Try these radical moves to get rid of debt in record time.

4 minute read

Are you tired of paying interest on that credit card, student loan or other debt that’s been dogging you for years, or even decades? If you make only the minimum payment or small payments, you’ll probably keep paying for years, even decades, to come.

However, if you’re ready to get rid of crushing debt for good, there’s usually only one way that’s going to happen: You must make paying off debt your number one goal and then not let anything stand in your way until you eliminate that debt from your life.

Sound radical? It is, but it works. Below are six radical ways to pay off debt.

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1. Get a second job

Get a second job

Nobody wants to work two jobs, but the best way to pay off debt is to earn more while spending less. By earning more income for several weeks or months, you can rapidly knock down or pay off that pesky credit card balance or lower your student loan debt.

So, get a side hustle, even if it’s only pet sitting or dog walking for neighbors, mowing a lawn or two in the summer or driving for Uber or Lyft. Then take every penny of what you earn and apply it to your debt immediately before you spend it on something else.

2. Throw all extra money at your debt

Throw all extra money at your debt

Have more money than usual left over after payday? Pay it toward your credit card. No need to wait until the payment is due, either. Any time you have any extra money, whether it $20, $50 or $100, go online and make a payment.

After all, you’d probably just blow that money, little by little, on frivolous purchases anyway. Hammer away at your debt with every bit of extra money, making payments all month long, if you like. Pretty soon, your debt will be much lower, or better yet, gone.

3. Go on a luxury fast

We all like a little luxury in our lives, but when you’re plagued with too much debt, it’s time to take a break from pricey indulgences. This is a tough one, since one person’s “luxury” is another person’s “essential.”

For example, if getting two massages a month is your norm, maybe cut back to one, since massage is good for your health and emotional well-being. However, spending $30 at the movies every weekend may have to go, since you can rent a Redbox movie for a couple of bucks and pop your own corn.

Get ruthless. Pause streaming services. Cut cable TV. Take a hard look at what you can do without and then cut those luxuries for a month or as long as you need to pay off your debt.

4. Part quickly with bonuses, found money and tax refunds

It may be tempting to take a hard-earned tax refund or bonus and splurge on fancy dinners, new clothes and all-around fun. However, when that money is gone, what do you have to show for it?

As hard as it is to part with a big chunk of “extra” money, deposit it in the bank and pay it all immediately toward one of your debts. The sooner, the better, to eliminate second thoughts.

5. Sell stuff online

You’d be surprised at how many things you have in your home that you can sell on Craigslist or another online marketplace. Extra lamps in the basement? Sell them for $20 each. Perfectly good area rug rolled up in a spare room? Maybe it would sell for $75. That bike you never ride could even bring a few hundred bucks.

Look around your home, garage and storage areas for items you can sell online for fast money. Who knows? You may end up with enough cash to pay off at least one debt completely.

6. Cook most meals at home

Cook most meals at home

By cooking at home and taking your lunch to work instead of dining out, you can save at least a couple hundred dollars or more each month. If you don’t like to cook, ask kitchen-friendly friends for some easy recipes. Then plan meals and prep chicken or tuna salad, boiled eggs, salad and other go-to foods for the week so you’re not tempted to hit the drive-thru on the way home from work.

You don’t have to deprive yourself of takeout or dining out entirely. Just make sure that when you do go out, you use coupons or choose restaurants with affordable lunch or dinner specials.

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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