People always ask me, should I pay down the highest interest rate first
or the highest balance first? That's a great question because you can,
indeed, retire your debt faster by paying down your credit cards in the
most beneficial order. The way to SAVE BIG is to move from highest to
lowest interest rate. Why? Simply because the debt with the highest
interest rate is costing you the most money. The less time you are
carrying a balance on that card, the less time you will be paying that
onerous interest rate. When that balance is wiped out, move on to the
Many respected experts argue that people should pay off the cards with
the smallest balances first, for the psychological boost of finishing
off an entire debt and moving on to the next. I think that's insulting.
If you are reading this column you are a savvy consumer and you don't
need artificial pick-me-ups that cost you money. Let's do the math.
Let's say you have a $5,000 credit card debt at 29.99 percent and a
$2,500 one at 9.99 percent. Here's how much it costs you in interest to
pay them off if you make the typical minimum payment of $300 on the two
cards plus add an additional $50 per month.