What Is The Fastest Way To Pay Off Loans Early With No Delays?
Among the subjects that people like to talk about debt ranks right between toenail fungus and other people’s dreams.
Your brain just doesn’t want to hear it. And that emotional reaction is partly why it is so hard to pay it off.
But there’s hope.
Researchers have figured out a way to rewire your brain into taking this monster head-on.
Not only can it save your finances it can teach you a lot about how your brain works and maybe in the future you won’t have to be afraid of the word.
The average debt holder in America currently holds about $8,000 in credit card debt, $26,000 in student loans, and $10,000 in car loans.
That’s a lot for one person to manage and they all have different interest rates, terms and loan balances.
In short it’s a bit of a confusing mess. So how do we get started?.
First you’ve got to mind the gap. The gap is the difference between what you make and spend in a month. Without a gap there’s no money available to make any kind of progress.
The two ways to widen your gap are more income or less spending.
Hopefully it is a mixture of both.
Once you have a gap to work with, it is time to think of a strategy.
If you ask a mathematician how to structure your debt, they would probably recommend something like the avalanche approach.
You list your debts by interest rates with the highest at the top and the lowest at the bottom.
You pay minimums on everything except the loan with the highest interest rate which gets the biggest part of your gap.
Once that one’s paid off you use the increased cash flow to move down the hillside like an avalanche. By the time you get to the bottom you save the most money because you paid as little interest as possible.
It is mathematical, logical and it doesn’t work very well. The avalanche approach may be
mathematically sound but it omits one important factor and that is your brain.
Humans aren’t robots, they’re emotional beings. They get discouraged, they get overwhelmed, they have trouble staying on course.
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It is the same reason why those debt consolidation plans can be a bad idea. It may seem like you’re simplifying your life to put all of your loans into one big basket but what it really does is create a giant hulking dead monster that feels so intimidating, your brain just gives up.
So is there a method that works with your brain’s psychology instead of against it?.
Turns out the same mind-control techniques found in video games can work with your finances.
Game designers strategically dole out positive reinforcements.
Clearing a board of gems, upgrading your loot which floods your brain with pleasurable dopamine and keeps you playing.
At first these rewards are handed out easily, often to get you hooked, more spaced out and difficult as time goes by. It is really effective and a little bit evil but the same brain hacking technique can be used to pay off your debt.
It’s called the “Snowball Method“.
Instead of listing your debts by interest rate we list them by balance. Like the avalanche approach you pay minimums on all of them except you focus your firepower on the smallest balance.
Once that’s wiped out you roll the extra cash down the hill to the next highest balance and so on.
The snowball method ensures you easy victories early on to keep you motivated. Every time you cross a debt off your list it’s like slaying a beast and upgrading your weapon.
Your brain will keep chasing that dopamine fix even as the levels get more challenging.
While someone using the snowball method will technically pay more overall interest than someone using the avalanche approach that assumes that they’re both going to see it through.
But a study by northwestern university found that people using snow ball method were much more likely to actually stick with the plan and successfully eliminate their debt even if they owed more money than the avalanchers.
Because they gave themselves that dopamine edge.
No matter what method you use the hardest part of getting out of debt is often just starting. And it can get lonely because, you know, people don’t like to talk about it.
But with determination and planning you can turn debt into something you don’t want to think about into something you don’t have to.
I hope this was helpful.
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