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Use this debt payoff calculator to create an effective debt repayment plan.
Debt Payoff Calculator
Getting out of debt is hard enough, but when you don’t really know what you’re dealing with, it can seem like you will never be debt-free.
Whether you are thinking about using the debt avalanche or the debt snowball payment method, you should have a good idea of…
- How long will it take to pay down each debt
- What effect reducing your interest rates will have on your debt repayment plan
- How much faster your debts will be paid by increasing your payments
When you have this information, you can make an educated decision on which debt repayment method you choose to use.
How to use the Deby Payoff Calculator
- Enter your 1st debts current balance / interest rate / minimum payments
- Click on the calculate button to see how many months/years it will take to pay off
- Change the values of either the interest rate or the current monthly payment field (or both) and click calculate to see how each scenario plays out
- Create a debt repayment plan
Why is getting out of debt so hard?
The single biggest factor that makes it so difficult to get out of debt is because of the interest we are charged on our debt.
This is most prevalent when you have credit card debt but all debt comes with a price. Most credit card companies charge you anywhere from 15% to 25% APR on the amount you owe.
Combine the high-interest charges with the (typically) low minimum payments and it’s a recipe that credit card companies rely on to make money.
Take a peek at your latest credit card statement. I can pretty much guarantee you that you were charged over 50% more in interest than what the minimum payment required was.
So, if you are only paying the minimum payment on your debt, then over half of that goes on interest alone and just a tiny amount actually goes on reducing that debt.
Now the question becomes, what can you do about it?
There are only 2 ways of getting out of debt faster…
There are hundreds of tips on how to get out of debt out there. But, the reasoning behind all of them come down to doing just two things.
1 ) Paying more on your debts to reduce the amount of interest you are paying
2 ) Lower your interest rates to allow more money to go on your actual debt every month
Reducing the Amount of Interest You Pay on Your Debts
Request an interest rate reduction
One of the easiest ways to pay down debt faster is by simply asking for a lower interest rate on your credit cards.
Call up each of your credit card companies and let them know that you found a better rate and are thinking of transferring your balance but would much rather stay with them if they can match that rate.
Even though it seems scary, you have to remember, credit card companies make money off you and don’t want to lose any customers. Many times, they will say yes, just to keep you as a customer.
If you are able to reduce the interest rates on some of your debts, use the debt payoff calculator to see how much time and interest you will be saving.
Pay on your debt more often
Credit card debt is calculated daily, so the earlier you pay down the debt, the less interest you will be charged.
One way to reduce the interest charged is by making payments more often. Let’s say that you can save $50 a week to put on your debt.
Making weekly payments of $50 to the credit card company instead of one $200 monthly payment will lower the amount of interest you are charged each billing cycle allowing more of your payments to go toward the balance owed.
Consolidate your debts
If at all possible, see if you can consolidate your debts into a personal loan. This will help you reduce the amount of interest you are paying as well as make it easier to manage your debt payments because you’ll only have one payment a month.
If you are going to take this route, just make sure that you shop around for the lowest possible interest rate loan you can get. You can use the debt payoff calculator to see how consolidating your debts will affect your payoff date.
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Finding More Money For Your Debt Payoff Plan
Look for Cheaper Alternatives
Even if you reduce your expenses to the bare bones, there most likely are still some things that you can do to save money to put on your debt.
One of my favorite ways to find more money in my budget is to look for cheaper alternatives. Why? Because you still can get what you want and/or need while saving money at the same time.
Whether you find cheaper alternatives on grocery items, small everyday expenses or bigger ticket items like cable or cell phone plans, it all matters when you are trying to get out of debt and it really does add up over time.
Eliminate recurring expenses
Most of us have expenses that we pay for on a regular basis. A lot of the time, we still pay for these things even though we probably don’t even need or use them anymore.
It could be a membership, magazine/newspaper subscription, music streaming app or dues of some sort.
Sometimes it’s because we totally forget about them and since the charge gets pulled out of your checking account automatically, you don’t even realize you still are still paying for it.
