With credit card debt and other debts on the rise and no end in sight to the slow recovery of the economy, many people are having trouble staying on top of their bills. There are, however, some ways to get them paid off as fast as possible. Here are three ways to stay on top of your bills.
Focus on paying the lowest interest rate you can.
Paying more than the minimum amount on your credit card bills may seem tough, but in the long run it will save you a lot of money. The minimum rate of payment on a typical bill is something around 3 percent of the total balance. If you pay this amount on your bill every month, your credit card interest will soar. Try to trade higher interest rate credit cards for those with lower interest rates. For example, if you have a credit card with an interest rate of 18 percent, try to trade it to a card with a 12 percent rate. When you are paying off cards, start paying off the one with the highest interest rate first, then start working your way down. This ensures that you are paying the lowest effective interest rate.
Get as much cash on hand as possible.
The first thing you should do is cash out your savings accounts. While it may be hard to do, the extra money in interest that you are paying now is going to add up to tremendous amounts. Find any sources of additional cash that have lower interest rates. Consider borrowing against your life insurance, funneling money from your 401(k), or getting a home equity loan. All of these options usually have lower rates than most credit cards do.
Get cash from outside sources.
If you specifically need help simply paying the electricity, water, or other important bills that cannot be put off, consider getting cash from outside sources. One option is getting a cash advance. These are usually easy to get and have moderate interest rates if you pay them back in a short period. There are many places to get a cash advance in Dallas, if you need to secure one quickly. Additionally, consider asking for money from family and friends. While they may be hesitant to lend to you if you have had a bad record of paying them back in the past, they will usually be accommodating.