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Plan your 'debt pay-off' strategy

Adopt this mantra: no new debt. Put away your credit cards. Make up your mind to buy only necessities. Reward yourself with a little treat when you can afford to pay cash for it.

Set goals for paying down debts. The more specific your goals are, the more likely you'll reach them.

Start by writing all your down all your debts. Rank them by interest rate, with the highest one on top. Make the minimum monthly payments on all your debts except the one at the top of your list -- give it the "Payment Push." Use all extra cash to pay down the debt with the highest interest rate, first. Review your spending plan: How much flexible spending money do you have? What can be allotted to your debt pay-off strategy? Use any raises, bonuses or moonlighting income to further reduce the top debt.

When the first debt is paid off, use the cash that is freed up to pay down the next debt on the list.

Be on the lookout for new ways to cut costs and bring in more money. The sooner a debt gets paid off, the sooner you can push hard at the next one on the list.

Our Debt Pay-Down Adviser will help you build your own pay-off schedule and create a customized monthly plan.

NEXT: Develop good money habits

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