Different Ways to Pay Off Debt: Snowball vs. Avalanche

Of all the many “methods” circling the debt-free community, I have two I speak about often and will reference to clients.


If you are a die-hard Dave Ramsey fan, it’s likely you’ve heard about and utilize the Snowball method. In this blog, I’m going to define each of the methods to give you a better understanding of some great options.


    The snowball method requires you pay off your smallest debt to largest debt (in that order) regardless of the interest rate. This is a WONDERFUL method, especially for those of you with a lot of smaller debts and bills. By paying off small debts first, you gain traction and motivation to continue, as you may even be paying off an entire debt each month!

    This method focuses on BEHAVIOR. Likely you are in debt because of spending patterns and behaviors. As Dave Ramsey would say, “You don’t have a money problem- You have a spending problem.”


    The avalanche method requires you pay off your largest interest rate to smallest interest rate, regardless of the balance of each. This method is a great plan of attack for you super-motivated folks (which likely isn’t many of you.) This method isn’t preferred by Ramsey because the burn out rate is HIGH. It’s intimidating, however you will save money using this method. It saves HUGE amounts on interest rate and the math makes sense. IF YOU HAVE THE WILL POWER. This is the method we used to get out of debt and although there were times it was so so hard, we saved THOUSANDS using this method instead of the snowball method. I will add that we paid these off FAST. We paid off $65,000 in just under 3 years, so this method was sustainable for us in such a short amount of time.

The most important part in choosing which method you’d like to implement in tackling your loans is PRAYER. Ask the Lord for guidance! The bible is very clear on what God thinks about debt and we are called to be good stewards of what He’s given us!

If you are needing some motivation and a little extra help along the way, here are a few resources that may help along your debt-free journey!