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I am a blogger and finance coach. My specialty is helping couples get on the same financial page and win with money and marriage. 


Personal Finance


Financial Planning

Debt Snowball vs Debt Avalanche

Debt management is a crucial aspect of financial well-being, and various strategies exist to help you become debt free. Two prominent methods of debt management that you may have heard of are the Debt Avalanche and the Debt Snowball. While both aim to eliminate debt systematically, they differ in their focus and execution. In this blog, I will delve into the details of each method, empowering you to make an informed decision based on your financial circumstances and preferences.

Which debt management method would suit you best?

The Debt Avalanche Method

The first debt management strategy that we’ll look at today is the Debt Avalanche method. It entails organising your debts based on their interest rates, from the highest to the lowest. While making minimum payments on all your debts, you channel any extra funds towards the debt with the highest interest rate. This systematic approach, akin to an avalanche, prioritises knocking down the most expensive debts in the long term.

Imagine that I had £500 per month dedicated to debt repayment. In the debt avalanche method, I would direct the the majority of these funds towards the highest-interest debt. Once this debt is cleared, I would shift my focus shifts to the next-highest-interest debt, utilising the funds originally allocated to the now-settled debt. I would continue this process continues until all debts are paid off.

As an example, consider three debts:

Debt A: Credit card with a 20.00% APR, £5,000 balance, and £100 minimum payment.

Debt B: Credit card with a 14.00% APR, £12,000 balance, and £200 minimum payment.

Debt C: Car loan with a 4.00% APR, £10,000 balance, and £150 minimum payment.

Using the debt avalanche method, I would prioritize Debt A due to its higher interest rate. I’d make monthly minimum payments on Debts B and C (£350 total) and allocate the remaining funds (£150) towards Debt A until it is fully paid off. Subsequently, the funds previously directed to Debt A would be redirected to Debt B, expediting its repayment, and so forth.

Pros and Cons of the Debt Avalanche Method


Reduces the total interest paid.

Shortens the time to become debt-free.

Suitable for individuals with a budget-oriented mindset.


Requires discipline and commitment.

Relies on a consistent discretionary income.

The Debt Snowball Method

The second debt management strategy that we’ll look at is the snowball method. It prioritises paying off the smallest debts first, regardless of interest rates. This approach aims to build momentum by achieving quick wins. The process involves listing debts from smallest to largest, making minimum payments on all but the smallest debt, and directing as much extra cash as possible towards paying off the smallest debt.

Using the same £500 per month for debt repayment, the debt snowball would involve focusing on the smallest debt initially. Once I have paid that debt in full, the funds previously allocated to it are rolled into the next smallest debt, creating a snowball effect.

Consider the same debts as above:

Debt A: Credit card with a 20.00% APR, £5,000 balance, and £100 minimum payment.

Debt B: Credit card with a 14.00% APR, £12,000 balance, and £200 minimum payment.

Debt C: Car loan with a 4.00% APR, £10,000 balance, and £150 minimum payment.

In the debt snowball method, I would make minimum payments on all debts except Debt A. With £500 a month, you would pay £150 towards Debt C, £200 towards Debt B and the remaining £150 towards Debt A.

Then, when I had cleared one debt, I can then snowball my payments and target the next lowest debt.

Pros and Cons of the Debt Snowball Method


Builds motivation through quick wins.

Simplifies the process by focusing on debt size rather than interest rates.


Does not minimise overall interest payments as much as the debt avalanche.

May take longer to achieve complete debt freedom.

Which One Would Suit You Better?

Determining the best method for you, depends on your unique financial circumstances and personal preferences. From a financial standpoint, the debt avalanche is more efficient in terms of saving money. However, the debt snowball method may be more appealing to those motivated by quick results.

Key Takeaways

Excessive credit card debt can impede financial goals, but have hope because various strategies exist to overcome it.

Debt payoff methods range from strategic approaches like the avalanche and snowball methods to consolidation products.

The best method depends on individual debt, savings, financial habits, and spending preferences.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to think about and select the right debt payoff method for you. The debt avalanche method provides a strategic approach to tackle high-interest debts and potentially save money in the long run. However, the avalanche method provides you with quick wins and is therefore great for moral!

Remember, every financial situation is unique, so assess your circumstances before deciding on a method. Whether it’s the debt avalanche, the debt snowball, or another approach, the key is taking proactive steps toward paying off your debt and securing a brighter financial future.

Read more about how you can Get Out Of Debt – Fast!
If you are keen to get out of debt and would like to book a 30 minute complimentary call with me to see how a finance coach can help, then leave a comment below or email me at hello@moneyandmarriage.net and let’s see how we can crush your debts together.

If you’d like to work with Christians Against Poverty, then be sure to contact them and find out how you can get involved.

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