Week 3 Challenge:
Debt

Superhero Debt Destroyer
Destroy Debt!
– Debt Destroyer

 

Dr. Rich Wisely SuperheroWelcome to the third week of our Superhero Financial Challenge. I commend you for your desire to improve your financial well-being.

This week, I, Dr. Wisely, will share resources that will help multiply your debt decreasing dexterity! With persistence, you will be destroying debt like the Debt Destroyer!

Wherever your degree of debt is today, we will help you reach the next level in your super journey. Let’s begin!

Week 3 Challenge: Debt

for Debtbusters Paying Less than the Monthly Minimum

Congratulations on making it to the next step of your financial challenge. If you are committed to changing your future, there is nothing that can stop you.

The money saving and planning principles you learned in Weeks 1 and 2 are crucial to this week’s challenge. Destroying debt is only possible when you are living within your means and managing your funds to distribute as much income as possible to paying off debt.

Here’s the nasty thing about debt – because of interest, the less you pay each month, the more you will have to pay over time. The quicker you pay it off, the less you will pay over time.

You may be having trouble now making the minimum monthly payments on your debt. So to help you pay off your debts faster and turn the momentum in your favor, use the tools below to set the foundation.


Read the suggestions below. After you have completed one or more of these items, email DrWisely@unitusccu.com, include “I am a Debt Destoyer!” in the subject line and tell me of your success. This will earn you a chance to win $500!*

How do you decrease your debt? It is not easy, but once you turn the tide in your favor, you will feel the power as you conquer the debt that holds you back today! Follow the guide below and you will be on your way to downright demolition of your debt!

First things first: Make sure you have an emergency savings fund in place.

  • It’s important to start sending as much income as possible to your debt. BUT you need to make sure you have at least 3 months’ worth of expenses saved up in an emergency account first. Why? In case of an unexpected injury (medical costs), sickness (unable to work), home payment (something big broke) or other unforeseen issue, you will be so glad to have money on-hand to take care of these. If not, you might have to incur more debt which will make it harder to get out of debt.
  • Check Week 1 for more details on this.

 

Decide that you will be debt free.

  • To become debt free, you must decide that you will be debt free. You will face challenges in getting to zero debt, and it may sometimes be hard to stay on track. Commit to yourself that you will overcome those challenges and you will do what it takes to become debt free.
  • Write a note to yourself promising that you will become debt free. Sign the note and attach it in a significant place around your home (the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or nightstand can be good places for frequent reminders of your determination).

 

Find your debt-free number.

  • Turn your cloud of debt into a tangible goal. Calculate all of your outstanding debts so you have an exact destination you can work toward to become debt-free. Check Week 2 for details on how to do this. This number will evolve slightly over time due to interest, but having this number in mind will help you chart your course.

 

Write out your monthly payment plan.

  • Once you have your number goal to become debt-free, find out how much you will need to pay each month and how long it will take you to reach your goal.
  • Use this debt repayment calculator to plan out each month’s payments to reach zero debt. The calculator will take your interest into account, and even let you know exactly how much time and money you will save when you increase your monthly payments.
  • Pick a realistic monthly payment that you can make, and stick to it. Use the note from above to help you maintain your commitment to yourself.
  • Don’t forget: the faster you pay off your debt, the less you will pay over time. In other words, the faster you pay off debt, the more you save. So when you increase your monthly debt payments, even if it feels like you now have less money to spend, know that by doing this you are actually giving yourself more money in the long term.

 

Decrease payments: consolidate debt with a balance transfer.

  • If you’re paying interest on one or more credit cards, you can pay down debt faster by transferring to a lower-interest card.
  • First, find out the interest rate on your current credit cards.
  • If you carry a balance on any of these cards, consider transferring your balances to a Unitus Platinum Rewards Visa. This card has one of the lowest interest rates in the nation. If our interest rate is lower than your current rate, transferring your balance will allow you to pay down your debt faster because more of your payment will be used to pay off that balance.
  • A balance transfer is also helpful because it allows you to consolidate debt from several cards onto one card, and only have to keep track of one monthly payment.
  • If you have a Unitus Platinum Rewards Visa: Take advantage of our favorite debt-destroying rewards perk: use rewards points to pay down principal on any Unitus loan. We are one of the only financial institutions to offer this. It makes us feel good knowing that every single purchase on your Platinum Rewards Visa could help you pay down your debt!
  • Final note on credit: reduce your credit use until you have paid off your balance. The higher your balance, the more damaging it can be to your long term finances. The best way to reduce your balance is to stop using your card. 

 

Use the snowball method.

