Are you in credit card debt? What would it take to get out? If you put $1,000 a month at the credit cards, how quickly could you pay off the debt? A month? Six months? Over a year? Stop wondering and use my free credit card payoff spreadsheet!
It’s totally free. No obligations. I don’t even ask for your email address! Just download it, use it, and get debt free!!
Sound good to you? Then let’s dive into everything you should know about credit card payments, how to pay them off, and how you can do it faster than you ever imagined!!
Should You Pay Your Credit Card Right Away?
First things first….Should you pay your credit card right away? If you pay it off quickly and keep your credit card balance at zero, won’t that hurt your credit?
Based on my experience, it’s far better to pay off your credit card than it is to have too much debt on it.
If your credit utilization rate (ie. how much of your total credit card limit you owe) is over 30%, you’re dinging your credit score. It’s better to pay off your credit card consistently and completely than to have too much debt sitting on it.
In fact, for yet another data point for paying your credit card debt off… I paid off ALL of my debt (including my house) over 7 years ago and I never carry a credit card balance. My credit score is still hovering around 800. Still pretty solid if you ask me!
Worried about paying your credit card right away? Don’t. Just use the free credit card payoff spreadsheet in this post and get rid of it!!
I get this question a lot. “What is the best way to pay off credit card debt?”
- Do you tackle the credit cards that have the highest interest?
- Maybe you should try to take down the one with the highest balance?
- Or, do you start out with the smallest debt?
What’s the right answer?
Well, as you may have guessed, there’s no one right answer for everyone.
Mainly, there are two methods for paying off credit card debt:
- The debt avalanche method
- The credit card snowball method
Some people swear by the snowball method. Others think the debt avalanche is best.
But, before we get too deep into the pros and cons, let’s be sure to define them!
What is the Avalanche Method?
So what is the avalanche method exactly? It’s pretty simple actually.
- You line up your debts from the highest interest to the lowest interest
- Start paying the highest interest debt first
- Once you pay the high-interest debt off, then move onto the next highest interest debt
- Keep this going until you get to your last debt, the lowest interest one, and pay that off to finish off your credit card debt!
Mathematically it makes sense. The highest interest debts are costing you the most money each month, so pay those suckers off first!
…But is it really the best option…?
What did we model our free credit card payoff calculator after…? 😉
Credit Card Snowball Method
What about the credit card snowball method?
Just like the avalanche method, the credit card snowball method is pretty simple as well:
- Line up your credit card debts from smallest to largest
- Start paying on the first (smallest) credit card
- Once that’s paid off, pay the next one in line (the slightly bigger, but new smallest debt)
- Then, when you pay that one off, move onto the next one
- Keep going with this process until all the credit cards are paid off!
You might be wondering about interest rates. How do they play into this method?
Quite simply…they don’t.
The idea is to gain momentum on paying off your credit cards.
- Start with the smallest one and pay it off quickly
- You feel good about yourself and you quickly tackle the next credit card debt
- Then, you really feel like you’re gaining traction and you put it into full gear. You pay off all your debts faster than you thought possible.
So, if you commit and work to pay off your credit card debt quickly, the interest really shouldn’t matter that much. They key is that you get started, you get committed, and you polish off all the debt!
The credit card snowball method is best at that.
What is the best way to pay off credit card debt? Debt snowball or Avalanche?
So which credit card payoff method is best? The credit card snowball? Or the avalanche method?
You’ve probably already caught my bias… 😉
When it comes to paying off debt, momentum and progress is key. That’s why the credit card snowball is the best method for paying off your credit card debts (don’t believe me? Even Harvard agrees! :))
And, since the debt snowball method is the preferred choice of Harvard and myself, that’s why my free credit card payoff spreadsheet is set up for it instead of the avalanche method!
How Do I Keep Track of Credit Cards in Excel?
Now that you know the debt snowball is the best way to pay off credit cards, how do you keep track of them? How can you map out the payments on your credit card?
Put simply…you might be asking, “How do I keep track of credit cards in Excel?”
You could list them all yourself and put dollar amounts in…and then make updates every month as your statements come in. But why do that when you can download my multiple credit card payoff calculator spreadsheet in excel?
In case you missed it in the intro, here’s the link again.
Don’t waste your time putting together a tracker for your credit cards in Excel. Just use the free one I’ve already made for you!
How Do I Make a Debt Payoff Chart?
There are quite a few people asking this question as well — “How do I make a debt payoff chart?”
And along with that, they’re also asking…
- How do I track my payoff in excel?
- How do I calculate my credit card payoff?
- And, how do I calculate how long it will take to pay off a credit card in excel?
