There are many theories as to how best to pay off your credit card debt. One, the Debt Snowball, was popularized by Dave Ramsey and has many followers. In it, a borrower pays off the lowest balance rate card first and then “snowballs” the payment from that card onto the next lowest balance until they are all paid off. One of the benefits of doing it this way is that you get a “quick win” when you pay off the first card. And because you are “snowballing” the payments onto the next card, as the balances go up, so does the payment and your first “quick win” turns into another. Then another.
Flexo at Consumerism Commentary seems to think that that isn’t the best way to do it. According to him, the method that he calls the “debt avalanche” is the “correct” way to pay off debt. In this method, you arrange your debts in order of highest interest rate first to lowest interest rate last. As you pay off your debts, you are saving more money on interest and paying the grand total off in a faster length of time because of it. In his words:
By choosing the Debt Avalanche method, you will pay off your total debt faster, you will pay less interest, and you are mathematically efficient.
And he’s right. Mathematically. And if we are all robots, it will work for each and every one of us. What he fails to do is take into account the human factor. Let me make an example for us.
I started this blog to share what I know and what I was learning about personal finance. Along the way I’ve met and found many blogging friends. Please feel free to connect with me on the Beating Broke accounts: Twitter and Facebook.