How to pay your loans off faster? Learn about the snowball, avalanche and blizzard methods!

Dr. Deepti Dwivedi

Many people have loans. It could be anything from a home loan, car loan, student loan to personal loans. Loans are usually taken out to buy something that you cannot afford at the present time or just for investment purposes. Since loans are taken out quite often in today’s world, it is essential to know the best ways to pay off loans faster.

The best way to pay off your loans is the method that helps you eliminate your loans sooner and saves maximum interest charges. The two popular methods of paying off a loan faster are the snowball and avalanche methods. Some people choose to strategize by adopting a combination of both methods called the blizzard method.

WHAT IS THE SNOWBALL METHOD?

The snowball method is where the borrower pays off the loan with the smallest balance first. The borrower then continues using that money used to pay off previous loans to speed up the process of debt elimination and paying minimum payments for other loans. In addition, this method brings a psychological factor into play since it gives one a feeling of success when a loan is paid off, and there is a sense of achievement.

With the snowball method, you can build up enough momentum. Therefore, it will be easy for you to keep going and get out of debt quicker than expected. However, some drawbacks come with using the snowball method. Firstly, the loan with the highest interest rate will keep rising. Secondly, people often tend to lose focus and fail in their loan elimination goals when they use the snowball method since it is difficult for people to stay motivated when multiple loans are involved.

WHAT IS THE AVALANCHE METHOD?

On the other hand, the avalanche method is where the borrower pays off the loan with the highest interest rate first. This method has less of a psychological factor since there is no sense of building up momentum to pay off your loans faster. However, the avalanche method allows you to get rid of your loan with the highest interest rate first and save maximum interest charges. Also, you only need enough motivation and commitment to pay off one loan, and that will be it.

However, the avalanche method does have some drawbacks as well. First of all, it takes a more extended period to get rid of multiple loans. Secondly, if the borrower loses focus, they will take more time to repay their loans since there is no sense of achievement involved.

WHAT IS THE BLIZZARD METHOD?

The blizzard method is an interesting mix of the snowball and avalanche methods. Like the snowball method, you pay off your loan with the smallest balance first; however, instead of paying minimum payments for other loans, you continue to make additional payments on your highest interest rate loan. This way, you get rid of multiple loans faster without losing focus since there is still a sense of achievement involved.

The blizzard method also allows you to save maximum interest charges since all other loans will be paid off once the loan with the highest interest rate is eliminated. This will help you get out of debt faster without getting caught up in a cycle of paying minimum payments for multiple loans and losing focus.

WHICH METHOD IS BETTER?

All methods are equally great for paying off your loan faster. However, one must consider their unique situation before deciding which method is better. For example, if you tend to lose focus very easily, the snowball method might be a better choice since you can pay off your loans faster and gain motivation by paying off one loan at a time. However, if you are a very motivated and committed person who doesn’t lose focus quickly, you should go with the avalanche method. You can use a combination of both ways and keep alternating between both strategies. Ultimately, the choice is yours. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and it all depends on your personality type and personal preference.

Although both the methods have pros and cons, and in most cases, people choose either one or a combination of both, borrowers need to consider which way is best suited for them. For example, the avalanche method will save maximum interest charges and get rid of multiple loans simultaneously; however, this method might seem too mechanical and less motivating for some people. On the other hand, the snowball method will motivate you since you get rid of your smallest loan first and achieve success quickly. However, for some borrowers who cannot build momentum easily, this method might pose a challenge in maintaining their motivation. Finally, you need to experiment with the two and find out what works best for you. You can start with one method and then move on to the other and combine both for maximum benefit.