8 Bizarre Ways to Pay Off Debt That None of Us Were Ever Taught

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You’re ready to be out of debt. Sounds like the understatement of the century, right? You can’t wait to be debt-free. But you feel like you’ve tried everything. And everywhere you turn, your debt is still there — impacting just about every area of your life. 

But we’ve got a bunch of strategies you probably didn’t realize you could use to help you pay it off.

1. Ask This Website to Help You Pay Off Your Credit Card Bill

A woman lays on the grass with credit cards surrounding her.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

No, like… the whole bill. All of it.

While you’re stressing out over your debt, your credit card company is getting rich off those insane interest rates. But a company called Fiona could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona can match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

All that credit card debt — and the anxiety that comes with it — could be gone by tomorrow.

2. This Website Will Tell You What Bills To Pay Off First

One of the toughest parts about paying down your debts is simply knowing where to begin.

Which of your credit cards are carrying a balance? Is your name attached to any unpaid loans? Are you behind on medical or utility bills you didn’t know about?

That’s where a free website like Credit Sesame can help. It takes about two minutes to sign up and access your free credit score. From there, Credit Sesame will outline your debt — exactly what you owe and to whom — and offer personalized recommendations. It’ll even break down the interest rates and minimum monthly payments attached to your bills.

Armed with this intel, you’ll be able to more easily devise your payoff plan. Do you want to use the debt avalanche method, where you’ll pay off your highest interest rates first? Or maybe you prefer the debt snowball method, where you start with the smallest balances first.

You can continue to use Credit Sesame to keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable. And, hey, it might be kind of fun watching your credit score react to all your hard work!

It takes two minutes to get started with Credit Sesame.

3. Cancel Your Car Insurance

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When’s the last time you checked car insurance prices? It might be time to cancel your current policy.

Experts say you should shop your options every six months or so — it could save you some serious money. Let’s be real, though. It’s probably not the first thing you think about when you wake up. And it doesn’t have to be.

A company called Gabi makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices for the same exact coverage you already have. Plus, it makes switching plans a breeze.

Take Lourdes Robles-Velazquez, for example. The single mom lives on a tight budget. She was paying $205 a month to insure two Toyota Priuses — hers and her daughter’s. By using Gabi, she shaved $80 off her monthly car insurance bill. That’s nearly $1,000 in savings per year.

Wondering how much you could save and put toward your debt instead? Head over to Gabi, and link up your current insurance account (this is how it gets you that apples-to-apples comparison). Then, browse your options. It takes all of two minutes.

4. This Research Company Will Pay You up to $225/Month to Watch Videos

What if we told you a research company would pay you to watch cooking videos on your computer?

It’s too good to be true, right? 

But we’re serious. InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. 

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. Plus, it’s extra money you can put toward paying down your debt. Everything helps.

InboxDollars won’t completely pay off your credit cards, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

5. Let This App Find an Extra $1,000 to Put Toward Your Debt

If you have credit card debt, chances are you think about it a lot. It’s overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, and you start feeling like you’ll never escape.

But what if you could just stop thinking about it, and it’d magically disappear?

Well, it’s not exactly magic, but an app called Digit wants to help you become debt-free.

Here’s how it works: Digit uses a smart formula to look at your monthly spending and income. From there, it’ll find extra money in your budget and funnel it into your Digit account. This typically happens every few days, and amounts will vary.

Digit will use the extra money it’s shuffled away to make additional payments. Once a month, Digit automatically transfers the money it’s saved to help pay off your credit card.

You’ll be able to pay off your credit cards that much faster. Plus, you’ll feel relieved knowing Digit has your back.

Want to finally stop obsessing over your debt and just let Digit handle it for you? It takes minutes to download Digit and get started. Your first month is free, then you’ll pay $5 a month after. Totally worth easing some anxiety.

6. Earn up to $64/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper

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Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? One where you could work from home and set your own flexible hours? This could be your perfect opportunity to put more money toward your debt.

Not sure where to start? Look into bookkeeping. It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc. And you can earn up to $64 an hour.

You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to be successful at bookkeeping, either. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeeper Launch will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it’ll even give you the first three classes for free. 

It’s helped thousands of people launch their own mini-businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran in his early 30s. He never considered starting his own company, but he signed up for Bookkeeper Launch, and now he’s making around $50,000 a year keeping track of business expenses for his clients.

It only took him three months to get started, taking one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule and is able to spend more time with his wife than ever. 

If you’re just a little curious, you just have to submit your email address here to take the first free classes.

7. Try Starving and Stacking

Don’t worry. You can still eat. The starve and stack budgeting method is geared toward couples, especially newlyweds. Couples combine their finances and live exclusively off one income for 18 to 24 months.

Use the additional income to invest, establish a rainy day fund and pay off debt. That’s what Penny Hoarder Jen Smith did. She and her husband practiced the starve and stack method for two years and were able to pay off $78,000 in debt.

8. Pay off Debt by Taking Pictures of Your Crumpled Receipts

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Here’s an unusual way to make some progress on your debt: Download the free app Fetch Rewards and get paid for taking pictures of your receipts.

Fetch partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt (from any store!) you share. All you have to do is snap a photo of your receipt through the app, then Fetch does the rest for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers.

Plus, when you download the app, use code PENNY to earn an extra 2,000 points after you scan your first receipt. How easy is that?