CREATE a debt elimination plan by:

lSetting a monthly amount;

lPaying all minimum amounts;

lPaying extra money toward the debt with the highest interest rate.

This method will ensure that you pay the least amount of interest and repay your debts as soon as possible.

The trick to paying the least amount of interest is to pay extra money toward the debt with the highest interest rate. You want that debt paid off as soon as you can because each month it costs you the most.

The best way of paying off debts in the least amount of time is to set a fixed total amount to pay each month. The trap people fall into is that they only pay the minimum payments, which are designed to keep one paying that high interest rate for as long as possible.

By paying a fixed total amount each month you will, as one debt is paid off, have more money to pay towards another debt.

First, if your total payments are more than you can afford, contact the National Credit Regulator at 011-554-2600 or 0860-627-627.

Next, you need to make a commitment to stop getting further into debt. Cut up your credit cards and stop spending more than you make. If you make R10000 a month, then spend less than that.

Now, let's look at each step of your ultimate debt reduction plan more closely.

First, determine how much you can afford to pay each month. At the minimum it should be the total of all your minimum payments for the current month.

Examine your spending and find things you can eliminate or do without . Postpone purchases and cancel subscriptions. Anything to free up more money to pay off your debts.

Once you have your monthly debt repayment amount set, write down each monthly debt you are paying. Record the creditor's name, the current balance and the interest rate.

Then take a separate sheet of paper and reorder the debts so that the debt with the highest interest rate is at the top.

As each monthly bill comes in, pay the minimum payment. Subtract this amount from your set monthly total.

After all the bills are paid, take any extra money left over and make another payment on the debt at the top of your list.

As each debt is repaid, cross it off your list, but keep paying the total monthly amount you set at the beginning.

Once you stop getting further into debt and set your monthly debt repayment amount, you will be debt free before you know it. - simplejoe.com