How to pay off your debt

Apr 26, 2022 | Finance

Most people in South Africa have debt. We can’t dispute that. Infact, consumer debt stands at nearly R2 trillion. Yes – trillion rand. Not billion. Not million. TRILLION.

For the purpose of this piece, let’s not get into the why’s, the what’s and the how’s of people’s indebtedness. Let’s just accept that life happens – and we have debt.

Let’s get away from all the vilifying, victmising and shaming –and rather find solutions to our burden of debt.

If you are coping and can comfortably afford to pay all your monthly installments then you should be following one of two methods to get rid of your debt.

Snowball method

With this method you pay your smaller debts first.

This works well on a psychological level – because there is a real sense of achievement when you can square up an account, close it and move onto the next one. And yes, you are allowed to celebrate the milestone of paying off a debt.

Do a happy dance, go out with some friends – or just sit quietly and acknowledge a job well done. But whatever you do – do not celebrate getting rid of one debt, by using your credit card to incur more debt!

That’s like taking 10 steps forward and 200 back! No. Just NO.  

Avalanche method

With this method, you pay off debt with the highest interest rate first. You’ll save money in the long run by keeping interest charges under control.

  • First pay the minimum payment on all of your debts.
    Secondly, put any extra money you may have towards the account with the highest interest rate.
  • Continue doing this until the highest – interest account is paid off.
  • When this account is paid off – take the minimum payment you were paying on the first debt, as well as any additional cash, and put that toward the account with the next-highest interest.


Like with most things in life, things work better when there is a plan in place. So stop procrastinating, let go of the excuses and get your ass in gear to pay off your debt.

This isn’t the movies. There is no blue genie in a bottle or a magic spell to eradicate your debt. So set you mind to it – and just do it!


Written by Moeshfieka Botha

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