On December 22, 2017, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. The information in this article predates the tax reform legislation and may not apply to tax returns starting in the 2018 tax year. You may wish to speak to your tax advisor about the latest tax law. This publication is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. This publication is protected by copyright.

Generally, it is sound financial advice for you to get out of debt. But that may be easier said than done, especially if the debt is sizeable compared to your ability to repay. When locked into a long cycle of debt repayment, the drudgery can become a significant burden. The payoff of a particular balance can seem far into the future and you will have to maintain your discipline to eventually get out from under the burden.

The following are some tips and strategies that may help you reach your goal sooner.

  • Considering a Major Purchase? One way to reduce your debt is to save in advance for planned purchases and eliminate all together the need to borrow and pay the finance charges. Use the Savings Goal Calculator to determine what it will take to reach your desired savings goal.
  • Plan Your Debt Retirement! Being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel makes the sacrifices needed to clear up your debt easier to live with. That’s why you should have a plan in place to retire your debts.
  • Establish an Emergency Fund. Unless you are very lucky, over a long period of time you will incur unexpected expenditures. Typically, when that happens and you have no cash available, the emergency expenditure ends up on your charge card and the cycle of new charges and repayments continue.

A better solution is to allocate some contingency dollars to an emergency savings account while paying back your credit cards as quickly as you can. This allows you to divert more to paying off existing debts when the emergency fund becomes large and significant to cover unexpected expenditures. Your goal should be to avoid any new charges while watching your balances decrease at a planned rate.

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