How the Debt Snowball Works
It is really a rather simple concept. The one employing this method simply lists all their debt and budgets out the minimum payment owed monthly to each creditor. Then one creditor is selected and any remaining funds available after all minimum payments have been made is allotted the remaining balance. After that creditor is paid off that minimum payment as well as the remaining excess funds is targeted towards the next selected creditor. Thus the snowball grows. You pay of the next creditor at a faster rate then the previous. As creditors are eliminated the snowball grows bigger and bigger. Rinse and repeat.
There is an internal conflict in this method. Conflict arises in determining which creditor should be targeted first, second, and so on.
There are two schools of thought on this matter. The "motivational finance method" and the "logical finance method".
- Motivational Finance Method - Here the creditor owed the least amount of money is always targeted first. In this way the one paying off debt is thought to be more motivated because they are awarded the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of their labour sooner. However this method pays no attention to interest rates. Thus in theory the consumer will most likely pay more then the one who utilizes the logical method.
- Logical Finance Method - Here the highest interest bearing creditor is paid off first. In this way the consumer is paying off their debt the fastest and the cheapest. However experts tend to agree that the consumer will be more likely to quit than the same consumer who employs the motivational finance method.
So Which Debt Snowball Method is Best?
Technically it is kinda impossible to argue against the logical method. However, if the consumer in financial hardship is not motivated then perhaps the motivational method would work better. I would contend that if the consumer can't stay self motivated enough to see it through the logic method then neither would work anyway. But that is just my opinion. Personally I would rather get out of debt faster and cheaper.