use to make money.

For example, mowing yards, becoming a freelance writer and even babysitting are great ways to create income. Imagine how much debt you could eliminate if you earn an extra $100 a day.

4. Cut Your Spending

Carefully review your spending and differentiate between “need” expenses and “want” expenses. Cut down on eating out, for instance, and prepare home-cooked meals instead. Cancel subscriptions to any service you are no longer using and look for more savings opportunities.

These cuts will create space in your budget that you can use to eliminate debt. Make it simple by creating a budget. You may find it helpful to use budget software or apps, such as

5. Sell Items You Don’t Need

To pay down debt quickly, take a look at your belongings to see what you can sell. Most of us have stuff we no longer use. Have a yard sale. List your things on Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up and Craigslist.

You might even consider throwing a yard sale. Selling your stuff may be the easiest and most inexpensive way to create a cash infusion in your budget for your debt elimination efforts.

The Bottom Line About Debt Elimination

Once you’re debt-free, you can enjoy this financial state but you should also not forget to follow certain practices to avoid bringing debt back in your life. 

As of now, consider the steps above, not individually, but as part of a five-point debt elimination strategy. Doing so can create momentum, which is the name of the game. When you see your debts getting smaller and smaller, it feeds your motivation. 

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