And, once again, the free tool will do all of this for you! There’s absolutely no need for you to create your own!
The simple credit card payoff spreadsheet that I put together will allow you to put in your credit card debts, the minimum payments, and the interest rates, and the tool will show you exactly how long it will take to pay off all of your credit card debts.
And, if you want to pay them off faster by putting a lump sum toward them or by increasing your monthly payments, it will track that too!! (More to come on this in the text below!)
Related: What Is The Debt Snowball Plan?
How Long to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debts?
So with the credit card snowball method, how long will it take to pay off your credit card debts?
If you haven’t yet downloaded the free credit card payoff calculator, do it now! Here’s the link again.
Literally all you need to do is download the Excel sheet by clicking the link, opening the file, then inserting your dollar amounts and interest rates in the order of largest to smallest.
That’s really it. The tool will show you exactly how long it will take to pay off each debt!
How long will it take to pay off 1000 in credit card debt?
So, let’s say you had a card with a grand on it… How long will it take to pay off $1000 in credit card debt?
According to the free credit card payoff spreadsheet…
Let’s put the simple credit card payoff calculator to the test!
Just insert that amount into the first column of debts along with the interest and the minimum payments, and then you’ll quickly see how long it will take to pay off that $1,000 in credit card debts!
I entered the following:
- Balance: $1,000
- Minimum Payment: $25
- Interest Rate: 21.9%
And, according to this fabulous tool (if I may say so myself! :)), the projected payoff is in 68 months!
What if you want to accelerate the payoff?
What if you put $500 at the debt to start with? And what if you make more than the minimum payments each month?
Spoiler alert, this free credit card payoff excel spreadsheet can calculate that too! …But it’s coming later in this article. Keep reading and you’ll soon discover how to pay off your credit cards faster than you ever thought possible!
How long will it take to pay off a credit card balance of $15,000 paying just minimum payments?
Alright, so what if you went a little overboard? Instead of a $1,000 balance, you’re in credit card debt to the tune of $15k?
How long will it take to pay off a credit card balance of $15,000 paying just minimum payments?
First, a sidebar ;), then we’ll put the best free credit card payoff spreadsheet to the test again. 🙂
How to figure out your minimum payments on your credit card debt?
The sidebar… What is the minimum payment on $15,000 in debt?
There’s actually a common credit card formula that can help you figure this out. It’s simply the percent of the balance plus the finance charge.
- 1% of the balance, plus
- one month’s interest
So, for a $15,000 balance on a 20% interest credit card, your minimum payment would be something like…
- Percent of the balance –> $15,000 * 1% = $150
- Finance charge –> (20%/12 months)*$15,000 = $250
- Minimum payment on $15,000 is $400
What is the minimum payment on a 10,000 credit card?
Let’s try one more quick example…
What about a $10,000 credit card balance at 18% interest? What’s the minimum payment on that?
- Percent of the balance –> $10,000 * 1% = $100
- Finance charge –> (18%/12 months)*$10,000 = $150
- Minimum payment on $15,000 is $250
Make sense? Hope so!
According to the debt snowball excel spreadsheet…
Ok, now back to the task at hand! How long will it take to pay off a credit card balance of $15,000 paying just minimum payments?
Let’s say the interest is 20% and the minimum payment is $400. How long before the $15,000 credit card balance is fully paid off?
According to the multiple credit card payoff calculator, the debt will be gone in 57 months, or roughly 5 years. Not great…
You may want to keep reading and figure out how to pay that beast off WAY faster!! 🙂
How to Pay Off Your Credit Cards Fast?
Alright, so here’s what this entire article is about. I mean, it’s certainly about the free multiple credit card payoff calculator spreadsheet…but even more so it’s about figuring out how to get out of credit card FAST!!
So how can you do it? How can you pay off your credit cards fast?
Paying off your credit cards is about just two things:
- Putting as much money toward the debt right at the beginning, and
- Paying as much as you can toward the credit cards each month
I could write an entire article about the first bullet, and another full article about the second, but we’re not going to go into depth on these items here (maybe in the future, but not here, not now). Here’s the condensed version…
How to pay off your credit cards fast –> Start with a big payment
If you want to get out of credit card debt fast, do whatever you can to drop a big dollar amount on those debts immediately!!
- Some people have a bunch of stuff they could sell. If this is you, do that!
- Others have credit card debt, but they have $30,000 sitting in the bank for an emergency fund. If this is you, knock your emergency fund down to $2,000 or something and then tackle the credit card debt with a vengeance until it’s all gone!!
