Everyone agrees that paying off debt is good, and usually faster is better. However, there may be some situations when paying down debt slower is a good idea. Like if your financial habits suck. Photo by Zak Greant.
As personal finance site Money Ning explains, paying off debt is a lot like weight loss. You can take drastic action to drop your debt now, but if you don't have solid habits as a foundation, you'll just gain it right back when you're done. If you clear out your savings to pay off debt, you might be screwed as soon as the next expense comes up.
Once I stopped crash dieting, I started making smaller, more sustainable changes. It took longer to reach my goal weight, but it was easier to maintain that weight once I reached it. Incremental changes to my nutrition and exercise habits stuck. The same approach can work when it comes to debt. Focus on changing your money habits in ways that you can maintain for the long haul. Then tackle your debt.
Of course, there's nothing saying that you can't do both, but it helps to look at your situation and determine your specific needs. Maybe you'll pay more interest in the long run by waiting to pay down debt, but will it be worth it if you have solid habits once you're out of debt? Only you can decide that.