How to Pay Off Debt - 3 Methods for Gaining Control

Written by Taylor Davis

Debt is one of the few things we can control.

Your life might be spiraling out of control, or you could just be starting your career – either way you probably have an extra stress on you that you don’t need. That’s why we’ve listed three different methods for paying off debt to get you out of that slump and working on a better future.

Avalanche

The avalanche method focuses on paying the debt with the highest interest rate first. Self-explanatory, right?

  1. List your debts from largest interest rate to smallest interest rate.
  2. Pay the minimum amount necessary on all your debt.
  3. Put any extra money you were likely to place on all those debts to the one with the highest interest rate.
  4. Then do so on the next one when that one is gone.

This method focuses more on the mathematical aspects of debt, allowing you to pay less money over the life of your loan.

Do you have high interest debts sucking the life out of you? This one’s for you.

 

Snowball

This method is probably one of the most popular due to Dave Ramsey’s program, and the positive reinforcement or “quick wins” foundation.

Basically this method advises you to pay off your debt from smallest to largest in a lump sum so you get the wins quicker. It’s a proven method to boost motivation and see those numbers dwindle.

  1. List your debts and their payment minimums.
  2. Pay the minimum amount necessary on all your loans, credit cards and other debt you have.
  3. Any extra money will go to the debt with the lowest payoff.
  4. When that one’s gone, put all that money you were spending on the first one to the next one.

Is motivation your struggle? Use this method.

Momentum is key

Snowflake

The snowflake method is similar to the snowball method, but seems less burdening. Instead of paying off your debt in a lump sum, you can sprinkle the payments over the month.

For example, if you are paying $100 in a month then you can divide that up to $25 per week. It makes the payments seem less and your bank account look a little better week to week. The snowflake method is like slowly peeling away a band aid, while the snowball method is ripping it off and getting it over with.

If you have income that’s irregular, then snowflake might be better for you.


Motivation might be your issue, or just getting started. Either way, you can easily start paying off debt with these options, but remember that only paying the interest or the bare minimum is like treading water. You can only go so long before you drown. Take on this experiment and see what works best.

But don’t paralyzed by something that is unnecessary.

These methods are all named after something cold if you didn’t notice. Why? Because paying money leaves you frozen while it’s happening, but don’t worry. You’ll thaw in the end


Which debt method would be best for you?

Are you struggling with something in particular from stopping you? Motivation? Fear? Other life issues?

Leave us a comment and we’ll ask our experts the best way to help.