The 5 Best Getting Out of Debt Books

Last updated: 1 January 2021.

The best debt-free books are found below

The best books about getting out of debt are featured below. Most of the books below can be read for free with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial. This might be invaluable if you are very low on cash right now. 

Click on any title below to see the latest price from Amazon, you'll be shocked at how affordable the most popular titles are. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases which helps to support this site. This does not impact how I compile the list. Happy reading!

Specialist books focusing on getting out of debt

Tackle debt with books written about the only subject you care about right now. 

Getting out of debt books by Dave Ramsey

Become debt-free in the UK with bestselling books from America's #1 finance guru Dave Ramsey. Dave's ubiquitous radio show in the US where Dave allows audience members to call in and celebrate achieving their financial milestone by shouting the phrase "I'm debt free!!!". 

Books about cutting costs by Martin Lewis

Save more cash with these great books from the UK's Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis.

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Books about becoming financially independent (incl debt)

The best selling books in the financial independence which have already proven their worth

Get out of debt by living frugally with these frugal titles:

Guides to cutting back to upgrade your monthly savings & investments

Books about getting out of debt by Tony Robbins

He's perhaps the most well-known motivational speaker on the topic of financial freedom. What is less known is Tony's collection of insightful books, which are much cheaper than his courses!

My Top 6 Books about Getting Out of Debt for 2021

Click covers to see latest reviews and prices

1. Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsey



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Build up your money muscles with America's favourite finance coach. Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people.

 By now, you've heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you re tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this it s the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. 

With The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition, you'll be able to: Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt meaning cars, houses, everything Recognise the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you) Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!!"

This book is for:

Dave Ramsey is a huge name in personal finance in the US, although he doesn't get much exposure in the UK. 

Dave has written five New York Times bestsellers which have sold over 7 million copies combined. Total Money Makeover is my favourite of his works.

His no-nonsense approach will help you make life changes and rid yourself of toxic debts. 

With over 10,000 five star reviews on Amazon, you'll join a cohort of thousands who have improved their lives through financial discipline using the Dave Ramsey approach. 

 



2. Climbing Out of Debt - Nick Sturgeon



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"How do you feel about your debt? Do you feel guilty that you got yourself into your current situation? Do you lay awake worrying about how you're going to pay the next bill to land on your doormat, dreading the next heavy knock on the door?

It's time to leave this guilt and fear behind. It's time to take action to manage your debts and get them under control so you can live your life again.

Nick Sturgeon has been on both sides of debt: successful entrepreneur and property owner, he lost almost everything and was forced to rebuild his life while burdened by historical debt."

This personal finance book is for:

A concise and expertly written book by Nick Sturgeon, a man who has been there and back himself to tell the story. 

Climbing Out of Debt currently has a 5 star rating on Amazon and is one of my favourite books about becoming debt-free. 



3. Money: A Users Guide - Laura Whateley



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Money: A User’s Guide cuts through all the panic of personal finances. It will teach you how to get a great credit score, how to save hundreds on bills, and offer practical advice on every difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding including:

• Housing (for renters and buyers)
• Student Loans
• Pensions
• Paying off debt
• Stocks and shares
• Ethical investments
• Money and Mental health
• Money and Love

This essential book will give you the confidence and clarity to take back control of your bank account, enabling you to thrive in all areas of your life."

This personal finance book is for:

This concise and stylish Sunday Times Bestseller caught my eye with its interesting cover, but it's the content that kept me interested. 

Money: A Users Guide is an entry level personal finance book designed to be the first (and potentially last) personal finance book you'll ever need. 

Succinct chapters give the impression that this is a reference guide, rather than an essay to be read from start to finish. 

Jump in and learn what you need to know to kick your personal finances into shape, then close the book. Easy!

This book would also be an excellent gift for any young adult looking to save up a deposit for a house purchase. 



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"This essential handbook will help debunk the financial jargon and break the money taboo. Packed with actionable tips and no-nonsense practical advice, You're Not Broke You're Pre-Rich will teach you how to make your savings work for you, how you could invest your money, why you need to understand your pension and why your financial health is just as important as your mental and physical health.

