Modern technology provides a wide range of tools for taking control of our personal finances. While many people have heard of Credit Karma, which provides guidance with improving personal credit scores, or Mint, a budgeting app, individuals may be unaware of the many specialty personal finance apps out there. For example, a number of excellent apps exist that have been designed to help people get out of debt as quickly as possible. Handling debt remains one of the most difficult aspects of personal finance, so these apps are a great part of any strategic plan to eliminate debt, whether that means credit card balances or student loan payments. Some of the best debt-focused personal finance apps include the following:
The Debts Break app employs the Snowball Method of paying off debt. This method, which has become famous because of financial expert Dave Ramsey, involves paying off debts from smallest to largest. Once the smallest debt has been paid, the payment that was going toward it then goes toward the next smallest debt. Eventually, all the small amounts someone once paid toward several different debts goes directly toward the largest one to eliminate it as quickly as possible.
Debts Break keeps track of the snowballing effect of this payment system and automatically adjusts remaining balances to keep individuals on target. In addition, the app has payment logs that show whether or not a certain month has already been covered so that people can visually see which bills they have not covered. Individuals can also turn off the Snowball Method-driven features and still have access to pie-chart visualizations of debt and personal debt payment plans. Obviously, this app is best for someone with multiple forms of debt.
Individuals who feel overwhelmed by their student loan debt may want to check out the app ChangEd. This app analyzes spending habits to find small amounts of change left over from transactions that will not be missed. Then, it sends these small deposits to an account insured by the FDIC. Once the account reaches $100, the app automatically makes an additional payment toward the specified student loan.
Potential users should note that they must still make their normal monthly payments while using the app and that its use involves a monthly subscription fee of $1. However, the app operates completely in the background without individuals even noticing, and the average ChangEd user will make $10,000 in extra student loan payments over the course of paying their loan in full, which considerably lowers the number of years those payments are due.
Available through Suze Orman, Debt Eliminator serves as a sort of digital coach for getting rid of debt as quickly as possible, however it focuses only on credit card debt. To get started, individuals enter their interest rates, debt amounts, and minimum payments, and the app then pushes individuals to make more than the minimum payment due each month.
Debt Eliminator uses the Avalanche Method, which has individuals pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first. If users report that they do not have any money to make additional payment outside of the minimum, then the app will have individuals complete an expenses worksheet that will show them where exactly they can reign in their spending. In addition, the app uses direct commands to ensure that people do not get behind on payments and lets users know when they are living in the red zone, meaning that they are spending more than they are making.
Individuals who want a complete picture of their consumer debt will enjoy ReadyForZero, an app that syncs seamlessly with the company’s web-based product. The free app asks individuals to connect their bank accounts, loan information, and credit cards to the platform, which then generates a complete graphical view of their current debt situation. In addition, the app provides a provisional debt payoff date that can motivate users to pay more toward their debts.
The app’s chart tracker allows individuals to see their daily and monthly progress toward becoming free of debt. This tracker also calculates how much people have saved on interest payments over time. E-mail alerts let people know when they have reached their milestones. In addition, users can make payments directly through the app and check their credit score without any penalty.
Debt Payoff Planner
The major benefit of Debt Payoff Planner is that it allows users to review both the Snowball and Avalanche methods to see how long it will take to pay off their debt completely using each approach, as well as how much interest they will save. Individuals who are not yet sure which approach they want to take will benefit a lot from taking the time to enter their data and crunching the numbers.
Many users like Debt Payoff Planner because it creates a step-by-step plan for paying off debt, which can make people feel less overwhelmed. Individuals need to enter information about loans and other debts and calculate how much in additional monthly payments they can make. Then, the app creates a customized plan. When individuals add an additional payment, they can directly see the impact of that money, including how much sooner they will become free of debt as a result.