Announcing The Debt Movement Relaunch (and 7 Lessons from 2013)

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The Debt Movement is one year old!

Can you believe it? One year ago we launched the Debt Movement with the goal of gathering a community of people together to pay off $10 million of debt. It was an exhilarating and inspiring experience, and the response from all of you was amazing.

Since January 1st, 2013, we’ve had over 3,000 people join this movement and together we’ve paid off more than $1 million!

We’re thrilled with what all of us have accomplished. But we also think there is more that we can do. Although we have not yet reached our goal of $10 million of debt paid down, we’re more excited than ever about pursuing it and achieving it one day soon.

For that reason, we’re relaunching the Debt Movement today on the 1st anniversary of its original launch.

If you’re still on track with your debt repayment plan, keep up the good work and see if you can make 2014 as good as 2013. On the other hand, if you progress has slipped or if you feel like you didn’t get as far as you hoped in the past year, then now is the time to re-focus and start the New Year on a positive note.

To help you out, here are 7 of the most important tips and insights we’ve discussed in the last year. These will help you tackle your debt in the most efficient and effective way possible!

1. Make a plan and commit to it

Just like any long-term goal, you’ve got to start with a plan. It doesn’t have to be hard, but you need to sit down and look at your expenses and all your debt accounts. Figure out how much you can afford to pay toward your debt each month and then make sure you include that number in your budget!

2. Approach each type of debt with care

Remember that each type of debt is different. That means you need to know the details of each debt to make the most efficient plan to pay it off. For example, medical debt can often be negotiated or moved to a no-interest payment plan. On the other hand, credit card debt or student loan debt have their own requirements and approaches.

Read more about medical debt, credit card debt, and student loan debt in our previous blog posts.

3. Use the right tools

Having the right tool for the job can help you tremendously. Don’t dismiss the idea of using an online tool for coordinating your debt plan or keeping track of your budget. Check out this post for tips on finding the right financial tool for you.

4. Tackle it with your partner if you have one

Are you married or in a serious relationship? If so, you’ll want to tackle your debt together — as a couple. Make a plan together and support each other through the journey. Our previous post, How to Attack Debt as a Couple, for a detailed explanation of how to do this.

5. Lower credit card interest rates

Sometimes the most simple steps are the most powerful. If you have credit card debt, one of the best steps you can take is calling your company to lower your interest rate. If they won’t do it, see if you can find a better rate with a competing company and transfer your balance. Read how to call your company and ask for a lower interest rate here.

6. Get help if necessary

There’s no shame in acknowledging that you need help. If that’s the case, find a qualified financial counselor or advisor who can walk you through different options and offer expert advice pertaining to your situation. To start, you can go back and check out our post on getting a debt coach.

7. Stay motivated with social support

As you know, there will be times when your motivation lags and you are hard-pressed to keep going. That’s when you need support from others! Our community here at the Debt Movement is your extended get-out-of-debt family. You can always email us, post a question in the forum, or read tips and success stories on the blog. Also, see this post for more tips on staying motivated.

One year later, America still needs a debt movement. So let’s make this year even better than last year!