Getting out of debt is no walk in the park. In fact, getting out of debt is more like walking through the dark forest full of mysterious forces from Stranger Things. It’s often full of unexpected encounters and setbacks and the occasional strange force.
Getting out of debt takes dedication and commitment, and for most people months, or even years. There’s plenty of things you can do to help speed up the process, of course – like selling things, or using debt consolidation, or working with a credit counselor. But regardless, getting out of overwhelming debt is difficult when you’re trying to balance it with all of the other important expenses like paying rent, buying groceries, and keeping your power on.
Some people take drastic measures to get out of debt and get out of debt fast. And sometimes, drastic measures are what’s required to find out what top-secret things government labs are covering up, or to ban together with Eleven and your group of friends to find Will … or (sorry for the Stranger Things tangent) to get out of debt. We’ve seen stranger things, but we’ve got to admit, these get-out-of-debt ideas really push the limit of strange.
Joined the Merchant Marine & Spent 2 Years Living on a Ship
Rent and utilities take up a large portion of your monthly expenses. So, by eliminating them, you could theoretically get out of debt really fast. However, when you imagine eliminating rent and utilities, most imagine moving in with friends or family for a few months.
This borrower from Hampton, Virginia, however, decided to join the Merchant Marine instead in order to pay off $25,000 in debt. By joining the Merchant Marine as a crew member on a container ship, she was able to eliminate her monthly rent and utility payments. By eliminating these expenses and working with a debt management program, she was able to pay off her entire debt in two years.
Strange? Maybe so. But effective.
Moved Out of His House & Into a Shed
Did we mention that eliminating your monthly rent and utilities can free up a lot of your income to pay off debt fast? Apparently, moving out of your house and into a shed in order to make money by renting your house works, too.
One guy fell behind on his credit card payments and found himself in $23,000 worth of debt. So, not only did he move out of his house to save on rent & utilities, but he moved into a shed at the back of his property and rented out his house in order to keep up with the mortgage.
Bought Things He Didn’t Need & Sold Them on eBay
Sounds counterintuitive, right? Often, spending money on things you don’t need is what leads to debt in the first place. So, why spend money on things you don’t need only to turn around and sell them? Apparently because there’s a lot of money to be made doing it – enough to pay off your loans and get out of debt.
According to this article, there’s numerous families who are making full-time incomes by selling online. And this guy paid off $50,000 in debt by selling online. Strange and unexpected? Maybe. But it works.
Couch-Surfed Her Way Out of Debt
If you’re sensing a pattern here, so are we. Eliminate rent. Get out of debt. This college dropout was struggling to pay off over $10,000 in student loan debt in addition to her monthly rent and expenses. So, she took drastic measures, and (couch) surfed her way out of debt.
She got rid of her apartment and became “technically, homeless.” Starting with friends, and then finding places to stay using the website Couchsurfing, she couch-surfed her way out of debt in one year. Rather than paying rent, she would repay her hosts by doing odd favors, like fixing clogged drains or taking care of their pets.
Moved to Alaska & Lived in a Van
Strange? Maybe. But also really creative and adventurous? We think so! With over $30,000 in student loan debt, this guy moved to Alaska to make extra money working as a van tour guide and doing other odd jobs like canoeing across Ontario, Canada to transport voyagers. It’s by far, the most adventurous get-out-of-debt plan we’ve ever heard of!
It didn’t end there, adventuring across Alaska, though. After paying off his student loans, he wanted to go back to grad school, but, “he had no desire to go back into debt.” So, instead, he bought a 1994 Ford Econoline van on Craigslist and lived out of and cooked in the van for two and a half years while going back to school.
Sold an Unexpected Possession for $20,000
Not everyone has a guitar valued at $20,000 sitting around their house, but apparently this lady did. She was already on a debt management plan to pay off her debt, and she owned a guitar that she believed to be valuable. With $20,000 in debt left to pay off, she took the guitar to a music shop and discovered that it was indeed very valuable – $20,000 worth! So, she sold the guitar and paid off the rest of her debt. The lesson? Don’t just throw out old things or antiques that are lying around your house until you know what they’re worth!
Moved Out of the Country & Saved Big With a Tax-Free Salary
With $60,000 in debt, sometimes drastic moves are required. Unable to find a job as a librarian here in the states, this borrower left the country to teach English in Buenos Aires before then moving to Qatar to become a librarian for a modern art museum. With a monthly tax-free salary and all of her accommodations paid for, she was able to save a huge percentage of her monthly earnings and pay off her debt in less than two years.
They may not be as strange as the upside-down world of Stranger Things, but these get-out-of-debt plans definitely push the boundaries of strange and uncommon. Most borrowers just aren’t willing, or interested in, taking such drastic measures to get out of debt. If you’re stuck in debt, though, and are ready to take some drastic (or strange) measures, take some inspiration from these borrowers who did the same and are now living happily debt-free!