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Paying off debt is no simple task and doing it on your own can be tough. If you’re wondering how to pay off debts in a way that works best for you while enjoying the gratification of seeing your debts paid off in full, we are here to help. Read on to learn more about the debt avalanche and debt snowball methods and how they can work for you.
The debt avalanche and debt snowball are both debt repayment plans. The main difference is the amount of time it takes to eliminate debt and the debts you focus on first. Debt avalanche involves making minimum payments on all debt while using extra funds to pay off the highest interest rate first.
The debt snowball focuses on quicker wins to help you stay motivated, making minimum payments on debts while paying off the smallest debt first and working towards the larger debts from there.
The debt avalanche method targets debts with the highest interest rate first. In contrast, the debt snowball method prioritizes your smallest debt regardless of interest rate, paying off debts in sequence until you’re debt free. The debt avalanche method is best for people who want to minimize the amount of interest they’re paying to lenders.
The debt avalanche method works by prioritizing loans and credit cards with the highest interest rates first and paying those off to minimize the interest you pay to lenders. The first step is to look at all your debts and list them from the highest interest rate to the lowest.
Next, you will pay the minimum payments on all your loans and credit card balances, while focusing on the debt with the highest interest rate first. This will be the debt that you work to pay off first. Keeping the other loan payments current ensures that you don’t face any fees from lenders.
For the debt with the highest interest rate, you’ll put down any additional money you can each month without breaking your budget. After you pay off that loan, you’ll move to the next debt on the list (with the second-highest interest rate).
It may take longer for you to see progress with the avalanche than you would with the debt snowball method depending on how many debts you have, but the major benefit of the debt avalanche strategy is that you will keep your cumulative interest low.
The debt avalanche method is best for people who can dedicate time and energy towards paying off large debts. People who are analytical and patient may prefer this method, as you can make considerable progress on high-interest debts but won’t see a lot of instant gratification.
It will take some patience to become debt free with this method, especially if your highest interest debt is also your largest. If you’re motivated by short-term wins, the debt snowball method may be a better fit for you. If you want to pay less in interest over time, the debt avalanche is a better option.
The debt avalanche method works for people who:
- Want to pay as little interest as possible
- Are disciplined and able to stick with a payment plan over the long term (without the satisfaction of quick wins)
- Are motivated by analytics and numbers
You will want to choose a strategy that’s best for your unique needs.
Advantages of the debt avalanche method:
- Helps you manage high-interest debt: this method is especially helpful for credit card debt, as many credit cards come with high interest rates that make this debt feel impossible to pay off.
- Clears your most expensive debts first: When you pay off your debt with the highest interest rate first, the less money you’ll be paying to lenders each month. This can be more cost-effective than the debt snowball, where you would pay high interest rates on your bigger debts.
Disadvantages of the debt avalanche:
- Progress can be slow: If your highest interest debt is also your largest debt, it may take some time before you begin to see progress. If you prefer quick wins, you may look into the debt snowball. If you are most focused on paying less interest on your debts, stick with the debt avalanche.
If you’re interested in the debt avalanche method but you also want to see quick wins, Quility’s Debt Free Life solution may be the perfect fit!
Debt Free Life allows you to pay off all your debts using the cash value of a life insurance policy, combining the power of the debt avalanche with the quick wins available in the debt snowball.
Your certified Debt Free Life consultant will prepare a personalized debt elimination report to make sure you’re using the payoff method that will get you out of debt most efficiently – and you’ll be protected with life insurance throughout your life.
You’ll minimize the amount of interest paid to lenders (just like with the debt avalanche) while enjoying quick wins (like the debt snowball).
Debt Free Life uses both methods to find what’s best for you, helping you pay off your debts efficiently.