If you are interested in a modern graphical version of a debt calculator, check out this free graphical debt reduction calculator. We will be adding features as the feedback rolls in, so feel free to check it out and leave some suggestions by clicking the “Feedback” tab. To the right is a screenshot:
Also, over at What’s The Cost I came across a handy debt snowball calculator. The calculator lets you add up to 20 debts, their interest rate and monthly payment, and asks for how much money you can put each month towards debt. From there it will generate a nice text summary of the snowball calculations, some stats against consolidating your loans, and a nice table that plans out the snowball month by month.
The part that I think is really interesting is that it will let you chose between paying off the highest interest debt first and the Dave Ramsey method of the smallest debt first.
I loaded the calculator with 3 debts which should be a bad scenario for the Dave Ramsey snowball:
10,000 @ 12% for student loans
4,000 @ 5% on a credit card
3,000 @ 1% to finish off a new car loan
The results were interesting. Both methods will take 24 months to pay off the debt, and the Ramsey snowball will pay $254 more in interest($1,661 vs. $1,407). For me, this is more evidence to go with the Dave Ramsey method of changing our spending patterns. This method changes behavior by helping us experience positive change through small debt payoff wins. The difference in the amount of interest between the plans is negligible, and most people who are just starting to get out of debt need behavioral changes, not absolute perfect math.
So have fun, play with the numbers, and kick your debt to the curb!
If that calculator isn’t enough or you are interested in something more updated check out this free graphical debt reduction calculator.