8 Things You Didn’t Realize You Could Do to Pay off Debt

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Matt Odom for The Penny Hoarder
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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 eight strategies you probably didn’t realize you could use to help you pay it off.

1. Ask This Company to 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 AmOne could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: AmOne 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.

AmOne 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 you’re trying to pay off debt, you might feel like you have to cut every enjoyable thing out of your budget. But the truth is, one of the simplest — and most impactful — expenses you can cut is car insurance.

If you really want to get the best price on car insurance, experts say you should be shopping twice a year. OK, we can hear you laughing from here. Who has time to do all that?

But seriously, insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration, and they change all the time. Ipso facto — you’re paying too much.

Thankfully, a free website called The Zebra will do the shopping for you — in just two minutes. 

All you have to do is enter basic information about your car and driving history, then The Zebra compares prices from more than 100 companies to find you the best price.

The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year.

If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.

Who’s laughing now?

4. Earn $60/Hour to Put Towards Your Credit Card Debt

Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work remotely while making a dent in your credit card debt?

Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers through his online course, Bookkeeper Business Launch.

And no, you don’t have to have a CPA to be successful in this business. In fact, all you really need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

It’s a great opportunity for moms who want to work part-time, millennials who are just out of college and anyone who wants to bring in real money while working from home.

It’s helped thousands of people launch their own mini-businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran and former painter who’s in his early 30s. He never considered starting his own company. But he signed up for Bookkeeper Launch, and now he’s making $50,000 a year keeping track of business expenses for his 10 clients.

It only took him three months to get started, taking one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule, earns up to $60 an hour 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 class. 

5. Copy This Couple’s Strategy to Eliminate Credit Card Debt in 5 Days

California couple Wilmer and Kimberly Swerdfeger had accumulated $20,000 in credit card debt — a result of unexpected home repairs and an emergency eye surgery.

Between paying high interest rates and juggling multiple bills, Wilmer needed a way out. That’s when he considered tapping into his home’s equity — the money he’d paid toward his mortgage — with Figure, an online lender. 

Home equity lines of credit can you help you get out of debt faster by offering better rates than credit cards and personal loans, because your home backs the loan.

Figure approved the couple for a five-year line of credit with an APR of 5.75% — that was way better than the 21.99% credit card interest he faced. Oh, and his funds were in his account the next day — so he could immediately pay off his credit cards.

It only takes five minutes to check your rate with Figure. If you like what you see and your application is approved, Figure will initiate funding within five days.

Figure is available in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, WA, WI, WY. Terms and conditions apply. Visit figure.com for further information.

6. 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.

7. Make an Extra $600/Week in Your Free Time

One way to really make a dent in your debt is to increase your income. We get it, though. You already have a job — maybe even two. You don’t have a whole lot of spare time. But have you thought about getting a side gig? Even just for a few months? 

An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver food while you’re already out and about — things like lattes from Starbucks or food from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A or Five Guys. 

With Doordash, you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make to put toward your debt is up to you. 

You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips. Jose Neri, from California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners.

The best part? No passengers.

If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week. Funnel the money you make straight to your debt, and you’ll be shocked to see how quickly it can make a dent.

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

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Here’s a crazy 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.

You can then exchange those points for Visa gift cards. 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?