35% of Americans Lose Sleep Over Their Debt. Here's How to Get a Handle on Yours

A man lying awake in bed in the dark looking at a clock that reads 2:11.

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It's time to break that cycle.

Key points

  • A recent survey reveals that debt has a negative impact on consumers' health.
  • Finding an efficient way to pay yours off could leave you debt free sooner.
  • Taking out a personal loan or a cash-out refinance might be the answer.

There are certain types of debt that are somewhat unavoidable. Most people, for example, can't buy a home outright, so they take out a mortgage and pay it off over time.

That shouldn't necessarily be a source of stress. But credit card debt is a whole other story.

Credit card debt is considered an unhealthy type to have. That's because credit cards are notorious for charging high levels of interest. Plus, too much credit card debt could damage your credit score. That could, in turn, make it more difficult to borrow the next time such a need arises.

But credit card debt isn't just bad for your finances. It could also be bad for your health. In a recent survey by Self Financial, close to 35% of adults with debt regularly lose sleep because of it. That's not a good thing.

If you're in debt, it pays to come up with a plan to shed it as quickly as possible. Here are a few options to consider.

1. Do a balance transfer

A balance transfer won't wipe out your debt -- but it could make it much less expensive to pay off. If you're able to transfer your existing credit card balances to a new card with a 0% introductory APR, you'll get a break from accruing interest for a period of time. That could make it easier for you to dig out of debt sooner.

2. Take out a personal loan

A personal loan lets you borrow money for any purpose. At first glance, you might think a personal loan won't do you much good, since you're simply swapping one type of debt for another. But the benefit of taking out a personal loan is enjoying a much lower interest rate on your debt. If you use your loan balance to pay off your credit cards, you might then have an easier time whittling it down.

3. Do a cash-out refinance

If you own a home, it may be possible to pay off your credit card debt without raising your monthly mortgage payment too much. A cash-out refinance lets you borrow more than your remaining home loan balance. And if you qualify for a much lower interest rate on your mortgage than what you're paying now, you might be able to refinance in a way that lets you pay off your credit cards while virtually keeping the same monthly housing payment you're used to.

Even if you end up with a higher mortgage payment after doing a cash-out refinance, you'll generally snag a much lower interest rate on a new mortgage than what even a less expensive credit card will charge you. So all told, you're looking at a more affordable way to get your credit cards paid off.

Lingering debt can change your outlook for the worse. It can also lead to a situation where you're lying awake at night worrying about how you're going to pay it off. If you're sitting on more debt than you're comfortable with, think about using one of these strategies to bust out of that cycle sooner. Your health might depend on it.

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