Getting rid of of credit card debt can take months, if not years, depending on the amount. If you are going to pay it off the honest way, without borrowing anymore money, how do you eliminate credit card debt fast?

First, start with these 5 ways to pay off debt faster. Set up a budget and cut spending. Then look for windfalls to help pay off credit card debt faster.

What is a windfall? According to Dictionary.com, a windfall is “an unexpected gain or piece of good fortune.” Why not use that unexpected gain to get ahead of debt?

Here are 5 ways (windfalls) to eliminate credit card debt fast:

Tax Refund. The average tax refund is $2,000 – $3,000. With that amount, you could pay off a huge chunk of a credit card bill fast, saving lots of money on future interest. Yes, some may see a tax refund as an interest free loan to the government. However, if you’re the type who would end up spending that extra income in your paycheck on other things, then it may be better to leave your withholdings the way they are.

Sell Something. The key to selling something and making it worth your while, is to sell something of value and in demand. Electronics and musical instruments can generate a good amount of cash while items like books will fetch only a few dollars. Check eBay and craigslist.org to see how much your item is going for.

eliminate credit card debt

Extra Paycheck. If you receive your paycheck every 2 weeks, rather than twice a month, then you get 2 “extra” paychecks a year. In 2011, the extra paychecks come in July and December. Put those extra paychecks to good use.

Gifts. Cash gifts and gift cards are great windfalls. How do you use gift cards to pay off debt? Apply the amount that you received in a gift card as cash received, meaning you take that same amount out of your checking and use it towards debt. For example, if it’s a $50 gift card, then take $50 from your checking account and pay off credit card debt. Make your gift card mean somethingeliminating credit card debt!

Earn Extra Income. If you have a skill that allows you to do side projects on the weekends, then use that extra income towards paying off debt. Photography, web design work, business consulting, and music performance all can turn into great extra income. Skills like photography and music can be used at weddings and special events. Be creative. Are you good at leveraging social media? That’s a new skill that is becoming in demand now for marketing for small businesses.

Photo Credit: SqueakyMarmot