How to pay off debt quickly: 7 tricks you should know, including the ‘avalanche method’


MANAGING your finances is not just about knowing the right way to do it. 

It’s important to find the right method that works for you. 

We explain all the different ways you can clear your debt quickly

If you’re in debt then it can feel overwhelming to know where to start. 

But it’s much easier when you’re encouraged by others in the same situation. 

Our Fix Your Finances series is here to help you get out of debt – but also to make Sun readers richer. 

Today, we reveal some tried and tested techniques to tackle debt. 

The debt snowball method

One of the challenges of trying to repay debt is overcoming the feeling that the mountain is too big to climb. 

The snowball, something that starts off small, but as it rolls on gathers momentum and gets bigger, is a method where you start with your smallest debts first, gaining motivation by ticking off bills owed or accounts closed. 

The small wins should spur you on to tackle bigger debts. 

The downside of this is that it can cost you more over time because some of your bigger debts might have higher interest rates. 

If you are feeling inundated with requests for repayment, however, just starting somewhere may incentivise you to pay all your debts off more quickly.

The debt avalanche method

This is the opposite of the snowball method. 

Look at who you owe and focus your attention and spare money on repaying the debts with the highest rates first, as these will be costing you the most. 

This way of repaying may be less satisfying if the most expensive debts are also the biggest, it will take you longer to close accounts or tick a debt off the list, but you will save more in interest.  

With both the snowball and avalanche method make sure that you consider which bills are “priorities” too, don’t ignore your council tax because you’re tackling your credit cards. 

You should always meet the minimum payments on all your debts, especially those that will cost you your home, or potentially risk criminal prosecution, if you fail to pay on time. 

0% balance transfer cards

If you are chipping away at credit card debts paying only minimum payments at high interest rates (the average is about 17.5% according to the Bank of England) you will save a significant amount by moving them to a 0% balance transfer card. 

These offer you a period of time, the longest card gives you 29 months, to repay your debt without having to repay interest, too. 

Beware that the rates and fees can be high on these cards if you don’t manage to clear the full balance in the 0% period. 

You may also have to pay a transfer fee of a few percent of your debt, but this still works out as much cheaper than the cost of interest on a normal credit card. 

Compare cards using websites like and