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Both of these methods can help you get your debts under control and paid off. So, should you choose the avalanche or snowball method? To pick one of the two you need to first understand your own personality. The bottom line is the one that you choose has to be a good fit. For example, the debt snowball method takes into account the behavioral and emotional aspects of personal finances. As you knock out that debt with the lowest balance it may be easier for you to stay on track because you got to a quick “win". It does take hard work to pay off a large amount of debt and the debt snowball method could help you stick to your plan so you don't get frustrated and overwhelmed by the process as you see you’re actually making progress
The debt avalanche method is better strictly from a mathematical point of view because it requires you to focus on the debt with the highest interest rate and pay no attention to its balance. Where the mathematics come in is that the debt avalanche method will save you the most money over the long term. However, if your debt with the highest interest rate comes with a bigger balance than some of your other debts keep in mind it will take you much longer to repay that debt. In other words, the debt avalanche method would not be a good choice if you're the kind of person that requires fast results. On the other hand, if you're high on self-discipline and don't have a big need for instant gratification then the avalanche method of debt payment might be a better choice.
A debt consolidation loan
If you feel utterly swamped by your debt, then a better alternative might be to get a debt consolidation loan. If most of your debt is high interest credit card debt you might be able to transfer those balances to a 0% interest balance transfer card. There are cards available now that will give you as many as 22 months’ interest free. That might be enough time for you to actually pay off your balance before the interest charge kicks in.
If you have different types of debts like those listed earlier in this article a better option might be to get a debt consolidation loan. If you have equity in your home, you can get a home equity loan or homeowner equity line of credit. In mid January of this year the national average interest rate was about 5% for a $30,000 fixed-interest home equity loan. And in February you could get a 30,000 HELOC at an average interest rate of 5.2%. Add up the interest rates on your debts, divide this by the number of your debts and the odds are you'll find your average interest rate is much higher than even the 5.2%. If you don't own your own home but have good credit you should be able to get a personal loan and maybe for 10% APR. And that, too, should be much better than the average interest rate you're paying on your debts now.
Trading money for time
A debt consolidation loan can be a good solution but it's important to understand you would be trading money for time. In other words, you will have much lower monthly payments but the odds are your loan will have a much longer term, so you will actually end up paying more interest over the long-term.