Friday, January 10, 2014

How To Choose Between The Snowball Method And The Avalanche Method

There are many options to get out of debt. You have debt consolidation loans, debt management, credit counseling and debt settlement. When things are really very bleak, you also have the option to file for bankruptcy.

But these options will either damage your credit score and/or require you to hire a debt professional. If you want to keep yourself from both of these, you should try opting for either the snowball or the avalanche method.

These two generally have the same process. Both of them will require the consumer to list their debts according to priority. This ranking will allow the consumer to focus on one debt (the priority) while taking care of the minimum payment for the rest. The idea is to get your debt payment fund (the highest that you can allocate without compromising your basic needs) and distribute it in your list based on the minimum requirement of each account. Once you have done that, the extra amount that is left in your fund will be put into your priority debt. That will help you pay off that first debt a lot faster while keeping the other creditors generally happy. When that first debt is done, you will get the amount initially allocated to the first debt and put it towards the second debt on your list. It will be a lot bigger since you combined the first and second debt payments. It should complete the second debt payments a lot faster. When this is is completed, you will proceed to the third - and so on and so forth. You will repeat the process until all the debts are paid off.

The difference between the snowball and avalanche is what will be the priority. In the snowball method, the priority will be the credit account with the lowest balance. For the avalanche method, the priority will be the debt with the highest interest rate.

So how will you choose between the two to maximize the efficiency of the debt solution?

It all depends on your personality. If you think that you need the emotional motivation of an early success, you should go for the snowball method. By prioritizing the lowest balance account, you will pay that off a lot faster.

But if you are the type who is more concerned about the money that you will save, you may want to go for the avalanche method. Paying off the high interest debt first will help lower the money that will be wasted on the interest amount. It could take you longer to get that first debt payment completion but it should be worth it.

These are the major issues that you have to consider when choosing between the two. It is important that you commit to the debt payment plan that you have chosen to ensure your road towards debt freedom.

And once you have achieved debt freedom, make sure that you will stay out of debt. Practice the right financial management skills that will keep you from incurring unnecessary debts in the future.

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