Nobody likes being in debt. Debt eats into your monthly paycheck, leaving you with less cash to spend on everything — from the essential bills to the fun frills. 

Unfortunately, debt is something most families have. If you’re living without savings, taking out an installment loan can help you handle life’s little surprises, like a shattered windshield or a midnight medical emergency.

Once you use a cash advance to bail you out of an emergency, you can pay it off faster by following this guide. These tips will help you focus your finances on repayments, free up your paycheck, and maybe even reduce how much interest you owe. 

Check The Fine Print First

Before you knuckle down, you’ll want to read your installment loan contract. There, you’ll find your lender’s policy on additional payments. 

The cash advance experts at MoneyKey encourage their borrowers to make additional payments whenever they can. But some online direct lenders will charge you extra for making additional payments. 

If your lender applies this extra fee, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth paying it to get rid of your debt. You’ll have to crunch some numbers to see if what you gain by paying off your advance faster outweighs what you lose from the charge.

This decision will depend on whether online direct lenders apply your repayments against your principal, the amount you borrowed. If it pays off your principal, you’ll lower the amount your interest is calculated by, so you’ll pay less in interest overall.

Find Money in Your Budget

Use your budget to find all those unnecessary spending habits. Hit the pause button on things like extra streaming services or takeout. You don’t have to say goodbye to these splurges forever — just until you pay off your installment loan. 

Round Up Your Payments

A painless way to speed everything up is simply rounding up your payments to the nearest $50 or $100. If your cash advance loan is usually $122.68, try $200 instead. That extra $77 or so adds up over your term. Sub the numbers into a loan calculator to see the difference.

Use Your Windfalls

Did you come into some money unexpectedly? Life’s surprises don’t always arrive with a big bill you need to pay. Sometimes, family will send you money, or you’ll win a tidy sum on a scratch ticket. You might even get more back on your taxes. Use these unexpected windfalls to bump up your payments. 

Sell Your Stuff

If your closet is brimming with mint-condition clothing that you never wear, try to sell them online. There are specialized apps that can help you sell your clothing, or you can make a post on an online classified ad. Even Facebook Marketplace is an option nowadays.

It’s not just clothing you can sell. Consider advertising any devices, furniture, or collectibles you have hanging around the house. Although you may only earn $20 here and there, these sales add up!

Monetize Your Skills

Don’t worry if your belongings aren’t worth selling. If you have time on your hands, put your skills to good use and offer your services online. 

Whether you’re handy around the house or an experienced graphic designer, you can pick up odd jobs to earn more money to put towards your installment loan. Failing that, you can try getting a more traditional part-time job at a local store or restaurant. 

Bottom Line

Paying off your cash advance loans faster just makes sense. Try these tips to free up your paycheck earlier and make your income your own again.