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Sick of debt? Use these strategies to get out of debt faster

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African couple sitting on a couch in an office, talking to a financial expert about ways to get out of debt and reviewing their finances

You’re not the only one that is sick of debt…Millions of South Africans are in the same boat.

Debt is like an old leaky boat. Today, we’ll get rid of it and trade it in for a lovely yacht (only smooth sailing from here!).

How? By following one of five strategies that make it easier to get out of debt faster.

Trust us, these strategies work. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom. So, let’s get started!


The fastest ways to pay off loans (5 strategies to get out of debt)

Here’s a the list of strategies you can use to get out of debt in South Africa:

  • The snowball method
  • The avalanche method
  • Debt repayment plans
  • Debt consolidation
  • Balance transfer


We’ll go over what each strategy is and why it works. Go through them all and explore the best fit.

Here we go.


Bonus: On a tight budget? Check out our strategy for getting out of debt with low income.


The snowball method

What is it?

The Snowball Method is a popular debt repayment strategy that involves paying off your debts in order of balance. Starting with the smallest balance.

Start by making minimum payments on all of your debts except for the one with the smallest balance. Put as much extra money towards the smallest balance as possible. The goal is to settle this debt in the shortest amount of time.

Many experts (like Dave Ramsey) argue that the psychological benefits help with motivation throughout the process.

Why does it work?

The progress and momentum are incredibly motivating, and that is why it works. Quick wins make it obvious that it is working. Plus, money gets freed with every debt that is settled, allowing consumers to contribute more and more towards the debt over time.

Making the “snowball” bigger, faster, and more powerful.


A graphic with a 3d snowball and an explination of the snowball method as a debt repayment strategy


The avalanche method

What is it?

This one is similar to the snowball method.

The Avalanche Method is another popular debt repayment strategy, this time, in order of interest rate, from highest to lowest.

Paying off high-interest debts first saves money that is spent on interest in the long run. Interest builds as long as there’s an outstanding balance, so getting rid of high-interest-rate debts one by one eliminates their interest.

Technically, using this method is a faster way to repay debt than the snowball method if you stick to it without slip-ups.

Why does it work?

The Avalanche Method works because it minimises the total amount of interest you pay over the course of your debt repayment journey.

The effects of the avalanche method add up over time and can make a very big difference. It doesn’t have as strong a sense of momentum (as the snowball method), but it is a faster way to pay off loans.


A graphic with snowy 3d mountain peaks and an explanation of the avalanche method as a debt repayment strategy


Debt repayment plans

*Specifically, with professional help via debt counselling (debt review).

What is it?

Debt repayment plans form part of a debt management strategy that helps people get out of debt by creating a repayment plan that fits their budget (usually, one with lower monthly costs and interest rates or better terms).

What makes this strategy stand out is the benefits of debt review, which include lower monthly costs, legal protection, and professional guidance.

Why does it work?

Debt counselling involves working with a debt counsellor who creates a personalised debt repayment plan. A plan that takes income, expenses, and debt obligations into account (perfect for anyone that has a little too much debt.)

It works because:

  1. It is structured.
  2. The cost and terms are tailored to the applicant’s circumstances.
  3. Debts are consolidated under debt review (easier to track and manage).


📣 Plug: Want to see if you qualify? Try our 30 second online assessment.


Debt consolidation

What is it?

Debt consolidation is a debt management strategy that involves taking out a single loan to pay off multiple debts.

The idea behind debt consolidation is to simplify your debt repayment process by combining multiple debts into one monthly payment with a lower interest rate.

This can make it easier to manage your finances and potentially save you money on interest charges.

Why does it work?

There are several reasons why debt consolidation works so well.

  1. It simplifies the debt repayment process by consolidating multiple debts into one payment, making it easier to track and pay (without paying late or missing payments).
  2. It could save you money on interest charges (if the terms of the consolidation introduce lower interest and/or better terms).
  3. A clear repayment timeline could help speed things up.


People often introduce debt consolidation in one of two ways: A) by applying for debt review (debt counselling) or B) by taking out a debt consolidation loan.

Bonus: here’s an article about the differences between debt counselling, debt review, and debt consolidation loans.


A graphic that expains debt consolidation with examples of various types of credit such as credit cards and auto-loans


Balance transfer

What is it?

A balance transfer is a debt management strategy that involves moving high-interest debt from one credit card to another credit card with a lower interest rate.

It is a lot like car refinancing or using a debt consolidation loan (which we just mentioned).

Here’s the idea: a balance transfer saves money on interest charges by transferring the balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate.

Why does it work?

Balance transfers save money, which should be put towards repaying other outstanding debts.

Lower interest rate = less interest paid over time. More money to allocate to other types of debt.

And finally, like debt consolidation, it simplifies repayment through consolidation.

Here’s another tip. Several credit card companies offer promotional interest rates for balance transfers that make it easier to pay off debts quickly, so see what you can find or ask a sales representative before applying.

Doing a bit of homework goes a long way.


Tips you can use to pay debts off faster

  1. Start by making a list of all of your debts, including the balance, interest rate, and minimum payment (this will help you prioritise and track your progress).
  2. Figure out how much extra money you can put towards your debts each month, then put this money toward settling your debt as soon as you get paid.
  3. Increase the amount that you can repay each month by limiting unnecessary spending, cutting expenses where possible, and trying to secure extra income.
  4. Celebrate your progress and enjoy the journey. Each debt that gets settled is something to be proud of. Make it fun.


Final thoughts

Getting out of debt isn’t always easy, but it can be if you use the right strategy. Heck, you might even enjoy the process if you do it right.

We help people get out of debt, and we see it all the time!

Well, what are you waiting for? Go on. Get started.

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