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Sep 13, 2016 07:36 AM EDT

Should You Pay Your Student Loan Using The Snowball Method?

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Student loan debt is one issue that's burdening a lot of college graduates. It was reported that the United States has already amassed about $1 trillion in student loan debt.

There are a lot of ways that students can minimize their student loan debt. Some of the things that they can do is to calculate the total cost and find other funding sources than loans. Moreover, they should only borrow the amount that they need, keeping in mind the fact that they will be the ones paying for the debt with interest.

According to U.S. News, there are two common ways to pay debts. One is the "debt avalanche" where students start off "aggressively repaying" the debt with the highest interest and, after it has been cleared, moving on to the debt with the next highest interest rate.

The second method is the "debt snowball." This is when, instead of focusing on interest rates, students pay off their debts beginning with the smallest to the largest balance.

The publication noted that this method may actually cost more money in the long run, though. However, it can keep you motivated until you are debt-free. Here are three advantages to the snowball method.

1. It helps you build momentum

The snowball method gives you the chance to celebrate small wins immediately since you're starting from the easiest debt and move up. Attacking these small debts can serve as your motivation to keep on going until you're out of debt.

2. Interest rates can be lowered

The main advantage of the debt avalanche method is that it saves you money by repaying debt with the highest interest rate first. Inversely, the snowball method may cost more money in the long run. However, interest rates can still be negotiated and lowered, especially if you already have a good credit score and a clean payment history.

3. You can use both methods simultaneously

You can actually customize your debt repayment plan to figure out which method best works for which type of debt. You can start with the snowball method first, in order to build momentum, and move on to high-interest debt once you've picked up the habit of repaying your debt on time.

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