Everyone's got an opinion when about the best way to get out of debt. For the average person, it can get really confusing with all the different options out there.
Little did I know just how confusing!
When reading an article the other day I came across an option I had honestly never heard of - debt avalanche! So if I've never heard the term no wonder people get so confused when trying to find help getting out of credit card debt.
And what better time to talk about these debt snow terms than while the Winter Olympics are taking place!
So what is debt avalanche?
The opposite of debt snowball, of course. With the debt snowball method, you pay off the smallest balances first, add what you were paying, and the "debt snowball" amount keeps getting bigger and bigger.
With the debt avalanche method, you pay off the highest interest rate first, and then keep going downhill (like an avalanche) with the next highest interest rate.
Then there is the "debt snowflake" method, where you cut expenses, and add the savings to your next credit card bill payment, one at a time, like falling snowflakes.
I guess the person who came up with these terms likes winter!
OK, now which one is the best? Debt avalanche? Or debt snowball? Let's take a closer look:
- Going strictly by numbers, debt avalanche is better. You're targeting the accounts with higher interest rates first. Which is a good thing.
- But if people with debt were really good with numbers, they probably wouldn't have any debt, right?
- The downside to debt avalanche is that with higher interest rates, you probably also have a higher minimum payment. So less money is going towards the principal. So it will take longer to see results.
- Starting with the lower balances means you will see results faster. And for some people, this means they might be more motivated to stick with it.
- But looking at the numbers, your high interest accounts will keep growing. Which isn't a good thing.
so which method should you choose?
Simple - go with the one that makes the most sense to you. Even if you hate winter. And don't like snow. Pick one, and stick with it. Because in the end, both methods work.
But just like people know that exercise is a good thing, no debt relief program works unless you do one simple thing - take action! And eventually, you'll get to the bottom of the snow covered "debt mountain."
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