Debt Snowball vs. Avalanche: Which One Is Best for You?

Manage your debt. Debt management
Debt management to pay consumer debts

When you have multiple debts to manage, paying them down can feel overwhelming, but it’s important for your financial well-being. Reducing your debt load can help you save on interest and free up money for your financial goals, such as buying a home or planning for retirement.

Fortunately, there are different strategies you can use to tackle your debt. Two common approaches are the debt snowball and the debt avalanche methods. In this article, we’ll explain these methods in detail, and suggest a hybrid method that combines the best of both worlds.

Ultimately, the best debt reduction method for you will depend on your personal preferences, financial situation, and long-term goals.

What is the Debt Avalanche Method?

The debt avalanche method is designed to save you the most on interest payments. If you have loans with a wide range of interest rates, this method may be the best for you. It helps you pay off your debt faster by tackling the loans with the biggest interest rates first.

With this method, you pay off the balance with the highest APR first, then work your way through all your debt from highest to lowest APR. Financial experts recommend this method because you end up paying less overall in interest.

What is the Snowball Method?

The snowball method involves paying off the card with the smallest balance first, then moving on to the next card with the smallest amount and so on. This method gives some people the psychological boost they need to stick to their debt repayment plan.

It works like a snowball rolling down a hill. As you pay off smaller debts, the amount of money you can put toward larger balances grows like a snowball rolling down a hill.

Combining the Debt Snowball and Avalanche Methods

My preferred method is a combination of both the debt snowball and avalanche methods. This approach generates momentum to pay down the debt while keeping the interest expense at a minimum.

To use this method, list all your debts against their respective interest rates and calculate the total interest you pay for each debt. Then tackle the one with the highest interest rate first. This method is similar to the debt avalanche method, but it also takes into account how much each debt costs in addition to its interest rate.

By keeping your interest expense low, you can generate momentum to tackle the next debt on your list.

Choosing the Best Debt Reduction Method

Choosing the best method to pay off high-interest credit card debt comes down to personal preference. If you’re motivated by saving as much money as possible down to the last penny, you’ll probably prefer the “avalanche” method.

On the other hand, if getting a quick win right off the bat encourages you to keep moving forward, then the “snowball” method will likely motivate you the most.

The method I have mentioned may be the right fit for someone who is more disciplined and wants to pay off their debt via the fastest and least expensive route possible.


Paying off your debt can seem overwhelming, but with the right strategy, you can do it. The debt snowball and avalanche methods are both effective ways to pay down your debt. Choose the method that works best for you and stick to it, and soon you’ll be on your way to financial freedom.


Meet The Editor JJ, an experienced financial professional committed to empowering individuals with expert guidance. With an MBA and CPA qualifications, The Editor JJ brings over 15 years of diverse financial management experience. Having personally assisted over 600 individuals in debt reduction and wealth accumulation, The Editor JJ's dedication to financial freedom is evident. Utilizing personal and professional insights, The Editor JJ addresses complex financial challenges. Through JJs FinClub, he simplifies concepts and offers actionable advice for readers to seize control of their financial futures.

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