If you have been thinking about how to pay off your credit card debt fast, this is the post for you.
As stated in UK personal debt statistics, 63% of UK adults had personal debt in 2019, and as of 2021, the average total debt per adult was £32,053. Whether your debt is more or less than that figure, it can sometimes be a long road to being debt-free.
Strategies for paying off debt
Choosing the right debt payment strategy can help you stay afloat financially and provide relief. Before deciding on the payment strategy you would love to adopt on your debt-free journey, you need to use a debt prioritization tool.
This tool would help you identify those you owe, how much you owe, the interest rate, the actions they have taken so far against you, and how much time you have to make payment.
Doing this would further help you determine which debt is costing you more and which one will take the longest time to pay off. Consider these three strategies to help you get started.
After you prioritize your debt in order of largest to smallest, the snowball strategy is a method that allows you to start your debt reduction process by paying off the smallest first.
You allocate the largest amount of money to your smallest debts while paying the minimum requirement on all the other debts; this means the smallest debt gets the bulk of your money while the others get just the minimum.
The beauty of the snowball strategy is that it helps you see how quickly you are making a change to your debt list, accompanied by a feeling of fulfillment and a good sense of gratification as soon as you pay off the small debts.
The downside of this strategy is that it would cost you more because this method ignores the interest on the larger debts, especially those with high interest.
For instance, if you put aside a debit of about £5000 or £10000 with a 10% interest rate, and concentrate on smaller debts with a lower interest rate, the 10% interest debt will keep increasing, costing you more.
If you finally pay all of your debt, the total interest you would have paid off would be more.
This method is a debt-reduction strategy where you first list all your debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. You then pay off in order of largest to smallest by paying the minimum on all the other debt and allocating the bulk of your money to the biggest debt.
This strategy would not give you that immediate sense of gratification that the snowballing method offers, but it will cost you less because you are putting more money into the debt with the highest interest.
It explains why you should never apply for high-interest credit cards. Having to pay debts with an interest rate of about 29% is ridiculous! They cost so much at the end of the day.
With avalanche, you have to be determined, disciplined, stick with the process, and keep banging at that door until you break it down.
I coined the name ‘snowlanche’ myself and personally adopted the method because it has worked for me. It is a hybrid of the snowball and the avalanche strategy.
The snow-lanche method is a strategy where you throw a chunk of money on the largest debt, pay the minimum on everything in between, and work on paying off the smallest debt simultaneously.
You can get a sense of gratification from paying off the smallest while also paying off the largest. This method works a lot because throwing money on the largest and the smallest debts would result in a lesser cost on the at the end of the day.
The Bottom Line
There is no secret to paying off debts other than discipline and sticking to a good strategy. Also, make use of debt prioritization tools like my budget and saving book that provides a means for you to budget, and track your savings, and also has features to support your debt payment journey.
Till next time.