Oh, Sagittarians — We love that your sign loves to learn, but girl, you gotta watch out for debt! Sagittarians carry the highest average nonmortgage debt balances of all the zodiac signs, much of which is likely student debt, according to a new study from Lending Tree.
These numbers make perfect sense when you think about the traits of those born under this sign, says Chase Chualong, professional astrologer and founder of Early Bird Astrology in New York City. “Sagittarius absolutely loves higher education. They love to expand their minds and grow in their understanding of the world. They are going to prioritize education, even if they have to go into debt,” Chualong says.
Things generally seem to work out well for Sags, as they have an inherent amount of luck.
The other thing high on their lists? Adventure. Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter, and Jupiter is the planet of expansion. Because of this, people born under this sign hate the feeling of “being on a leash;” they generally love change and new experiences, and they would happily wander the world in search of exciting new encounters, Chualong says. While this may sound great, it’s not ideal for folks on a budget.
Educational—and other—debt doesn’t have to take down your financial life, however. Here’s a plan for kicking your bottom line into tip-top shape during this birthday month—and all year long.
Separate The Good (Debt) From The Bad
Not all debt is bad debt. In general, debt that gets you somewhere—puts a roof over your head, helps you acquire the car that gets you back and forth to work, or enables you to earn a degree that will boost your earning power— is good debt. “For example, medical school debt is not a bad thing,” says Kali McFadden, senior research analyst at Lending Tree. “But if it’s debt from taking two semesters in college and dropping out and then going back to working retail, that’s not good.”
The term “nonmortgage debt” generally refers to debt from auto loans, student loans and personal loans where you have a fixed monthly payment. On average, you curious and energetic Sags are carrying around $32,000 in nonmortgage debt. Although some of this nonmortgage debt falls into the good debt category, Sagittarians also carry higher-than-average credit card debt, with the ninth highest balance out of all 12 signs—nearly $8,000, according to Lending Tree. Those debts can be categorized under bad.
Make A Plan To Pay It Back
The approach to repaying good debts is to lower the interest rates as far as possible, then pay off your debts over time (generally on the schedule you’re given.) That makes your credit score very important, since the interest rate you’re offered on your loans always depends on your credit score. (The worse your score, the more you’re going to spend on your loans!)
Sagittarius is in the middle of the pack when it comes to your credit score—you rank seven out of all 12 signs. You’re also in the middle of the pack (again, seven of 12) when it comes to credit utilization, which is the amount of available credit someone has when compared to their debt. “In general you should never use more than 20% to 30% of your available credit,” McFadden says. “If you continually use all your available credit, banks will consider you a higher risk, and you’ll end up with higher interest rates.” Paying all your bills on time every time is another important move.
As for those not-so-good debts? Again, lower the interest rates as much as possible—ask your card companies for a reduction or consider a balance transfer card. Then, apply the avalanche method. Line up all your credit cards by interest rate (highest first). Put all of your extra cash toward repaying that highest rate card and make minimum payments on the rest. When that card’s paid off, move to the next one on your list.
Use Your Intuition (And Occasional Luck) To Dig Out, Then Earn More
While Sagittarians may occasionally get in trouble because they tend to operate from a place of “doing what feels good,” they also have a way of being in the right place at the right time—their excellent sense of intuition guides them through life, Chualong says. Things generally seem to work out well for Sags, as they have an inherent amount of luck. They are also able to accomplish whatever they put their mind to, whether it’s travel, education, or, yes, even paying down debt.
Simultaneously, you can turn your good instincts to figuring out a way to boost your earning power. “Sagittarius wants everything. They don’t like the word ‘no,’ but they do know that instinctively that things will work out for them.” Let that guide you to padding your pockets even more in 2019.
Happy birthday, Sags! We want to celebrate with you all year. Subscribe to HerMoney today so we can keep up with you!