Paying Down Debt Weekly vs. Monthly
Original post by Emily Weller of Demand Media
Making more frequent, smaller payments on your debts can help you pay them off more quickly. Weekly payments instead of monthly can also help you budget money, especially if you receive a weekly or bi-weekly paycheck. Use a certain amount of money from each check to make a payment so that you don't have to save up a lump sum for the end of the month. If you make weekly payments, arrange for them to be automatically deducted from your bank account so that you don't need to spend so much on postage.
Divide the amount you pay on your debts monthly by four. For example, if you pay $200 per month on a car loan, divide that amount by four to get $50 per week. Although there are usually four weeks in every month, some months have 5 instead, since there are 52 weeks in a year. If you make 52 weekly payments of $50, you will end up paying $200 extra per year, $2,600 instead of $2,400 if you paid $200 monthly.
Make a payment on your loan every 7 days instead of every 30. Pay the amount you computed in Step 1 to reduce the time of the loan and the amount of interest you will pay. Making more frequent payments reduces the amount of your principal, according to Elisabeth Leamy, consumer correspondent for "Good Morning America" on ABC News, so you will owe less interest over time, especially if your loan's interest is compounded daily.
Add a small amount to each weekly payment you make to further reduce the time it takes you to pay off the debt and the amount of interest you pay. If you pay $200 on a loan each month, increase it to $300 by adding $25 to each payment. The additional $100 per month will not seem so substantial if broken into smaller payments, but it will make a big impact on paying down the debt.
Tips & Warnings
- As long as there is no pre-payment penalty, you can pay weekly instead of monthly on any loan, from credit card debt to a home mortgage.
- ABC News; Better-Smarter-Faster Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt; Elisabeth Leamy; 2010
- Bankrate; Bi-Weekly Mortgage Calculator
- First Financial Help: Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments
About the Author
Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she started writing theater reviews for offoffonline.com and Theater Talk's New Theatre Corps Blog. Her writing covers a wide range of topics including theater, vegetarianism, travel and news. Weller has a Master of Fine Arts in dramaturgy and theater criticism from CUNY/Brooklyn College.