Don’t dink around with transferring balances to cards with lower interest, or trying to negotiate with the credit card companies. Just suck it up and try to come up with a big payment to get an impressive start!
The impact of a big payment on your credit card debt
Remember our $15k credit card example above? It was going to take us 57 months to pay that off.
What if we were able to put $5,000 at the debt immediately?
Then how long would it take?
According to the free credit card payoff spreadsheet, paying an extra $5,000 in the beginning would reduce your debt payoff time by 25 months, from 57 months to just 32!
How to pay off your credit cards fast –> Increase your monthly payment
Another great way to pay off your credit cards quickly is by paying more every month! ie. increasing your monthly payment!
How do people find the money to increase their monthly credit card payment?
Again, mainly two ways:
- They reduce their monthly expense as much as possible. Put together your monthly expenses and then question everything. Do you really need it?
- And, they do whatever they can to earn money.
If you can reduce your expenses each month and raise your income? You could probably put another $500-$600 at your credit card debts each month.
What impact will increasing your monthly credit card payment have on your debt payoff?
Let’s continue with the $15k credit card debt example…
We already know that if we put $5k at our $15k debt at the start, we could drop the payoff time to 32 months. But what if we were able to increase the monthly payment from $400 a month to $1,000?
Then how quickly could we pay off that $15k credit card debt??
According to the credit card payoff spreadsheet (that works in Google docs…Yes, you can save this file and open it in Google Docs as well), the timeframe would reduce from 32 months down to 11 months!!
Don’t believe me? Here’s the screenshot of the credit card payoff spreadsheet!
Don’t discount it. Increasing your monthly payment can make a HUGE difference in your credit card payoff date!
How can I pay off $3000 fast?
Let’s close this lesson off with just one more example. Maybe you don’t have $15,000 in credit card debt. Maybe you’ve got $3,000, but you can’t seem to make any progress toward it!
What should you do? How can you pay off $3000 fast?
Here’s what I would do:
- Dial back spend as much as possible (cancel subscriptions, renegotiate phone plans, call your insurance company for better rates, etc.)
- Sell as much as I possibly could (equipment, tools, high-end purses, shoes, etc.)
- Take on a high paying part-time job for a few weekends (bar tender, fitness instructor, maybe even a fast food restaurant these days!)
By dialing back spend and making more money each month, you could likely put an extra $500 toward your debt each month. And, if you could sell some stuff for $1,000, you could get rid of $3,000 of credit card debt in just 4 months!
How can I pay off 1000 credit card debt?
What about a thousand bucks? How can you pay off $1000 in credit card debt?
If I had just $1,000 in credit card debt that I wanted to pay off, I would just focus on selling a bunch of stuff. Sure, you might not have any big ticket items, but you might have 25 things that you could sell for $40 each!
We have an unfinished basement…which is code for “a cool place to put a bunch of crap we really don’t need and may never use again”. If you have a basement like ours, you could get to $1,000 pretty quickly and pay off your debt in no-time.
How do I pay off a credit card with no money?
This is another popular question for folks that are looking for a free credit card payoff excel spreadsheet.
They have no money, they’re in debt, and they want to know how they can pay off their credit card debt.
Well, I hate to state the obvious here…but if you have debt, and have no money to repay it, then you won’t be able to pay off the debt in your current state.
If you have no money to pay off credit card debt, you will need to earn more
Here’s the solution.
As we stated earlier in this post, you can earn more money by…
- Getting a side hustle (like starting a blog — my personal favorite ;))
- Getting a high-paying part time job
- Or, by asking for a raise in your day job
Those are the obvious answers. If you want to pay off debt, but have no money, you’ve simply got to work harder!!
How can I get rid of 30k in credit card debt?
Another popular question for people searching for free credit card payoff spreadsheets — “How can I get rid of 30k in credit card debt?”
I’ll keep this response short:
- Download my free credit card payoff calculator
- Enter your debts
- Then start entering in possible money you could put toward the debt to start, and how much more you could put toward your credit card debts each month
From this, you’ll quickly see how quickly you could pay down $30k of debts! It will energize you and you’ll be ready to tackle the debt with a vengeance!!
The Free Credit Card Payoff Spreadsheet – Will You Dare to Use It??
This tool is simply the best.
I developed it for me, and I paid off my debts in record time.
Then, I decided to share this tool with the world. There have been literally hundreds of people that have thanked me for this tool. They used the simple credit card payoff spreadsheet and it quickly gave them hope that they could pay off their debts! Then, they got started, got momentum, and never looked back!
Today, they’re debt free and couldn’t be happier!
What about you? Will you download the free credit card payoff template? What do you have to lose?? It’s FREE!!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.