Finding yourself under a mountain of debt is more than just stressful; it can hold you back from moving forward in life.  Whether you want to buy a house, invest for your retirement, or buy a car, the amount of debt you have plays a role in how financially capable you are.

The good news is, debt doesn’t have to be something that holds you back forever.  In fact, most people find themselves feeling powerless from debt because they’re not sure where to start.  However, once you identify the best ways to get rid of debt, the sooner that you’ll be empowered. 

Here are some of the best ways to get out of debt and move towards financial freedom. 

Know How You Got There

Step one is knowing how you got into the mess you’re in in the first place.  Take a look at what circumstances led you to where you on today. Reflect on what you could have done differently and what you’ve learned.

Checking your credit score will reveal where your debts are coming from.  Sometimes you may not even realize the full extent of what you owe. You may have a judgment against you or a bill that you never authorized.  Make sure that you identify every debt that you owe so that you can avoid it happening again. 

Get Organized

The next step is setting up payments for each debt.  In order to do this, you’ll have to look at your total financial situation.  Calculate exactly how much you owe to each lender, and how much you can afford to pay each month.

Create a budget so that you can afford these payments while still being able to comfortably pay for your living expenses like rent and groceries. 

Change Your Spending Habits

If your debt is a result of overindulging, then it’s time to make some changes to how you spend your money.  Curb your impulse shopping and follow a strict budget.

Look closely at your statement balance each month and take note of where you can make improvements. 

Use The Snowball Method

As you pay your debts, some will start to disappear.  Rather than continuing to pay the minimum amount on each remaining debt, carry the money you were previously paying towards now paid off debts towards your remaining debts.  As a result, you’ll pay off your debt in a much shorter amount of time! This process is known as the snowball method

Stop Creating More Debt

This may be a no-brainer for some people; however, others don’t realize that it’s important to stop creating more debt if you hope to get out of your current debt.  Put away your credit cards and don’t take anything out on a loan again until you’ve paid everything off.