The Truth About Going Debt Free

d3People have debts with many creditors and at varying interest rates. Knowing how to be debt free may save you a great deal of money if you are willing to become a true master of the art and science of managing money.

Realistically, there is NO magic formula to get rid of debt. Check the debts you owe: credit cards, auto purchases, finance companies, remembering that loan charges may vary from year to year among financial institutions.

Interest on auto loans is known to vary as much as 10 percent. Finance companies often charge much higher rates than banks and credit unions. Credit cards and department store accounts can be insidious ways of incurring additional debt. That is, unless you use them properly.

In regards to challenging your every belief, it is a fact of the modern financial system that loans generally incur higher interest rates. For example, let’s say Ford Motor Company goes to your bank. The company pays interest that is a fraction over the prime rate, which is the lowest rate banks charge their favorite customers. You, for sure, are paying several points over the prime.

You may not be able to change the fact the bank gives Ford a better interest rate than it gives you. But you can control, to some degree, the interest rate you pay based on the amount of money you borrow.

Look at the interest schedules on your credit card bills. You will see information that tells you something like this: On the balance up to $2,000, the finance charge is 18 percent annually, while on the balance over $2,000, you pay 12 percent. Remember, these numbers are generalized.

You may owe $2,000 or more in credit card bills, but if that debt is spread over several cards with low but lingering balances, you are paying the 18 percent on every penny. And if you pay the minimum amount due to each creditor every month, you will carry 18 percent until all balances go to zero.

Mastering a debt free plan can be achieved by strategically refinancing your debt. In fact, you can renegotiate and finance smaller loans as well as larger ones. However, be careful. Make sure you can benefit from the refinancing before you renegotiate.

Suppose you have an auto loan at 10 percent, and your bank is willing to lend you the money to pay it off at 7 percent. Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, maybe. If a big part of the loan has been paid off, refinancing may not be worthwhile because the new debt is usually paid off over a longer period of time and will ultimately cost more.

General Rule of Thumb: The more recently the loan was made, the better chance refinancing has to work for you. Get out the papers; go to your accounts online, look at your loans today. Look to see if you can make some changes that will get your money in motion, working for you.