how to: get out of debt

If you’re ready to get out of debt and boost your fiscal fitness, you’ve come to the right place. Staring at that huge stack of bills, fielding the unpleasant phone calls -- even just knowing you’re in the red can really drag you down. Luckily, we’re here to help you get back up! We have tons of advice for getting out of debt, including credit card debt help and an easy-to-use debt calculator to help you pay off debt. You’ll also find debt advice on how to renegotiate your credit card debt and ways to improve your credit (even before you’re out of debt!). Not sure where to begin? Why not give our 7 simple steps to getting out of debt at try -- they will definitely help you find your financial footing. Tackling your debt as a twosome? We’ve got plenty of debt advice geared toward couples. Learn about financial basics for newlyweds, including how to choose the right bank and when to merge your accounts. Peek into real couples’ budgets and see how they fixed their finances. And if you’re wondering where to find all that extra money to pay off debt -- don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. We have debt help and cash-saving secrets from financial pros, and the money tips that spending savvy couples must know -- plus saving secrets from fellow Nesties. Finally, check out our tips to help you stay out of debt for good -- set up a household budget, plan your paychecks, and get credit smart.

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Money Q&A: Pay off Debt or Save?


The Nest Q&A

Is it better to use our tax return money to pay down debt or build up our savings?


Unless you have a magic savings account with a higher annual return than any of your loans (credit card, student, mortgage), pay down your debt. Say you put $1,000 in savings. You might make $30 off of that in a year, but you’ll also owe an extra $100 on a $1,000 debt that’s been racking up interest. Your net profit: -$70. Bottom line: Route your return to whichever debtor is charging you the highest interest.

Nestpert Brett Graff, The Home Economist and former government economist

-- The Nest Editors

See More: Credit , Credit Cards , Getting Out of Debt , Money , Money Q&A , Saving