Cut down the credit card or ditch the student loan? Knock off the home equity line or get a jump on the car loan? Paying off money you owe is always a noble cause – but ditching some debts will benefit you far more than erasing others. Use the steps below to decide where to put your extra cash.
Word of warning: If you're saddled with a lot of high-interest credit-card debt, you might be tempted to pay it off quickly by borrowing from your 401(k) or taking out a home equity loan. That's usually a bad move. If you default on your home equity loan payments, you may lose your home. Borrowing from your 401(k) will cause you to miss out on valuable tax benefits. And if you quit or lose your job, you'll probably have to repay the entire borrowed amount within three months or face a stiff penalty.