Make 2012 Your Year for Getting out of Debt


Today’s post is a post from Steve Stewart at MoneyPlan SOS. You can read more about Steve at the end of this post.

So many of us grew up believing that debt is a tool. We hear that using other people’s money was another way to build wealth. Unfortunately, that is not true for the majority of Americans who started using this “tool” and have gotten themselves into a situation of paying interest instead of earning it.

Hopelessly in debt

The debt becomes a burden and we come the the realization that most of our income is being used to make minimum payments on credit cards, monthly car payments, and student loans. A study by found 49% of those who struggled with debt could be classified as depressed, and when we are depressed it seems hopeless that we would ever be able to be debt free.

But there’s good news, you have a debt free date!

Even when the amount of debt seems unbearable, there’s good news. As long as you are making your minimum payments and you don’t borrow any more money you have a debt free date! Stop using your credit cards today and you will reduce their balances to zero over time, automatically. Keep sending payments to Sallie Mae and your student loans will be gone, without fail.

How long it will take

Some of your debts will take decades to pay off when making minimum payments. So don’t just make minimum payments. Work extra to earn more money and to keep yourself away from boredom shopping. Sell some things and get an extra boost in your debt elimination plan. Use cash (or debit) to pay for things instead of credit and your debt free date will be upon you in no time.

Don’t be afraid to be debt free

Paying off existing debt is hard and most people give up before even trying. Don’t let that deter you from paying off loans. Earn more, spend less, and send extra to the smallest balance and you will reach your debt free date sooner than you ever imagined. And all you really had to do all along was Pay Attention, Not Interest.


Steve Stewart is a self-proclaimed Personal Finance Architect who has the heart of a teacher. His purpose is teaching everyday Americans the secret on how to win with personal finance, which is to simply Pay Attention, Not Interest. You can read more about Steve on his website, Money Plan SOS. Steve also produces a podcast that you won’t wan to miss. You can find the MoneyPlan SOS podcast here.

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  1. Oh, I believe debt is a “tool” alright….and I don’t mean that in a positive connotation. :)

  2. As someone who started to “Pay Attention, Not Interest” I can tell you that it is worth it in the end and there is no way I would want to go back into debt! Good words of advice Steve!

  3. The problem with debt is that it usually takes a long time to pay off 100%.  Many people get discouraged by the amount and duration.  I know I felt that way but currently I am attacking my debt full steam ahead!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great post on paying off debt this year! I think a good part of the problem is how complicated it can be to figure out a debt payment plan,  keep track of all your debt payments and update your plan as needed..especially if some life circumstance throws a monkey wrench. That’s why we’re so committed to helping people figure these things out, so that they can concentrate more on figuring out ways to pay down the debt instead of stressing out about all the calculations etc. behind it.

  5. LOL Travis

  6. What a great feeling Jonathan!

  7. Yes it does take awhile, I agree. But focus and determination, like what you are doing, will get you there!

  8. That’s why people should use Ready for Zero, right! :)

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. Anonymous says:

    Good tips.  I would say one way to keep you on your debt repayment path is the debt snowball method.  It is not the best mathematically, but it’s best to show you’re making progress in your debt.  I am a firm believer that debt is a tool but like a gun unless you’re trained to use it properly you can get hurt

  11. Haha good analogy. It is a good feeling when you start to snowball your debt, paying off the little amounts first. It can definitely help keep you motivated!

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