This indispensable manual will be your comprehensive guide to financial freedom, giving you the confidence and conviction to regain control of your bank balance and live a happier, richer life."

This personal finance book is for:

I absolutely love the tone and delivery that Emilie Bellet brings to this refreshing saving money book. 

I mean the title really says it all, doesn't it? It hits you with an almost exuberant level of optimism, before you step back and realise that of course, with the right tools and tricks, we will all hopefully look back at our current situation and regard ourselves as simply being on the journey to becoming richer. 

This book covers topics such as how to:

  • Rent smart
  • Buy a home
  • Get a better salary
  • Manage a credit card
  • Understand your net worth / credit score
  • Save more money
  • Live within your budget
  • Build a pension
  • Invest
  • Pay off your debt forever


5. The Money Diet - Martin Lewis



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"What we all need is detailed, no-nonsense Money Saving advice about organising credit cards, finding the cheapest deals for utilities, getting the best mortgage deals and how to haggle with every shopkeeper - in other words, how to make sure we're not wasting money.

Now with 100 extra Money Saving pages, in this edition of the bestselling The Money Diet, Martin Lewis shows you how to be canny with your finances, and provides clear-cut advice on how to pay bills, ways to cut spending, which banks to use and how to choose the best deals on an even greater range of products."

This personal finance book is for:

Becoming debt-free is a tightly linked topic to the area of cost cutting and controlling spending. 

Every penny you can save, can directly pay down the debts you have. This dynamic makes saving money on expenses one of the most effective tools in the fight against debt. 

This is why I've included this excellent title from legendary money-saver Martin Lewis in this personal finance books list. 

Martin Lewis found widespread fame in the UK by founding MoneySavingExpert.com. A site which stood up to the unscrupulous practices of banks and lenders, help find savers great deals, and encouraged us all to get more for our money. 

 



The Financial Expert™ Best Getting Out of Debt Book Challenge


Best debt relief books

I challenge you to read one debt-free book per month and see if it revolutionises your investing style!


The Financial Expert™ Best Getting Out of Debt Book Challenge is a well-loved feature of this website.

If you're looking for books about ridding yourself of debt, then I can safely assume that they represent a burden, and they're sizeable. 

This means that this debt will probably take a while to clear. Slow and steady wins the race in the world of becoming debt free.

If getting rid of debt is a marathon and not a sprint, then a good way to spend the next few months will be in developing your expertise on debt and debt management. 

This is why I created the Best Getting Out of Debt Book Challenge. Here it is:

I challenge you to read one debt-clearing book per month for the next year, and find your new favourite!

The objective here is to experience the advice of not one, not two, but twelve different authors over the course of a year.

This isn't just about 'brushing up' on some money-saving tips, it's about becoming an expert. 

If you're searching for solutions because debt has become a negative factor in your existence, then you owe it to yourself to not just reduce the debt, but smash it!

Debt doesn't need to be a part of your life any longer. By reading widely and getting the views of many writers on getting out of debt, you'll be better armed to face the debt gremlin!

Debt-clearing can sometimes be technical.

If you believe that you are unable to repay your debts, then multiple legal solutions exist, such as:

  • Negotiating directly with your lender on an ad hoc basis
  • Reaching a creditors voluntary agreement
  • Declaring yourself insolvent (also known as bankruptcy)

Another technical aspect is the credit score: a group of proprietary scores calculated by banks, credit reference agencies and other lenders which will impact the credit decisions they make about you as a borrower. 

With such technical aspects, getting 'a bit' of knowledge is insufficient.

In my opinion, you should either be reading a stack of books about getting out of debt, or you should be looking for a financial adviser. There's no healthy in between.

Trying to make serious financial decisions shouldn't be made with a wafer of information. Hence, 12 debt-free books. 12 months. 

Some guidance

  • I found it helpful to stock up on books for the next few months, so that when a new month rolls around, my next book was my bedside table asking to be opened!
  • Pick a variety of styles. This will keep the challenge fresh and increase the diversity of opinion.
  • Pick at least one book that you don't think you would enjoy, this book might be the one that surprises you the most!
  • If you're time-starved, audiobooks are absolutely fine!

Where to begin?

