How to use the debt avalanche

Knowing how to pay off debt isn’t always easy, but there are some simple strategies that can help. Two common methods are the debt snowball and the debt avalanche.

The debt avalanche first targets debt with the highest interest rates. This itinerary can help you save time and interest on your debt repayment journey.

A debt snowball plan, on the other hand, prioritizes your smallest debt, regardless of the interest rate. Each time the smallest is eliminated, you move on to the next smallest. If you need short-term wins to inspire you, you are a debt snowball candidate. If you tend to be analytical and patient, an avalanche of debt can appeal to you.

Debt Avalanche Calculator

Use this debt calculator to see how much time and money you could save using this strategy. Enter details of your debts (excluding your mortgage), including interest rates and minimum payments.

Then make a budget to see how much you can spend on your debt each month to speed up your repayment.

Switch between avalanche and snowball to compare the two strategies on total costs, interest paid, and payback time.

If you can’t pay off your unsecured debt, like credit cards and personal loans, in five years or less, you may need to research options for debt relief.

Using the debt avalanche strategy

Supporters of the debt avalanche approach include NerdWallet columnist Liz Weston. “You’ll get out of debt faster by tackling toxic debt first,” she says. “On the other hand, if you really think you won’t be successful without making small wins, a snowball of debt is much better than doing nothing at all.”

Often times, people can settle their debt by creating and sticking to a budget, which frees up money to implement an avalanche debt repayment strategy. Once you’ve figured out what you owe and where you’re spending, it’s time to jump into the avalanche.

Add up all the minimums you owe on your debt – ranked from highest to lowest interest rate – then determine how much more you can pay above your total minimums.

Let’s say you have a hospital bill for $ 300 and the hospital allows you to pay it without interest. You also have a credit card balance of $ 2,500 at 22.9% interest and another of $ 5,000 at 15.9%.

That $ 2,500 credit card balance becomes your top priority because it carries the highest interest rate. If you can put an extra $ 200 on your total minimums to pay off the debt, it will go into that debt until it’s paid off. Then you add the minimum of that debt to the additional $ 200 and put the total on the bill with the second highest interest rate.

Continue to eliminate debts and build their minimums into the additional debt payment amount until all debts are paid off. If a promotional interest rate ends, you may need to reorganize your debt to focus on the one with the higher rate.

An avalanche and a snowball both use up the money you pledged to pay back. Sometimes, however, you come across “extra” money, like a rebate check or a jar full of change. You can complete either repayment strategy by using this found money to further reduce your debt (the “snowflake” method).

Watch your debts go down

Create an account to link your cards, loans and accounts to manage them all in one place.

Is the avalanche method right for you?

While the avalanche may be your cheapest and most logical way to get out of debt, you may have to wait a long time to feel the triumph of debt reset, especially if your debt is over. the highest interest rate is also the most important.

You can create a spreadsheet to track your progress, but a debt repayment calculator, like the one above, can perform all of these steps for you automatically. It also gives you the emotional reward of seeing your debt go down.

It is important. If you tire of the sacrifices you make to pay off your debt, you may decide it’s not worth it and stop. If you do this all the money you were To go saving will not matter.


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