  • One of the most popular ways to pay off debt, the snowball method is helpful when you have more than one outstanding balance. It means putting as much money as you possibly can into your lowest-balance card or loan, while paying minimums on all your other ones. Once you clear that balance completely, you focus your payments on your next lowest balance. There is nothing like the feeling of completely getting rid of one of your monthly payments, and this surge in good feelings will help keep you motivated to pay down your debts.
  • For further reading, Dave Ramsey, a popular personality in personal financial empowerment, has accumulated success stories using the Snowball Method for its benefits in helping you stay motivated throughout the journey.
  • Next step: Single out your lowest outstanding balance. After you reach the minimum monthly payments on each of your other balances, put as much money as you possibly can toward paying off this balance. Repeat until you’ve cleared the balance. 

Weekly Challenge 3: Debt

for Debtbusters Meeting Monthly Minimum Payments

Congratulations on making it to the next step of your financial challenge. If you are committed to changing your future, there is nothing that can stop you.

The money saving and planning principles you learned in Weeks 1 and 2 are crucial to this week’s challenge. Destroying debt is only possible when you are living within your means and managing your funds to distribute as much income as possible to paying off debt.

Here’s the nasty thing about debt – because of interest, the less you pay each month, the more you will have to pay over time! The quicker you pay it off, the less you will pay over time.

It is good that you are meeting minimum monthly payments on your debt. Now it’s time to increase your monthly payments so you can pay off debt quicker and save more money in the long run!


Read the suggestions below. After you have completed one or more of these items, email DrWisely@unitusccu.com, include “I am a Debt Destoyer!” in the subject line and tell me of your success. This will earn you a chance to win $500!*

How do you decrease your debt? It is not easy, but once you turn the tide in your favor, you will feel the power as you conquer the debt that holds you back today! Follow the guide below and you will be on your way to downright demolition of your debt!

Write out your monthly payment plan.

  • After adding up all your debts into one number (do this from Week 2 if you haven’t already), Use this debt repayment calculator to plan out your monthly payments to reach zero debt. The calculator will take your interest into account, and even let you know exactly how much time and money you will save when you increase your monthly payments.
  • Select a realistic monthly payment that you will be able to keep up or add to over time. Commit to never going below this number in any month. (Your emergency savings from week 1 will help you keep this promise.)
  • Don’t forget: the faster you pay off your debt, the less you will pay over time. In other words, the faster you pay off debt, the more you save. So when you increase your monthly debt payments, even if it feels like you now have less money to spend, know that by doing this you are actually giving yourself more money in the long term.

 

Choose the best repayment strategy for you.

  • Decide whether you will use the Snowball Method, the Avalanche Method, a hybrid of the two, or a different strategy of your own. These are the two most widely used methods to pay down debt.
  • Read this helpful article and see this graphic to learn which method would work best for you.
  • For further reading, Dave Ramsey, a popular personality in personal financial empowerment, has accumulated success stories using the Snowball Method for its benefits in helping you stay motivated throughout the journey.
  • One final note: get started. Don’t get bogged down trying to choose one method over the other. The only important thing is that you get started now and stick with your plan. Create a plan that you will stick to and you will reach zero debt. It is not a matter of “if,” it is only a matter of “when.”

 

Create a visual debt reminder.

  • This will keep you motivated and focused on your long-term goal to be debt-free.
    1. Consider your inspiration for your goal, the reason you want to get out of debt. Is it to provide for your family members? Be able to buy a certain type of home in a certain area? To travel the world? It can be anything as long as it’s something that you dream about or want to achieve in life.
    2. Write down the goal/inspiration.
    3. Print or physically draw images of that goal.
    4. Place the images wherever you carry your cash or credit cards. Slide them into a wallet, pin them to the inside of your pocketbook or for bonus protection, wrap them around your credit cards. This will help you think twice before making unnecessary purchases.
  • Make the images work harder for you! Place more images in at least two of the following areas:
    1. On or next to the bathroom mirror you use every morning at home
    2. On the door of the refrigerator in the kitchen
    3. Somewhere in your workspace
    4. In your car – under the rearview mirror, in the middle of the steering wheel, on the center console or on the dashboard
  • Make sure the images are secure. Tape, staple or paste them if you need to so they don’t go anywhere.
  • Consider setting up a Pinterest page to also keep a digital reminder of your goals and your specific reasons for reaching zero debt. They are easy to set up and fill with images to help keep you motivated as you build the future you want to see.
  • Posting these images will help you engage your emotions, not just your mind, in your mission to pay down debt. (It is usually our emotions that cause us to make impulse purchases.) Reminding yourself of the truly important long-term reason you are eliminating debt will help keep you on track with your important goal of becoming debt-free.

 

Decrease payments: consolidate debt with a balance transfer.

