Main Reasons to Pay Off Debt

Many plans to pay off debt fail because there’s no real motivation behind them. You may start out fully motivated to become debt free, but you can easily become discouraged at the time and effort it takes to see your plan all the way through.

If you want keep momentum in your debt payoff, you have to continually remind yourself of the reasons you want to get out of debt. How will paying off your outstanding bills benefit your life? What can you do when you’re debt free that you can’t do now? If you’re stumped for debt payoff motivation, here are nine reasons you should be debt free.

Increase your financial security.

Hands holding debt letters
© John Rensten / Creative RF / Getty

Debt is a serious threat to your financial security because it keeps you from making the most of your money. What you spend on debt payments could be stashed away for a rainy day, for your retirement days, or for your kids’ college days. Once you become debt free, you’ll be able to work toward becoming financially secure.

More money to spend on the things you enjoy (without feeling guilty).

Paying on debt leaves you with less money to do the things you really want to do in life.

Unfortunately, this is the reason many people end up going deeper and deeper into debt. They can’t afford to buy things because of the debt they have, so they use more debt to make purchases, until they reach the end of their borrowing rope. Paying off your debt ends this vicious cycle and frees up your money to buy the things you really enjoy.

Reduce the stress in your life.

Debt can lead to extra stress as you worry about how you're going to cover all the debt payments and other living expenses. A little stress every once in awhile isn’t harmful, but constant stress can lead to serious health issues including migraines and even heart attack. In some cases, becoming debt free can literally save your life.

Reduce the number of bills you pay.

The more people you owe, the more bills you have to keep up with and pay. Once you become debt free, you’ll have fewer bills coming in the mail every month. You’ll only have a few monthly expenses to worry about, things like utilities, insurance, and cell phone service – all expenses that don’t have minimum payments and interest charges and long-term obligations.

Improve your credit score.

Too much debt, especially credit card debt, can have a negative impact on your credit score. When your credit card balances are high compared to your credit limit, your credit score takes a hit. The same thing applies when your loan balances are high compared to the original borrowed amount. Being debt free lets you raise your credit score.

To teach your children good money habits.

When it comes to finances, it’s better to lead by example. If you want your children to stay away from debt, tell them the importance of being debt free and show them by actually being debt free. That way, your financial lessons won’t seem hypocritical.

To own your assets.

When you have a mortgage, you don’t own your home, the bank does. The same thing goes for your car and your auto loan. Being debt free means, you own the house you live in, the car you drive, and the clothes you wear. You don't have to worry about someone taking your belongings because you couldn't afford the payments.

Increase your future earnings.

Whenever you take out a loan or charge something on a credit card, you’re simply borrowing from your future income. So, the $1,000 or $100,000 you spend today will be taken from what you earn in the days to come.

Truthfully, debt decreases your future standard of living, by giving you less money to live on than what you have today. Make the most of the income you expect to earn by taking steps to become debt free.

Get out of the mercy of your lenders.

As long as you have outstanding debt, you don’t make the decisions about your money, your lenders do. They decide how much you pay them and when you pay them. In some cases, they can increase your interest rate and minimum payment and give you less than two months to adjust your budget to fit them. Paying off your debt and becoming debt free puts you in complete control of your money.