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Debt Snowball Calculator

Brittney Myers
By: Brittney Myers

Our Personal Finance Expert

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Motivation is a powerful tool in managing your personal finances. It can also be one of the biggest challenges in maintaining debt repayment. The debt snowball method is designed to keep you motivated and pay off debts quickly and consistently. Our debt snowball calculator can help you master the snowball method by organizing your debts and exploring your repayment options. Get started below.

Debt Snowball Calculator

How to use this debt snowball calculator

Our Debt Snowball Calculator can make organizing your debt simple. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Input your current debts, including balances, interest rates, and minimum payments. Be sure to click 'Add Debt' after each new debt is added.
  2. Add any amount you can put toward debt each month in addition to your minimum payments.
  3. Click "Calculate."

You don't need to enter your debts in any specific order.

Your debt-free payoff dates

The results at the bottom of the Debt Snowball Calculator show you the expected payoff dates for your total debt. It also shows you how much you will have paid in interest fees by the time your debt is paid off.

You can use the additional monthly payment field to explore how the amount of your extra payment changes the time it takes to pay off your debt. You'll also see how it influences the amount of interest you pay over the life of the debt.

How the debt snowball method works

The debt snowball method prioritizes paying off debts as soon as possible. Each time you pay off a debt, you get the satisfaction of checking it off your list. This can help you stay motivated. Here are the basic steps of the debt snowball method:

  1. Order your debts by balance size.
  2. Make your minimum payment for each debt.
  3. Put any extra funds toward paying off the smallest debt.
  4. Once a debt is paid off, roll over the same payment to the next debt on the list.
  5. Repeat until you've paid off all your debts.

With this method, you pay off your smallest debt first, which could mean you knock it out in just a few months, offering a sense of achievement and progress. Seeing your debts disappearing can help you keep going. Each time you pay off a debt, you put the amount of the payment you were making on that debt towards paying off the next debt on your list. So as you move down your list, the amount of money you're putting toward the current smallest debt increases. By the time you're ready to tackle your largest debt, you've freed up a substantial amount to use in paying it off.

While the debt snowball can be a great way to stay motivated, it's not without some compromises. The snowball method organizes debts by size, rather than by interest rate. This means you could wind up paying more in total interest than you would with other strategies.

You also need to make at least your minimum payment for each debt every month. Keeping track of due dates and payment amounts can be a challenge.


Debt Payments

Larger monthly payments help you pay off debt faster and save money on interest. But anything you can add to your minimum payments can have a positive impact on your repayment strategy.

Other debt repayment methods

It can be helpful to explore all of your options before committing to a debt repayment strategy. Here's a brief look at a few other methods that could help you pay off debt.

Read more: How to pay off debt

Debt avalanche

The debt avalanche method helps you get rid of your debts while paying as little interest as possible. It does this by prioritizing your high-interest debt. Using the debt avalanche method is very similar to the snowball method in execution, but it takes a different approach to organizing your debts. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Order your debts by interest rate.
  2. Make your minimum payment for each debt.
  3. Put any extra funds toward paying off the debt with the highest interest rate.
  4. Once a debt is paid off, roll over that payment amount to the next debt on the list.
  5. Repeat until you've paid off all of your debts.

While the avalanche method can save you money on interest fees, it can be more difficult to maintain motivation through the process than if you use the snowball method. For example, if your highest-interest debt is also your largest debt, it could be months or years before you clear away any of your debts.

Read more: What is the debt avalanche method?

Debt consolidation

If, like many people, you don't like to juggle multiple payments, debt consolidation may be a good strategy. Essentially, consolidation involves using one large loan or credit line to pay off multiple debts. The benefits of consolidation can be twofold:

  1. You only need to make one debt payment, instead of many.
  2. If you can consolidate at a reduced interest rate, you save on interest fees.

Consolidating debt is easier if you have a good credit score, because you need to qualify for a credit card or loan. However, there are a number of ways you can consolidate debt. Here are a few common methods:

Each strategy has its pros and cons, so it's best to research each carefully before you make a plan. Our guide to debt consolidation is a good place to start.

Debt management plan

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to consult a professional. You can find a number of nonprofit credit counseling agencies that can help you build a debt management plan.

Debt management plans typically involve working directly with your creditors to craft a debt repayment strategy. This could include setting up a structured payment plan, and/or lowering your interest rates to reduce your monthly payments.

Debt payoff apps

Sometimes what you really need is a good tool like our debt snowball calculator -- or a suite of tools. In the digital era, you can find many helpful financial tools right in your pocket with a quality mobile app.

Our top debt payoff apps offer a variety of resources to help you organize your debt and save money. You can also build budgets, track expenses, and access educational materials to improve your knowledge of personal finance.

Our Personal Finance Expert