How to Reduce Debt or Lower Debt from Your Life
Are you trying to eliminate or lower debt from your life? Itís a great way to help ease your mind, save money, and open up your options for the future. Lower debt is vital for most people in these difficult times.
Choose the Best Strategy for You to Lower Debt
By thinking seriously about debt and how to manage it, you have made a very sound decision which will help you improve your personal and family finances and increase your wealth long term. But most of us have a range of debts, and itís hard to figure out which are the ones we should pay off first. Should we choose the ones with the highest interest, or the longest term, or the lowest balance, or those which represent our most important assets, such as our home and vehicle. How much is our debt really costing us, and is it worth making more than the minimum payment to pay if off quickly?
You need to be Einstein to figure it all out. But most of us donít have the brain power of an Einstein, so instead you can simply use our easy Debt Elimination Calculator to find out which options work for you. Just plug in the figures which apply to your debts, and you can find a debt elimination strategy which will put you on the road to robust financial health. It's so simple to find out how to reduce debt.
The Debt Elimination Calculator will first of all tell you what your minimum monthly payments on all your debts in total work out to. That in itself is a useful figure. It will tell you how long itís going to take to pay off all your debts if you stick to that plan, and how much it will cost you in interest. Ouch! That can really be a shock.
But suppose you have some wiggle room, and can pay off extra each month. The Debt Elimination Calculator will show you how to reduce debt the quickest, and how much you can save by doing it, at various levels of additional payment. Just seeing those figures will be a real incentive for you to stretch yourself to make those extra payments and lower debt. Even as little as $10 a month extra will help eliminate your debts faster, and the Debt Elimination Calculator will show you which debts to focus on first, as you choose between eliminating your highest interest debts, your debts with the lowest balance, and your debts with the lowest payments.
The Debt Elimination Calculator is an easy to use, highly instructive tool which helps any family plan its budget and make good money decisions about how to reduce debt or lower debt. Why not give it a try right now?
TitleA title for these calculator results that will help you identify it if you have printed out several versions of the calculator.
CreditorsThe name of the loan's lender or credit card issuer.
Payment AmountsYour required monthly payment for this loan. Leave it blank for credit cards unless you want to pay this amount each month regardless of what the minimum payment would be for this card.
BalancesYour current outstanding balance on this loan or credit card.
Interest RatesThe current annual interest rate you are paying on this loan or credit card. For credit cards, you may actually have different interest rates for different balance amounts. This could happen if part of your balance came from a cash advance (many credit cards charge a higher interest rate and no grace period for cash advances), or if you made some purchases during a lower percentage promotion period, or maybe you transferred the balance from another credit card for a special low interest rate promotion.
Minimum Payment PercentsFor credit cards only - The minimum percentage (usually 2%-3%) of your outstanding balance the credit card issuer expects you pay each month. They usually calculate this for you and it shows up as the 'Amount Due' on your statement each month.
Minimum Principal PercentsFor credit cards only - The minimum percentage (usually 1%) of principal federal guidelines require you to pay each month. Your actual payment will be either just the 'Minimum Payment Percent' or the 'Minimum Principal Percent' plus interest and fees, whichever is greater. Enter 0 if your credit card is issued by a credit union or other issuer that is exempt from the 2006 federal guidelines.
Minimum Interest AmountsFor credit cards only - If your credit card has a balance and you're paying interest, there is probably a minimum amount of interest (usually $0.50 or $1.00) that will be charged for the month.
Minimum Payment AmountsFor credit cards only - The minimum amount (maybe $5.00) the credit card issuer expects you to pay each month, regardless of what the 'Minimum Percent Payment' calculates as. In other words, if the 'Minimum Percent Payment' (3%) calculation says you're obligated to pay $3.75 this month, your 'Amount Due' will actually be this amount ($5.00).
Additional Monthly AmountThe additional amount you will pay each month (over the 'Required Monthly Payment' amount) to eliminate your debt faster.
Start Mo/YrThe month and year you plan to start using this debt elimination strategy. The amortization schedule (when grouped by month) will use this date to show you when and how much to pay on each loan.
Elimination PriorityDetermines the order your loans will be scheduled for payoff. 'Highest Interest' almost always pays the least.
Balance TotalAdd down the 'Balance' column.
Required Monthly PaymentThe amount you are required to pay each month based on the loans you have entered. In the case of credit cards, where the monthly payment changes and no 'Payment Amount' has been entered for the loan, the first month's payment has been used and the strategy assumes you can continue to pay that amount each month.
Total Monthly Payment'Required Monthly Payment' + 'Additional Monthly Amount'. The elimination strategy assumes you will continue to pay this amount even when some loans are paid. The money from a paid loan will be used to pay the next loan even faster.
Payoff DateThe month and year all entered loans will be paid off.
Payoff TimeThe number of years and months it will take to pay off all the entered loans. This is the 'Number of Payments' expressed in years and months.
Number of PaymentsYou will make this many payments to pay off the entered loans above.
Total PrincipalTotal amount of principal (same as 'Balance Total') of the entered loans.
Total InterestTotal amount of interest you will have paid when the entered loans are paid.
Total PaidTotal amount of principal + interest you will have paid when the entered loans are paid.