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

If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape… 

And the truth is, your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help.

If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

AmOne won’t make you stand in line or call your bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could help you pay off your debt years faster.

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 was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? Was it more than six months ago?

If so, you’re probably overpaying — by hundreds of dollars. Yep. Experts say you should compare rates twice a year to get the best deal.

Twice a year? Yeah, we don’t want to do that either. 

A service called Gabi does all the shopping for you to find cheaper insurance — with the same coverage and deductibles you already have. And it saves customers an average of $825 a year.

You don’t have to fill out any forms. Just link your existing insurance account and enter your driver’s licence, and it will start looking for cheaper coverage.

Plus, after you sign up, Gabi will keep looking for savings. No more shopping.

4. Save Yourself Thousands of Dollars on Mortgage Payments

With interest rates at historic lows, it’s a good time to look into refinancing your mortgage. And guess what? You don’t even have to leave your home to do it — and it could save you thousands of dollars.

Head over to an online lender we know called Figure, where you can complete your application for a new loan in as little as 10 minutes. 

If you’re planning to stay in your current home for a while, it could totally be worth it. Over the life of a 15- or 30-year mortgage, a mortgage with a lower interest rate could save you tens of thousands of dollars.1

Figure offers home loans up to $1.5 million. It’s worth noting your credit score needs to be at least 640. If you have equity in your home, you could also “cash out” — replacing your existing mortgage with a new one for an amount that’s higher than what you currently owe.

And if you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to refinancing, you can always get a free quote. It never hurts to explore your options, and getting a quote won’t hurt your credit score.2

Refinancing at a longer repayment term may lower your monthly loan payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Depending on your cash-out amount, your monthly payments may increase, even with a lower APR.

2 To check the rates and terms you qualify for, we will conduct a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you continue and submit an application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Figure Lending LLC is an equal opportunity lender. NMLS #1717824 – NMLSCONSUMERACCESS.ORG Terms and conditions apply. Visit Figure.com. 

5. 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.

6. Earn up to $60/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper

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Can you open an excel spreadsheet? Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work remotely while helping others succeed?

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.

You don’t have to be an accountant or even really good at math to be successful in this business. In fact, all you need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

The ability to stay moderately organized is helpful too.

Median pay is around $19 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics— and you have no commute. It’s a great opportunity for parents who want a part time job, recent college grads and anyone who wants to bring in real money working from home.

Robinson shares what it takes to be a virtual bookkeeper, plus tips for making this career work for you in his free class at Bookkeeper Business Launch.

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. Make up to $15/Hour to Pick up Milk for Your Neighbors

Not everyone can get to the grocery store these days, but that’s where you can help — and get paid.

With an app called Postmates, you could get paid to pick up a few extra groceries for them. 

Even better than getting paid to grocery shop? If you need the money, like, now, you can cash out instantly after each delivery.

Holly Gaston, of San Francisco, California, has tried plenty of side gigs. With Postmates, she made an average of $15 an hour. Plus, she said it was much more enjoyable than any of her previous side gigs.

Signing up shouldn’t take you more than about three minutes.