How to Pay Off Debt — And Save Too

   Student loans, credit card balances, car loans, and mortgages — oh, my. You probably have a variety of debt — most people do. So which should you focus on paying off first? And how can you save at the same time?

   Of course, make sure to pay at least the minimum required — and on time — to keep all loans in good status. After all, defaulting on credit cards, car loans, student debt, or home mortgages can destroy your credit rating, and risk bankruptcy.

   Assuming you are meeting those primary obligations, here’s a guide to help you pay off debt while saving for emergencies and long-term goals like retirement. It may seem counterintuitive, but before you tackle debt, make sure you have some “just in case” money and save for retirement.

1). Pay this debt down first: high-interest credit card balances
   It can be easy to run up a large credit card balance. And once you do, it’s not easy to pay it off. The minimum payments are typically low, which means you are paying mostly interest, so it will take much longer to pay off the balance. And it will cost you more. So if you can, consider paying more than the minimum each month.

   Avoid using a credit card to finance purchases. Why? In some cases, it could double the cost of the purchase. Say you buy a $2,000 flat screen TV on a credit card with a ...

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