Looking for extra money? 8 Debt Management Tips That Could Help Military Service Members Save Money Each Month

By Jerry Quinn, head of Wells Fargo Military & Veteran Programs

By Jerry Quinn, head of Wells Fargo Military & Veteran Programs

Want to learn how debt management could help you save money? You’re not alone. One way to help manage debt is to pay it down sooner. You could save on interest over time and reduce the total cost of borrowing.

These tips could help you:

  1. Pay off debt sooner and potentially pay less interest by paying more than the minimum each month on loans. Also, ask your lender about paying half your monthly bill every two weeks instead of the full amount monthly. You’ll make one extra payment over the course of a year and could pay your debt off faster (be sure to ask your lender about how partial payment reduce principal, any prepayment fees, and any other impacts of partial payments).

  2. Prioritize paying off loans with the highest interest rate first.

  3. Stay on top of debt by setting up automatic payments. Select the date, the amount, and the debt you’d like to pay.

  4. Bank with a responsible lender that gives you options for paying down debt on terms better for your bottom line. There are many different ways to consolidate debt, so talk to your bank about your options.

  5. Reduce your overall monthly expenses by lowering the rate of your current loans. If your credit score has improved, or if overall interest rates have gone down since applying for a particular loan, you may be able to lower the rate of your auto, home, personal, or student loans or your credit cards. Consider any fees that might be associated with refinancing.

  6. Be savvy about credit. Get your free annual credit report from all three national credit bureaus to check for errors. Don’t worry, requesting your reports won’t affect your credit score.

  7. Know your limits. Being close to or maxing out your credit limits may negatively impact your credit score. Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving accounts. Making sure your balance is below 30 percent of your total available credit may improve your credit score. Always pay on time and more than the minimum due, if possible.

  8. Use free educational resources, such as Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking® for Military to help you make responsible financial decisions. These sites offer interactive features that explain key credit concepts, such as building credit, improving or rebuilding credit, taking charge of existing debt and practicing good credit habits.

Improving your money management skills could help you lower monthly expenses on big ticket items, such as loan repayment, and reduce the overall cost of your debt over time.