Which Credit Card Should I Pay Off First?

If you’re like many Americans, you probably have not one but several credit cards – and you’re probably ready to pay them off. But one of the hurdles to even getting started on your way to being debt free is answering the question “Which credit card should I pay off first?”
There are a few different strategies to tackling your credit card debt, and each has some wisdom behind it. The two most popular strategies are known as the debt snowball and debt avalanche. Read below to see how these two work so you can decide which credit card to pay off first…

Debt Snowball: Pay Off the Credit Card with Lowest Balance First
Credit card to pay off first: Lowest balance.
How it works: The debt snowball method requires you to pay off your credit card with the lowest balance on it first. For example, let’s say you have three credit cards:
American Express – $1,000 balance; 12% interest rate
Bank of America – $2,000 balance; 15% interest rate
Capitol One – $10,000 balance; 20% interest rate
The snowball method would tell you to pay off the American Express card with a $1,000 balance first.
Who supports it: The most famous supporter of this method is well-known radio commentator Dave Ramsey, but there are many others who favor this method.
Why they recommend it: Dave Ramsey and others recommend this approach because it helps you stay committed to your goal. Psychologically, people are more likely to stick with something when they feel tangible signs of progress; by paying off the lowest balance first you can give yourself a sense of momentum which will might help carry you all the way to being debt free. However, there is one glaring problem with this method, which is why many people prefer the…
Debt Avalanche: Pay Off the Credit Card with Highest Interest Rate First
Credit card to pay off first: Highest interest rate.
How it works: If you’re wondering which credit card to pay off first, the debt avalanche method makes the most sense from a purely mathematical perspective. It requires that you pay off the credit card with the highest interest rate first. So, returning to the example above, if you have these three credit cards:
American Express – $1,000 balance; 12% interest rate
Bank of America – $2,000 balance; 15% interest rate
Capitol One – $10,000 balance; 20% interest rate
According to the debt avalanche method, you would start to pay off the Capitol One card with the 20% interest rate first.
Who supports it: Personal finance experts like Suze Orman and others.
Why people like it: The debt avalanche method is popular because it makes the most sense from a purely mathematical perspective. You can save yourself a lot of money in interest charges by getting rid of that highest interest rate first (especially if it’s significantly higher, like in the example above). Depending on how long your get-out-of-debt timeline is, you might even save thousands of dollars with the debt avalanche method.

Borrow up to $35,000
Fast Approval. Funds Direct Deposited. May Build Your Credit With On-time Payments. A fixed rate loan without any hidden fees or pre-payment penalties.

Check Your Rate

The ReadyForZero Method: Best of Both Worlds
Credit card to pay off first: Highest interest rate.
How it works: With ReadyForZero, you are able to combine the interest savings of the debt avalanche with the psychological advantages of the debt snowball method. That’s because ReadyForZero automatically gives you a plan for paying off all your debts, starting with whichever has the highest interest rate, and also displays your plan visually with easy-to-use plan adjusters and progress bars that motivate you to keep going.
Who supports it: Well, we do. And a lot of other people like it too.
Why people like it: People like it because it’s free, and because it makes the process of getting out of debt much easier so you can pay off your credit cards and other debts faster than you imagine. If you are interested, you can click here to give it a try.
So, if you were wondering “Which credit card should I pay off first?” the answer is that it depends. But hopefully this information has helped you decide which credit card to pay off first and has given you motivation. We know many people are struggling with credit card debt, and that’s why we built a tool to help you organize and pay off your debt.
Was this article helpful? Let us know at Ask (at) ReadyForZero.com.
Image credit: MoneyBlogNewz
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookShare to LinkedInShare to TwitterShare to Google+Share to PinterestShare to FlipboardShare to Email

This post was published by Ben, Content Manager and Writer for » ReadyForZero.
ReadyForZero is a company that helps people get out of debt on their own with a simple and free online tool that can automate and track your debt paydown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *