Choosing to Invest or Pay Off Debts

Making the decision to invest or pay off debts can be difficult for many people. If you are trying to decide between putting money into an investment or using it to pay off your debts, there are a few different things that you are going to need to consider. Here are some of the variables that you will want to look at when you are forced to make this decision.

Eliminating High Interest

Millions of people have large amounts of debt on high interest credit cards. If you are one of those individuals, you might want to consider paying off the debt before doing anything else. Your credit card company charges you a high amount of interest. For example, you may be paying 20 or 25 percent interest on your debt. However, you will typically not be able to make 20 to 25 percent of returns from an investment. Therefore, if you use the money to invest, you are not going to come out ahead. In this case, you would be better to pay off your credit card debt and then focus on investing later.

Good Debt

There are some types of debt that are better than others. If you have good debt, you may want to consider keeping it around and investing. Some of these types of debt could include a mortgage or a student loan. If you have a mortgage or student loan, you will be able to deduct the amount of interest that you pay from your taxable income. This is going to decrease the effective interest rate that you pay on these debts. With both of these debts, you will most likely be paying a relatively low interest rate. Therefore, by the time you subtract the interest from your taxes, you will be at a low interest rate. In many cases, you would be able to do better than this in an investment. In that case, it would be better for you to keep the debt and invest your money.

Psychological Factors

Something else that you will need to think about are the psychological factors of this decision. If you are unsure about what you should do from a numbers standpoint, you may want to look at the psychological factors involved. Try to determine how you feel about paying off your debt or investing. Some people feel better completely eliminating the debt before doing anything else. Other people like having extra money in an investment in case they have some type of emergency.

If you would feel better about paying off your debt, then you may want to lean towards that option. Many times, getting a large debt paid off can make you feel better about your financial situation. The psychological factors of debt are extensive and can be severe. Working to remove these factors can be beneficial to your quality of life.

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