My list of the Best Getting Out of Debt Books above is as good as any place to start, as I have consciously included a mix of different writing and saving styles to ensure that it caters to a wide audience.

Good luck!



Getting out of debt requires a balance


Getting out of debt book
"By sowing frugality, we reap liberty, a golden harvest."
Agesilaus

When I speak to followers of Dave Ramsey, I often detect an almost cult-like following amongst his supporters. 

Dave lays down a very formal (and now very established) set of 'baby steps' which allow anyone to climb the ladder out of any debt-based financial situation they find themselves in. 

Following these rules diligently is reinforced and rewarded via the regular radio shows, call ins and other content that is published by his media network. 

This can lead to an almost frenzied approach to getting rid of debt. An approach which enshrines the principle that almost any sacrifice is worth making, if it will reduce the debt that a person has. 

I'd like to share my own opinion that this two-dimensional reaction to debt is perhaps a bit unhealthy. And I'd also add - Dave himself would appreciate that clearing debt is not always the #1 priority. 

And that's of course because - finances themselves are never the ultimate objective in anyone's life. Personal finance books will be the first to explain that money exists only to enable other experiences. 

Real estate, security, holidays, fun. These are the tangible outcomes. Money (and by extension, debt) is only the medium through which we can obtain them. 

When embarking upon a debt-cutting mission, frugality often becomes necessary and many of life luxuries will quite rightly be the sensible cuts to make first. 

This doesn't necessarily mean that luxuries are now evil - on the same grounds as the debt itself. Cutting down, and completely excluding something from your life is not always the same thing.

Understanding the balance of your partner

Often, couples who begin debt-busting together believe they're on the same page, but quickly fall off the rails when they slowly realise that they had a completely different view on where becoming debt-free really sat on their priorities. 

It's worth sitting down and discussing these types of challenges upfront and having a good opportunity to discuss them before they become emotive topics. 

For example; both of you may agree happily to stay away from restaurants for the time being to save on food bills.

But are you also both agreed to never eat out until the debt is gone? What about on birthdays or other special occasions? What about at Christmas?

These are totally different propositions. However, you can perhaps see that through one conversation, two people could easily come away with a very different idea of what sacrifice the other partner is actually happy with. 



When debt is ok

Debt can do great things, in the right hands, at the right time. A student loan enabled me to go to University, and obtain a financial degree that enabled me to command a premium salary in the labour market. As I earn a salary, deductions are made from those proceeds which repay the debt, which I hope to have paid off in two years. 

Let's summarise that student debt scenario more generally.

  • I borrowed a specific amount
  • To invest in something which would produce plenty of value.
  • I could then afford to pay back the loan from those proceeds
  • I then get to keep the residual benefit.

I would have avoided debt if I had a practical choice, but considering that this was the only option available to me, it was a sensible financial decision. As a result, this debt does not cause any problems for me. It doesn't feel like a burden - it's manageable. 

When debt goes wrong

Debt goes wrong is when the pattern differs from the above.

  • The amount borrowed is open-ended and might continue to increase
  • The borrowed money is spent on outgoings rather than investments which will generate value
  • The repayments might be unaffordable, or leave very little wiggle room in case of financial difficulties
  • The interest rate is so high that the lender generates a high margin and you see no long term benefit.

This is the type of debt that feels like a leach. It's either too large to budge, charging interest at too high a rate to keep-up, and may be owned by an aggressive lender who uses aggressive tactics to obtain payment. 

I think we can all agree that getting out of this type of debt is a priority for anyone in this situation. 

Why getting out of debt is worth the effort

Most people with debt sit in between these two extremes. The debt is manageable, but it wasn't taken on for the right reasons. It's therefore now acting like a drag on personal finances - taking a sizeable chunk out of each payslip, and hindering the person's ability to save. 

If you're in this type of situation, you have a free choice as to whether to focus on getting out of debt. You can continue to pay the interest, or watch the loan balance slowly grow over time, or you can do something about it. 

Books about getting out of debt are designed to give you the motivation to get out of debt, and the tools to do so. 

When you're in debt - you're producing a great return for someone else. When you're out of debt - you're the one producing a good return on your own assets. This is a fundamentally different side of the equation. Which side do you want to be on?