Snowball vs. Avalanche Calculator

Find Out How Quickly You Can Pay Off Your Credit Card Balance.

Card A

My current minimum monthly payment is . I can afford to pay each month

Minimum Payment Plan
Total Current Debt :

If you pay back using the Snowball method
You will pay back:
You will be out of debt in:

If you pay back using the Avalanche method
You will pay back:
You will be out of debt in:
By using the Avalanche Method,
you will save $86 and get out of debt 0 months faster.
Difference between the Snowball and Avalanche plans

What are debt avalanche and debt snowball?

The debt avalanche and debt snowball are two popular methods for approaching repayment.

With the debt avalanche method, you’ll focus on paying off your debt with the highest interest rate. This may mean you throw any extra cash you have at the debt, while continuing to make minimum payments on your debts. Once you pay off that debt, you’ll move on to the debt with the next-highest interest rate.

For example, let’s say you have the following debts:

Using the debt avalanche method, you would start paying off the credit card that has a 25% interest rate first, then the 22%, and finally the 15%.

However, paying off the highest-interest rate debt first can take some time, so if you are eager to see results from committing to your financial plan, the debt snowball method might be a better option for you.

With the debt snowball method, you’ll target your smallest debt first and use your extra money to pay off that one. The debt snowball method doesn’t take your interest rates into account — instead, it’s all about getting those quick wins to keep your motivated while repaying debt.

For example, if you owe your doctor $100, but your credit card has a $700 balance on it and there are still thousands of dollars in student loans that you need to tackle, you’ll pay off your medical bill first.

With both methods, how fast you pay off your debts and how much interest you save will depend on how much extra cash you have to add to your monthly payment. That’s where this snowball-avalanche comparison calculator comes into play.

How to use this debt snowball vs. debt avalanche calculator

Now that you know what each method entails, you can use this snowball vs. avalanche calculator to compute exactly how much interest you will save and how long it will take you to pay off your debt.

First, input information on each of your credit cards, including:

Using this information, the calculator will show you how long it will take you to pay off your debt and how much you’ll pay overall using the snowball and avalanche repayment methods.

To help you better understand how this calculator works, let’s assume you have the following two credit cards:

Credit card A Credit card B
Balance $5,626 $2,399
APR 29% 15%
Minimum payment $200 $75

Your total minimum monthly payments equal $275. If you continue to pay just the minimum on both accounts, the calculator shows that it will take you $12,709 and 47 months under the snowball method and $12,201 and 45 months using the avalanche method to pay off your debts.

However, if you were to suddenly have, say, an extra $175 per month to throw at your payments, your repayment speeds up significantly. According to the calculator, you’d instead pay $10,374 over 24 months using the snowball method and $9,922 over 23 months using the avalanche method.

Which is better: A debt snowball or avalanche?

Just like with weight loss programs, the only one who knows which method of paying off your debts will work for you is you. Here are some things to consider:

Comparing the methods from a purely financial standpoint, the debt avalanche method saves you more money in interest than the debt snowball method will. However, a debt snowball can keep you motivated if you’re facing numerous debts and want to see progress sooner than you might with the avalanche method.

Another repayment method to consider: Debt consolidation

So far, we’ve discussed two methods of paying off your debts, but they aren’t your only options. Consolidating your debt into one payment on one loan is an option, too.

Debt consolidation loans provide a fixed monthly payment that should have a lower overall interest rate compared to your existing debts. This type of loan is useful if you’re dealing with multiple high-interest debt, are feeling overwhelmed juggling them and want to reduce your overall interest costs. When you take out this type of loan, you could also choose a longer or shorter repayment term. A longer term will increase your overall interest costs but lower your monthly payments, while a shorter term means you’ll repay your debt sooner and for less.

However, some lenders charge an origination fee, ranging from 1% to 6% of the amount that you borrow. This can cut into your long-term savings by consolidating. For example, if you borrow $5,000 with a 6% origination fee, you’ll only receive $4,700. If you decide a debt consolidation works for your situation, keep this fee in mind when shopping lenders.

About MagnifyMoney Snowball vs Avalanche Calculator

Do you currently have a balance on your credit card? If so, you have two options:

Pay it off in full when your next statement arrives
Pay less than the total amount owed and carry a balance over to the next month

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With our minimum monthly repayment calculator this information is easy to calculate. Take for example a credit card account with the following details:

$1,000 balance owed
17% p.a. interest rate
Monthly repayment of $100
If this person makes a monthly payment of $100, it will take them 11 months to repay the balance in full. Along the way, interest is being added on to the balance, hence the longer time to pay off the debt.
Take another example:
$10,000 balance owed
20% p.a. interest rate
Monthly repayment of $200

Paying just $200 back each month on a $10,000 debt means that it will take 105 months to pay it all off, and that's assuming there is nothing added to the balance over that period of time. Repaying the minimum is clearly not a good plan.
To speed up the process, the credit card holder should make the minimum monthly payment along with as much of an overpayment as possible.

3 Reasons to Avoid Only Paying the Minimum

You may be tempted at the thought of only paying the minimum on your credit card balance. While this is your right, there are many reasons why you should avoid this at all costs:

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