Credit Card Debt Reduction – The "snowball" Method Explained

Credit card debt can be a major source of stress and anxiety in a person’s life. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to spend the money but when you’re faced with having to pay those cards off, it’s a whole different matter.

If you’ve looked into debt reduction, you may have heard of something called the “snowball” method. This is an effective way of dealing with the debt on your credit cards, that has worked for many people.

The first step in the snowball method is to write down all the balances on your credit cards, their interest rates and the minimum payments on each.

Add up all the minimum payments – and all your other monthly payments – and decide how much extra you have left to pay towards your credit card balances.

Now take the card with the lowest balance and add that extra payment to the minimum payment. Do this each month until you have paid that card off.

When the first card is paid off, take the amount of the payments you were making on it and add it to the minimum payment on the remaining card with the lowest balance. Again, make this extra payment every month until that card is paid off.

Keep doing this for the lowest balance card each month until all your credit cards are paid off. It’s surprising how quickly the payments can snowball (hence, the name) after you have paid a couple of credit cards off.

Some people prefer to pay off the highest interest rate cards first, since that will save more interest in the long run. There’s no reason you can’t do it this way but many people find it more motivating to see cards get paid off quicker.

Whichever method you use is up to you. The key is to stick with the plan every month until all your cards are paid, and resist the temptation to use the cards once they’re paid off.

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