Getting out of debt is important but if you want to do it quickly and effectively you need the right strategy for paying off.

Knowing what to pay off first and how long it is going to take will help make it easier.

Most people want to get out of debt or, at least, get into a situation that is better suited for managing debt. Home owners, for example, have good debt but might want to minimize their liabilities in order to stay ahead of billing statements.

People who may have fallen behind, though, will need to get back on their feet quickly. Both sets of people, however, can benefit from the same strategy for paying off.

The first thing you need to remember when it comes to get out of debt is knowing which accounts need to be handled first, and the first of these should be any accounts that are overdue but have not gone to collections.

If you have missed a payment and then got back on track, the account will still remain listed as 30 days past due, which affects the way you look on paper. Get this caught up as quickly as you can, especially if it is your auto loan because letting that go for too long could find your vehicle repossessed, even if you have been making regular payments since the initial lapse.

If you have an account in collections, however, you will want to pay off those with the lowest balances first. This way, of course, you can pay those off and get rid of them more quickly.

These accounts have already damaged your credit but leaving them alone is not going to help you at all, but paying them off will begin to rebuild your credit score. While your accounts remain in this negative state you will not be able to get more credit and you may also have to deal with creditors calling to collect on your debt.

If your accounts are all positive then you have a few other options ahead of you but the best thing is that you have the freedom to decide which one will work best for you.

For example, some consumers find that paying off balances, in general, motivates them the most. If this is you then you should consider paying off your lowest balance cards first and continue making minimum payments on the larger balances until the other accounts have been closed.

On the other hand, some people prefer to save as much money as possible by paying off high-interest cards first. In this case, apply your larger payments to high-interest cards instead of low balance cards.

If, however, you really want to boost your credit score, your motivation should be to set up payment arrangements or efficiently pay off any accounts that are close to or have been turned over for collections. These are the accounts that have been listed as 90 days past due.

The better you are at avoiding collections, the better your credit score will be, bottom line. Once you have a plan in place, the next thing you need to do is compare the ratio of credit available to credit that has been used. Use these ratios to find the cards with the highest percentage of credit available.

These will pay off quickly and then reduce your credit liability without decreasing your credit integrity. Basically, pay down whichever account will more quickly improve your credit liability with the least amount of effort. Of course, this should not come at the expense of your other credit card accounts; make some kind of payment on every account every single month.