What is this?

This program is a demonstration of a strategy of paying down creditors. It's called the 'Snowball' method, because you start out small; every creditor is paid the minimum amount, except for the smallest. That one gets an additional seed amount. Once it's payed off, the entire amount (the seed+the minimum payment) becomes the new seed, and is paid to the next smallest on top of its minimum. By doing this, your budget towards that group remains constant until all creditors are zeroed out. (creditor A's min pay, .. creditor Z's min pay, plus the seed). By doing this, you end up with the largest creditor being paid an enormous amount per month and not minding, because that money has already been set aside.

To start out, enter in the creditors' names one at a time in the box below. After hitting enter on a name, that creditor's entry is added to your list. This program does not use a server; your data stays on your browser, and persists there if it can, if the browser supports local storage. Once your list is filled out, adjust the cells of the account column to match the current balance you have with each creditor, and set the minimum payments as well. The monthly charge column is probably not constant in reality; this program treats it as constant, as a first approximation. As long as it doesn't rise over time, the predictions this program makes should at least hold.

After that, adjust the month and year to when you'd like to start the plan. Once finished, try clicking the 'Run Plan' button with 'Snowball Strategy' set to 'No'. This will output a list of rows in the result area. Pay attention to the end date of the last row. That is when the last creditor is paid down if you only payed the minimum payments, and didn't 'roll' the payments.

Now, without entering a seed, try with the 'Snowball Strategy' set to 'Yes'. Even without a seed, it's still much quicker, because you aren't reducing your total payment when accounts are paid off.

Try playing around with different seed amounts, and see how it affects the ending date. Good luck!

Starting Month: /
Seed cash:
Use Snowball Strategy?
Yes No