RE/MAX Premier Properties
How to Pay Off Debt

by Debra Engel 05/05/2019

Like most Americans, you probably carry some debt. Reaching your dreams such as saving for a down payment or registering for a class takes longer when you're also paying on money you owe. Paying it off might seem daunting when the only way you know is to either make more money or reduce expenses. There are other ways, though, to tackle debt. Here are three.

The avalanche

When using the avalanche method to pay off debt, organize debt by the highest interest rate to the lowest. Any extra funds you can come up with go toward the debt with the highest interest rate until it is paid off. Then, move to the debt with the next highest interest rate. Take the whole payment amount of the first debt and add it to the payment of the second highest debt, paying it much more quickly. As each debt is paid, move to the next highest interest rate until all debt is paid. Proponents of this method believe your debt is paid off faster with the least amount of interest paid.

The Snowball

This popular method to pay off debt focuses on paying off the smallest debts first, then taking that payment and adding it to the payment for the next lowest debt. As you pay each debt, add that payment amount to the next smallest debt's payment. Each time you pay off one debt, the amount you can throw at the subsequent debt increases in the same way a snowball rolling down a hill gets bigger and bigger. Eventually, you can apply the final amount to your last debt and pay it off more quickly. Champions of this method believe paying off smaller debts first provides a psychological boost, encouraging you to stay on track. 

The snowflake

Both the avalanche method and the snowball method rely on your coming up with some extra cash in your monthly budget to throw at the first debt. But what if your budget is so tight that you can't add a regular amount to your monthly outgo? The snowflake method is different. Always pay minimums on all your debts, but whenever you have random cash, apply the extra to the smallest bill. So, if you sell something online or if a friend pays you back for dinner from a month ago, apply that extra to your smallest debt. Use birthday money, the five dollars you found in a coat pocket, or your tax refund to pay toward debt. Even though you’re not adding a regular amount to your debt payment, you can still reduce the balance and pay off your debt more quickly than by just making payments.

Reach your dreams

Once you’ve paid off your debt, continue to pay the final payment amount into a savings account toward a down payment or some other goal.

About the Author

Author
Debra Engel

  

Through her commitment to excellence and personal service Debra has become a highly regarded Realtor with RE/MAX. Debra is familiar with the residential resale markets throughout her area. She has the knowledge, resources, and expertise to market your home effectively, and to help you choose the right neighborhood for you and your family.

Debra believes that real estate is much more than simply buying or selling a home. To her, a key element of real estate is developing relationships and building trust with her clients. When you meet Debra you will quickly realize you have gained a true friend! She knows how to listen and always puts the needs and wants of her clients first. Debra truly enjoys working with her clients and helping them through the process of buying or selling a home.

Whether your move is up sizing or downsizing or changing cities, Debra and her staff are dedicated to listening to your needs and to serving you with honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Perhaps it is this commitment to personal service that keeps her clients coming back time after time and recommending Debra to their friends and family. 

She has completed her SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist), CIAS (Certified Investor Agent Specialist), CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) and SFR (Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource). 

Her latest accomplishment in 2018 is she joined the RE/MAX Hall of Fame of which she takes much pride in.