Other times it’s because we want to wait until the last day that we paid up until, so we don’t waste money. Then forget about it, over and over again…
Whatever the reason, it’s time to put an end to it and cancel them. Getting out of debt is more important.
Make a list of anything that comes to mind. It’s also a good idea to look through your bank statements to make sure there aren’t any that you have totally forgotten about.
Then set some time aside to make a few phone calls or poke around their website to cancel these.
Sell your junk
Make some quick cash to pay down debt by selling stuff that you don’t need or want. Go through every room of your home, closets, attic, garage, basement and gather up anything that you don’t need, use, or want.
Once you have everything you want to get rid of, you’ll need to consider where you are going to sell your stuff. Of course one of the easiest and fastest ways is to have a garage or yard sale.
If that’s not an option for you, there are plenty of other places to sell your stuff. Below is a shortlist of places.
- eBay, Craigslist, & a local flea market (any and everything)
- Facebook MarketPlace (great for large items and furniture)
- Amazon (especially textbooks)
- ThredUp, My Kids Threads, and Swap (clothing)
- Your local consignment shops (clothes, housewares, toys, small furniture)
- Gazelle (electronics such as cell phones, tablets, laptops)
- Etsy (crafts, antiques, and much more)
- Cardcash (unused gift cards)
- Sell your gold (gold jewelry)
Bonus: If you can sell something that you financed with credit cards or other means that you are still paying on, you can get rid of one debt pretty quickly!
Shop for better rates
There are many fixed expenses that we pay for on a regular basis that we just pay because we don’t think we have a choice.
The fact is that many of these charges can be lowered if you just take the time to do some research.
Take your insurance premiums for instance. You can shop around for companies that offer better rates. You can bundle your homeowner and auto to get a discount.
Another thing you can do is review your policy to see if you actually need such a low deductible or the coverage you are paying for.
How about the cable that you aren’t willing to give up. Did you know that in many instances, you could simply call them and ask for a better rate?
Just let them know that you think you are paying too much and you are shopping around and ask if there is anything they can do.
Many times they will give you the promotional rate that they offer new customers and you’ll be locked in that rate, typically for a year.
These are just a few examples but it’s worth looking at every expense to see if there are ways to cut the cost.
Earn more money
Earning more money is a surefire way to get out of debt a lot faster. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You are already so busy, there is no way to take on more work.
I hear you, but here is the deal, it’s not going to be forever. And if you want to get out of debt fast, it’s really something that you need to consider.
Besides there are so many ways to make an extra income these days, you can find something that fits into your schedule or you can even create a side income that allows you to work when you have the time.
Even if you earn an extra $25 a week from whatever it is that you do, that can make a huge difference in your debt pay off date.
Just look at the diagram below. This is an example of the pay off date for debts totaling $15,057.00.
If you were to only pay the minimum payment, it would take 5 years to pay off. But if you add just $100 extra a month, it would be paid almost 2 years faster.
That’s how powerful adding more to your minimum payments can be…
What if you could add $300? It would cut the time by less than half…
An extra $500 would save close to 4 years!
Tracking Your Debt Payoff Progress
When working on paying off your debts, you need to find a way to track your progress. This will help you stay motivated to get it done and keep you on track with your debt repayment plan.
You can use pen and paper to log your progress in a notebook or using a visual like a debt thermometer can be motivating because you can see your progress move in the right direction.
Another option would be to use a debt payoff spreadsheet. Using a spreadsheet that calculates the interest you are charged helps you to see exactly where you are at when paying off debts so you can make smart decisions on which debts to attack first to make the biggest impact.
Paying off debt can be a long road, but there are things that you can do to speed up the process. Using a debt payoff calculator can help you to see how adding more to your debts or getting your interest rates reduced will affect your debt repayment plan so you can make an educated debt payoff strategy.
The key is to always be proactive about getting out of debt because it won’t just happen. Once you get there, you’ll see how being debt-free will change your life for the better.
Were you shocked at how long it will take to pay off your debts or how much interest you are going to end up paying when you entered your numbers in the debt payoff calculator? Please leave a comment below.