Making the minimum payments against your line of credit or cash advance is taking the slow way to pay off what you owe.
If you want to free up your budget and reclaim your precious cash, you need to do more than the minimum. Here are four simple tips to help you put more spending power into your online loans.
1. Check Your Contract
Before you get started, you’ll want to understand your loan’s terms front to back.
While some online direct lenders may encourage you to make extra payments, others might try to dissuade you from paying off your online loan early. They’ll do this by charging you an extra fee for making any early or additional payments.
Depending on your situation, this fee could make paying off your cash advance early pointless and expensive. That’s why you should always check your contract for this clause before you double down.
If you aren’t sure about your lender’s policy, call them to discuss your options.
2. Trim the Fat
If you’re serious about paying off your online loans, you need to make it a priority for your budget. These extra payments should get precedence over fun splurges that do nothing but waste your money.
Eliminating these expenses can free up cash you can funnel into your installment loans.
• Entertainment, including rentals, games, and night’s out
• Streaming services
• Home decoration and renovation
Saying goodbye to takeout or streaming services for now doesn’t mean forever. Once you meet your repayment goals, you can treat yourself to your usual splurges.
3. Review the Essentials
Discretionary spending like takeout is the easiest way to free up cash, but not the only way. Your non-discretionary spending can be a source of savings if you’re willing to put in the work.
This can come as a relief if you live on a tight budget and don’t have a lot of fat to trim. Instead, you can try to change your habits to find more savings. Here are some ideas below:
• Utilities: Reducing your energy consumption can lower what you pay every month. Check out these tips for ideas on how you can use less to reduce your bills.
• Phone: Tweaking your cell phone bill can free up a surprising amount of cash. Reducing your data plan or going down to pay-per-use could help, too.
• Internet: If you don’t need fast Internet for work, consider lowering your download speeds. Switching to a smaller provider may also help you save on this monthly bill.
4. Get a Side Gig
If you can’t squeeze a cent out of your bills, turn your skills into an extra source of income. You can get a part-time job and put your entire paycheck into your extra payments. Here’s a list of easy side gigs you can start in your spare time.
You can quit them as soon as you pay off what you owe, or you can stay on to increase your cash flow permanently.
Once you reduce your balances to zero, you can use this extra income to build an emergency fund, so you’re less likely to borrow a cash advance in the future. Or you can splurge on something to celebrate your hard work — it’s up to you!
You can pay more than the minimum to get rid of debt faster, as long as your lender allows it. Follow these tips to put more spending power behind your debt.