Debt comes in so many shapes—credit cards, mortgages, car loans, student loans, etc.—and it always has a nasty way of demanding attention. But eliminating debt doesn’t have to consume you entirely. Here are some tools and tips that’ll help to pay down your debt so you can lounge in the comfort of a financially free life.

How It Works

Though there are multiple debt payoff methods, the majority of them consist of paying more toward your debt than the monthly minimum. This way you can get rid of debt faster and save some money on interest. This calculator shows how long it will take to pay off a loan and how much accrued interest will need to be paid by the end of the loan’s payoff period.

  1. Enter how much money is currently owed on the loan in the “Loan Balance” text box.
  2. Adjust the sliders to match the details of the loan.
  3. Move the “Added Monthly Amt” slider to see how paying a bit more each month will save money on interest and change the final payoff date.
Click here to read how this tool works, and for disclaimers.

How to create a debt payoff plan?

As aggravating as it may seem to focus on paying off student loans and credit card balances, it’s a needed skill. Here are some methods that’ll help boost your motivation and encourage you to wipe the slate clean and reduce overall debt.

  • Debt Snowball Method: This method has you start small and work your way up, meaning, though you continue making monthly payments on all your debt, you’ll use any extra funds to make additional payments on your smallest debt. After the smallest debt is paid off, you’ll roll those funds over to help pay off the next smallest debt and so on until all your debt is taken care of.
  • Debt Avalanche Method: Everyone’s heard of an avalanche—it wrecks everything in its path. For this method, you’ll continue making minimum payments on your debt and use any extra funds to target the debt with the highest interest rate, then roll those funds into the next highest and the next.

Each of these methods is useful in its own way, but ultimately everyone chooses to pay their debt down differently. You can always learn how to customize and implement a payoff plan specific to you by exploring more debt payoff strategies with the Banzai Get Out of Debt Coach.

Debt Payoff Formula


i=annual credit card interest rate
n=the number of years you want to pay your credit card off.

How long will it take to pay off a debt?

Though there is no perfect payoff term, a good goal to set for debt payoff is 36 months. But everyone’s situation is different and the only thing that matters is you try paying off your debt quickly—the sooner, the better. Making extra payments or paying more than what you owe each month are two great ways to avoid excessive interest.

In fact, in some cases, only paying the minimum does little for your debt except paying the interest owed on the debt.

Let’s say you owe $5,000 in credit card debt with an APR—annual percentage rate—or interest rate of 15%. If you carry a steady month-to-month balance, you’ll owe $750 in interest by the end of one year. This means roughly $62.50 of your payment each month will go toward interest. And, if you only pay the minimum owed that month—let’s say it’s $75.00, then it’s likely you’re only paying off interest which won’t get you anywhere fast.

So, though an early debt payoff goal might seem tricky, with a little discipline, it’s possible. Adopting the habit of exploring your options and sticking to your motives is the best way to increase your debt payoff opportunities. To find your own debt payoff groove and what motivates you try these other great tips on how to manage your debt!

While we hope you find this content useful, it is only intended to serve as a starting point. Your next step is to speak with a qualified, licensed professional who can provide advice tailored to your individual circumstances. Nothing in this article, nor in any associated resources, should be construed as financial or legal advice. Furthermore, while we have made good faith efforts to ensure that the information presented was correct as of the date the content was prepared, we are unable to guarantee that it remains accurate today.

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