  • If you’re paying interest on one or more credit cards, you can pay down debt faster by transferring to a lower-interest card.
  • First, find out the interest rate on your current credit cards.
  • If you carry a balance on any of these cards, consider transferring your balances to a Unitus Platinum Rewards Visa. This card has one of the lowest interest rates in the nation. If our interest rate is lower than your current rate, transferring your balance will allow you to pay down your debt faster because more of your payment will be used to pay off that balance.
  • A balance transfer is also helpful because it allows you to consolidate debt from several cards onto one card, and only have to keep track of one monthly payment.
  • Another bonus: Transfer your balance to the Platinum Rewards Visa to gain access to our robust rewards program which offers lots of gift options including cash back, gift cards, travel, live events and more.
  • If you already have a Platinum Rewards Visa: Take advantage of our favorite debt-destroying rewards perk: use rewards points to pay down principal on any Unitus loan. We are one of the only financial institutions to offer this. It makes us feel good knowing that every single purchase on your Platinum Rewards Visa could help you pay down your debt!

Determined to Decrease Your Debt?

We have a secret weapon – our Debt Deputies, who dedicate themselves to helping people get out of debt. If you are ready to take debt decreasing into your own hands, fill out the boxes below and a Debt Deputy will reveal themselves to you. It could change your life for good. Click here to get started.

Weekly Challenge 3: Debt

for Debtbusters Paying More than the Monthly Minimum

Congratulations on making it to the next step of your financial challenge. If you are committed to changing your future, there is nothing that can stop you.

The money saving and planning principles you learned in Weeks 1 and 2 are crucial to this week’s challenge. Destroying debt is only possible when you are living within your means and managing your funds to distribute as much income as possible to paying off debt.

Here’s the nasty thing about debt – because of interest, the less you pay each month, the more you will have to pay over time! The quicker you pay it off, the less you will pay over time.

Great job getting out ahead of your debt. The more you can increase your monthly payments, the sooner you will be able to put your income toward things that really fulfill you.


Read the suggestions below. After you have completed one or more of these items, email DrWisely@unitusccu.com, include “I am a Debt Destoyer!” in the subject line and tell me of your success. This will earn you a chance to win $500!*

How do you decrease your debt? It is not easy, but once you turn the tide in your favor, you will feel the power as you conquer the debt that holds you back today! Follow the guide below and you will be on your way to downright demolition of your debt!

Make a large lump sum payment.

  • If you have enough in savings (6 months’ worth of expenses, as explained in Week 1), and you don’t have any big payments coming up (based on your expense forecasting from Week 2), take a big bite out of your debt.
  • Pay $2,000 toward your debt. It can be to any type – a student loan, outstanding credit card balance, mortgage payment, anything. Depending how much interest has accrued on your debt, this will either make a big dent in your interest payments, or take a big slice out of the principal you have to pay in the future.
  • Either way, it will feel good to reduce the shadow of your debt, revealing little by little the light that lies behind it.

 

Commit your next windfall to your debt.

  • The next time you receive an annual raise, bonus, tax refund, inheritance or any other monetary gift, don’t spend it. Make it worth more by putting 80% of it toward your debt.
  • This gives you a double bonus.
    1. Each “debt dollar” is worth more: You will have more money in the long run by paying off your debt faster, making each dollar spent on debt literally worth more than each dollar spent on things.
    2. Enjoy something nice: With the 20% you kept for yourself, you will still have money to enjoy something out of the ordinary for you and your family or friends. Maybe a nice dinner, a live show or a new phone – whatever your passion.

 

Reward yourself and celebrate your small victories.

  • Paying off debt can feel at times frustrating, defeating, and even hopeless. It’s not easy to use your income just to dig yourself out of a hole!
  • You have been paying more than the minimum monthly payments, so you already have good habits toward becoming debt free. Make sure to reward yourself for being so responsible!
  • This will provide another double-bonus:
    • You’ll keep a healthy balance: Interjecting some fun with your regular payments will help you maintain a healthy life balance. You’ll have enough fun that you won’t need to impulse buy or splurge from debt burnout, and you’ll keep your monthly payments high so you get out of debt faster.
    • It’s more fun as a game: Paying off debt is just more fun when you turn small victories into causes for celebration. As an example, for every $5,000 you pay off, you must go treat yourself to a live performance, or host a nice dinner with a friend!

 

Get ready for next week’s focus on credit.

  • Establishing good credit can be very beneficial for you throughout your life. It can help you automatically get better rates on important loans like mortgage and auto loans, saving you a large sum of money over the course of your loan. Good credit can help improve your negotiating power when you need new loans for business, personal or other use. It’s like a financial force-field that protects your economic goals.
  • However, don’t forget that credit is still a form of debt. Therefore it is extremely important to manage credit wisely.
  • Used within your means, you will nurture good credit: a money-saving, confidence-building financial ally that opens opportunities for you. Left unchecked, you will give rise to bad credit: a thorny glob at the bottom of your shoe that will poke and pester you at each step, making it hard to get where you want to go.
  • Stay sharp for next week’s focus on how to build and maintain excellent credit!

 

Determined to Decrease Your Debt?

We have a secret weapon – our Debt Deputies, who dedicate themselves to helping people get out of debt. If you are ready to take debt decreasing into your own hands, fill out the boxes below and a Debt Deputy will reveal themselves to you. It could change your life for good. Click here to get started.

Discover a Debt Deputy

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