If You Have Credit Card Debt, Here’s How to Eliminate It Before Turning 35
Gone are the days of blindly swiping your credit card and pretending that letter in the mail isn’t a big, fat bill. You’re not in your 20s anymore. It’s time to start cleaning up the messes you made in your younger years.
As you approach the medium 3-5, make some changes that will have you charging into the second half of your life with a clean financial slate.
No matter what the scary number looking back at you, this is a challenge you can conquer. All you have to do is start.
1. Let This Company Help You Pay off Your Credit Cards
When you think about how much debt you have, you might feel a little anxious.
That’s where a company like Fiona can be helpful. It can help you find personalized lending options to refinance or consolidate your debt to potentially save thousands dollars in interest.
Fiona will show you all the lenders willing to help you pay off your credit card and eliminate the headache of paying bills by allowing you to make one payment each month.
If your credit score is at least 620, you can borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) and compare interest rates, which start at 4.99%. The idea is to secure a loan at a lower interest rate, potentially helping you save thousands. Repayment plans range from 24 to 84 months.
Take, for example, Katherine, who faced $12,000 in credit-card debt. Holding her back? The 15.24% interest rate. By refinancing with a 5%-interest, seven-year personal loan, she saved $12,000 in interest.
If she’d kept on the same road, she would have paid something like $14,000 in interest alone over 25 years. Yikes.
So even if you’re simply curious about what’s out there, know that checking rates on Fiona won’t hurt your credit score — and can probably save you in interest.
2. Knock Up To $715/Year Off Your Car Insurance in Minutes
When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.
If it’s been more than six months since your last car insurance quote, you should look again.
And if you look through a digital marketplace called SmartFinancial, you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year.
It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side. Yep — in just one minute you could save yourself $715 this year. That’s some major cash back in your pocket.
So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.
3. Find Some Hidden Cash
Before you start hashing out a plan to tackle your debt by 35, it might make you feel better to find areas in your life where you can save. Then you can funnel that money directly toward those outstanding balances.
Sure, a lot of us know how to save money on groceries, but what about everything else?
For consistent savings, download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees. On average, Truebill customers get $12 in credits off their cable bills each month.
You can also try digging up some extra cash with Capital One Shopping Price Protection — a tool that could get you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and could help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
One of our favorite ways to save on everything is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on online purchases at Walmart. Plus, you’ll get a free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.
Capital One Shopping Price Protection compensates us when you sign up using the links we provided.
4. Earn Rewards When You Repay Your Debt on Time
When you were a kid, your mom probably gave you an allowance for washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. Now all you get for doing that is a kitchen that’s clean for, like, 15 minutes.
Now that you’re approaching 35, you no longer get rewarded for just doing the things that are expected of you — like, for instance, paying bills on time.
Not until now, anyway. MoneyLion, a free app for managing your personal finances, will reward you for things like paying your bills and monitoring your credit — even just setting up an account in the app.
Much like that childhood allowance, it’s basically bribing you to be good.
You’ll earn points in the app’s rewards program, and you can redeem them for gift cards to more than 15,000 retailers, including places like Walmart, Applebee’s and Amazon.
If you want to take it a step further and work on paying down debts, for example, MoneyLion can help with a loan to consolidate your debt and potentially reduce your interest rates. And it’ll reward you for that, too!
5. Start Saving Without Trying
Saving money is tough. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?
Digit makes that possible.
This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.
Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.
Using this set-it-and-forget-it strategy, one Penny Hoarder saved $4,300 without noticing — read his Digit review.
If you need that money sooner than expected, you’ll always have access to it within one business day.
Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $2.99 per month afterward.
Farrah Daniel is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She, too, wants to be debt-free by 35.