Eliminating debt can add more to your life than just more money in your pocket.

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If you’re shackled to a large amount of debt, you’re probably broke most of the time from juggling multiple payments, interest and late payment fees. But did you know that excessive debt obligations are draining more than just your bank account?

That’s because having too much debt also siphons joy – by limiting the freedom to change your life for the better. So how does kicking debt to the curb bring more freedom to your life?

Below are seven ways paying off debt frees you to become a happier, healthier person.

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1. Freedom to find a job you love

Freedom to find a job you love

Are you staying at a high-paying job you hate because that’s the only way you can afford monthly credit card payments? Or maybe you have high car payments on an expensive vehicle that you can barely afford. Even worse, maybe you owe both of those nagging debts.

When you eliminate debt, you can broaden job search requirements. Monthly expenses are lower, so salary doesn’t have to be the main barometer by which you choose a profession or employer. Want a less stressful job or one that feeds your soul? Get rid of debt for more choices.

2. Freedom to relocate

Do you long to move to a city with more cultural offerings or natural beauty but stay put in a boring city because you can’t afford to move until you pay off credit card debt or student loans?

If you hammer away at those balances until your debt is gone, you can sock away extra money that went to credit card payments until you have enough to relocate with a tidy amount of emergency savings.

3. Freedom to pursue milestone goals

Freedom to pursue milestone goals

If you’re putting off buying a house, getting married, starting a family or going back to school because you don’t want to sink deeper in debt while already burdened by too many financial obligations, paying off debt can hold the key to getting started on those milestone goals.

You can start saving all that money you threw at credit card and loan payments each month and eventually save enough to put toward a down payment on a house, pay for tuition, plan a wedding or pursue other important goals.

4. Freedom to further your education

Paying off debt frees up more money each month to pay for college courses or trade school tuition. Having fewer payment obligations means lower monthly expenses, which may allow you to work part-time or change to a job with a more flexible schedule to accommodate class times.

Even if you must take fewer classes at a time, try to avoid racking up student loan debt so your newfound freedom can continue long after graduation.

5. Freedom to travel

Freedom to travel

When you have tons of debt, there’s no money left over for vacations or even a weekend getaway. Paying off your debt, however, can be your ticket to traveling again.

You’ll have more money to save for vacations and more cash available when you arrive for dining out, clothes and sightseeing.

6. Freedom to upgrade your dating standards

When you’ve got a high amount of credit card, student loan or other debts, that can scare away people who might otherwise have been a good romantic match. So, what does that leave in your dating pool? People who have just as many debt and credit problems as you.

When you work to get rid of your debt, that shows you’re responsible and can stick to a goal. And the people you attract are more likely to be the same way.

7. Freedom to afford better self-care

Freedom to afford better self-care

Remember all those self-care services and items you can’t afford now because all your money goes to credit card companies and banks? Paying off debt frees up money for things like massages, the gym, yoga classes, healthy food from specialty grocery stores, dining out at favorite restaurants and socializing with friends.

Don’t go crazy with the luxuries, of course. And try to pay cash when you can to avoid racking up credit card debt. Adding a dose of self-care to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression may be just what you need to resist the urge to click “add to cart” next time you get the blues.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

Published by Debt.com, LLC