Debt snowball calculator |

Debt snowball calculator

Build on your previous success with this debt relief strategy.

Last updated:

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Popularized by financial guru Dave Ramsey, the debt snowball method is a way to tackle your debts a little at a time. If you’re intimidated by how much you owe, this strategy allows you to celebrate small victories and build momentum toward a debt-free life.

How is the debt snowball method calculated?

The debt snowball method helps you pay down your debts in order of smallest to largest, building up payments as you go. Follow these four steps to get started:

  1. Determine how much you can spend on debt. Create a budget that accounts for all of your spending, cutting out unnecessary expenses to increase the amount you have each month to put toward paying off your debt.
  2. List your debts from smallest to largest. Unlike the debt avalanche method, you only need to pay attention to the dollar amount of the loan or credit card — not the interest rate or overall cost. Although it may be less cost effective, the debt snowball strategy is designed to give you the confidence to keep going until everything is paid off.
  3. Pay as much as you can toward the smallest debt. After making the minimum monthly payments on all of your debts, put any extra money toward your smallest debt.
  4. Repeat with the next-smallest debt. Once that account is paid off, take the money you were using and apply it toward your next-smallest debt. Keep the snowball rolling and continue paying off your smallest debts first until you’re completely free of debt.

The debt snowball method in action

Let’s take a look at an example: Jacob is a single man in his late 20s who’s spent the last few years building his career. He’s recently gotten into a position where he can dedicate an extra $85 a month toward his loans and credit card bills.

Since he’s overwhelmed by how much debt he has, he decides to use the debt snowball method to stay encouraged.

To begin, Jacob lists out his debts from smallest to largest.

DebtBalanceMinimum payment
Credit Card A$500$40
Personal Loan A$1,500$80
Credit Card B$1,600$80
Car Loan$6,000$120
Student Loan$14,000$345

After making the minimum payments each month, he puts the extra $85 toward his smallest debt: Credit Card A.

Once that’s fully paid off, he tackles his next-smallest debt: Personal Loan A. Since he no longer has the $40 minimum payment for Credit Card A, he’s able to put an extra $125 a month toward paying down that loan.

He then repeats this process, paying off the next-smallest debt, until all of his credit cards and loans are fully paid off.

Compare solutions to pay off your debt

Updated September 22nd, 2019
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
6.95% to 35.89%
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
5.34% to 35.99%
Good to excellent credit
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
3.99% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Varies by lender
Available for all credit scores
Get a connected with a lender — or get debt advice.
5.99% to 17.66%
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
3.84% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
34% to 155% (Varies by state)
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
7.99% to 35.89%
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Amount saved Balance transfer APR Balance transfer fee Recommended minimum credit score Filter values
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 12.99% to 20.99% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
0% intro for the first 12 billing cycles (then 15.74% to 25.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The debt snowball method may not be the most cost effective way to pay off your debts, but it can help keep you encouraged by giving you mini wins throughout the process. You can learn more about how this strategy works by checking out our guide to the debt snowball method.

Not sure this is the right approach for you? See how it stacks up to the debt avalanche method first.

Frequently asked questions

Image Source: Getty images

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site