About the Debt Snowball Calculator
We developed this Debt Snowball Calculator for our own benefit while we were getting out of debt. But, after showing it to a few family members, and friends, we realized that it could be just as helpful for other people on their own debt free journey. So, we decided to share it with the world. Please let us know what you think! We hope this calculator will not only provide you with a debt payoff estimate, but also be a source of encouragement for those times when you experience a little bit of debt snowball fatigue. Oh, and we love debt free stories, so once you pay it all off, let us know in the comments!
Also, if you want more information on the debt snowball, we recommend reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. This book explains the debt snowball method in great detail, and we are also confident that it will change your life. It changed ours!
For more great books to read while getting out of debt, check out our recent post: 10 Inspiring Books To Read While Getting Out Of Debt!
- How To Get Out Of Debt Fast (Even On A Low Income)
- The Dangers Of Debt: 13 Reasons You Should Avoid It At All Costs
- How To Have A Debt-Free Christmas
- What Is It Like To Be Debt Free?
- 10 Steps of Budgeting
- 25 Tips For Living On A Tight Budget
- 15 Good Money Habits You Need To Adopt
- How To Stop Wasting Money On: Food, Clothes, Travel, Pets, and More!
How To Use The Debt Snowball Calculator?
Step 1: Enter Your Debts
In the form, labeled, “Add To Your Debt Snowball,” start by entering the information for each or your separate debts, and clicking the blue “Add To Snowball” button to add your debt to your snowball. For example, your form might look something like this:
It is important to note, that what makes this calculator different, is that we treat all types of debt the same. What we mean, is that we treat credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and all debt the same. So, instead of asking you for your minimum monthly payment, you just need to know how many months you want to take to pay it off. If you want to pay off a credit card in 3 months, or 5 months, you get to decide. If you have 36 months remaining on a car loan, then that’s what you should enter. This calculator does all the work to figure out your minimum monthly payment, including principal and interest.
We have found this to be a much simpler and empowering solution for people trying to get out of debt.
Continuing on, after adding each of your debts to the debt snowball calculator, you will see them appear in your debt table, which will look something like this:
Step 2: Apply An Extra Monthly Payment
This step is optional. Once you are finished entering all your debts, you have the option of applying an additional monthly payment. The extra payment is a set amount of money you will contribute monthly to your debt snowball for the duration of your debt free journey.
Type in the amount of money you would like to contribute each month into the form input, labeled “Apply An Extra Monthly Payment,” directly above the debt table and you are good to go.
Step 3: Click “Calculate”
If you have entered all your debts, as well as any extra monthly payment, you can click calculate to get your debt snowball calculator results. Your results will appear below the calculate button.
Step 4: Understanding Your Results
Your results might look a little confusing at first, but don’t worry, we are going to break them down step by step. First off, your “Debt Snowball Payoff Timeline” is the amount of time it will take you to pay off your debt. Remember, this calculation includes your extra monthly payment if you added into your debt snowball mix.
Next, the “Monthly Debt Payments” number is the amount of money you will be paying toward debt each month. This number includes principal, interest, and your extra monthly payment. Keep in mind, if you did not enter an extra monthly payment, it defaults to $0.
Step 5: Removing Debts and Playing With The Numbers
One of the best parts of the debt snowball calculator is playing with the numbers. If you need to delete a debt, just click the trash can icon to the right of the debt in your debt table, and then click calculate again. If you are wanting to pay off your debt in a certain amount of time, just try out some different amounts of extra monthly payments to figure out how much you need to pay each month. Play around with the numbers as much as you like. After all, this calculator is FREE to use!
What is The Debt Snowball Method?
The Debt Snowball method is the process of paying off your debts in order of smallest balance to largest. You start the debt snowball method by paying the minimum payments on all your debts, until the debt with the lowest balance is paid off.
Then, each time you pay off a debt, the payment amount that you were applying to the newly-retired debt gets added to the monthly payment of the next smallest debt. This continues on and on until you are applying the sum of all your minimum payments to one final debt. The monthly repayment amount for your smallest debt continually builds, or in other words, it snowballs–hence the name.
What About Extra Payments?
If you have a little extra money in your budget to contribute to debt–above and beyond your minimum payments–you will be amazed at the results. When it comes to debt, any additional amount you pay, will go toward the principal balance, and that can dramatically speed up your payoff timeline.
For example, let’s take a look at two scenarios. In both scenarios, you have two car loans. The first car loan has a balance of $15,000, an interest rate of 4.2%, and 48 months remaining. The second car loan has a balance of $25,000, an interest rate of 3.75%, and 60 months remaining.
If you use the debt snowball method, without any extra monthly payments, it will take you 55 months to pay off both debts, with a total monthly payment of $797.63.
In contrast, if you applied $100 extra dollars to your debt snowball each month, it would only take you 49 months to pay off your debt. So, that $100 extra monthly payment would save you 6 months on your debt payoff timeline. Pretty Awesome!
Benefits of the Debt Snowball?
The benefits of the debt snowball are not in the numbers. It is pretty easy to understand that paying off high interest debt makes the most mathematical sense. The benefits actually exist in the clear defined structure, and the psychology of the debt snowball.
You see, by paying off your debts in the order of smallest balance to largest balance, the path is very clear and understandable, which can make your debt free journey much less overwhelming.
Also, the debt snowball method allows you to experience progress, and the triumph of paying off small debts early on in the process, which will help you build momentum and excitement.
Is Getting Out Of Debt Worth It?
If you are just starting your debt free journey, you might be wondering if paying off your debt as fast as possible is even worth it. The answer is yes!
Debt is a financial destroyer. Instead of focusing on building your financial future, debt forces you to focus your attention on the past. Plus, wouldn’t you rather be earning interest on your money than paying it.
Let me put it this way, if you were to spend the next 10 years paying $500 toward debt each month, that would equal $60,000. However, if you were to put $500 into a mutual fund that averages a 12% annual return, you would be the proud owner of $116,573.