How to Get Out of Debt With Low Income

By Shannon Steen-Larsen

  • Overview

    Debt can be an overwhelming burden that haunts you both day and night. You may feel helpless knowing you owe someone money and may think there is no way out. With some self-control and effort, you can get out of debt, even if you make don't make a lot of money. Here are a few tips on how to get out of debt with low income.
    • Step 1

      Add up your debts. The first step to getting out of debt is to figure out who and how much you owe. Make a list of the creditors and amounts, beginning with the smallest amount up to the largest amount you owe.
    • Step 2

      Sell, sell, sell. Look through your garage and personal belongings and figure out what you can sell to make some money quickly. You can have a garage sale or sell your items online (see resources). Use the money to pay off your debt.


    • Step 3

      Sell your car. Oftentimes, some of the largest payments people make are for their vehicle (other than rent or a mortgage). Sell your car and buy a car with cash. You will get rid of your monthly car payment and be able to apply that amount toward paying down your debt.
    • Step 4

      Work additional jobs. To pay down debt even more quickly, work a night job or a job delivering newspapers. You may even find a job writing articles online. Use this money to pay down your debt.
    • Step 5

      Live on a budget. Oftentimes, if you aren't keeping track of your money, you will go through it quickly and have no idea what it was spent on. If you tell your money where to go, you can direct more of your income to paying off the debt quickly. Get rid of unnecessary things such as gym memberships, salon visits and other items so you can use the funds to pay down debt.
    • Step 6

      Pay down the smallest balance first. You may think that you should pay down the debt that has the highest interest rate first. Doing so can be frustrating because a majority of the payment is being applied to the interest, not the balance, and it may seem like your payments aren't affecting the debt at all. Continue to make the minimum payments on all accounts. Apply extra funds toward the smallest balance until it is paid off. Once the smallest balance is paid off, take the amount you were paying and apply it to the next smallest balance. Continue this cycle until all debt is paid off.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: You will feel in control and an amazing amount of freedom when you are debt free. Don't think that even with low income you can't be free from debt. It requires self-control and effort.

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