One of the most important things to have while getting out of debt is a tool that helps you track your progress. If we don’t know where we’re going, we’re likely to never reach our destination.
Below are the best debt reduction tools for managing your debt, creating a plan and finding the motivation to be debt free.
Debt Tracking from ReadyForZero
Of course ReadyForZero is at the top of the list, but not for the reason you’d think. I personally used ReadyForZero’s debt tracking software to climb my way out of $14,000 in consumer debt and become debt free in less than two years.
My ReadyForZero debt repayment graph
It was a tough process, but having their visual charts, goal progress emails, and the ReadyForZero Community backing me up, I was able to hit my goal of being debt free four months faster than I originally planned. If you’re on the fence about using ReadyForZero to reduce your debt, I encourage you to give it a try!
Debt Snowball Calculator from Dave Ramsey
The Debt Snowball Calculator from Dave Ramsey is a popular tool for listeners to the Dave Ramsey radio program. The software is set up to work with the rest of Ramsey’s program so you can align your finances with all the tools.
But you can test out the Snowball Calculator for free by inputting all your loans, credit cards and other debts. After putting in all your card balances, payments and interest rates, it will display your debt free date. By clicking “payment schedule” you can see your entire chart of payments for the next few months and years.
Cost: $7.49 a month
Track Financial Goals with Mint
If you already use Mint for your household budget, you can easily integrate their Goals section into your monthly finances. Their goals cover everything from saving for college, to planning for retirement, to paying off loans.
To get the most out of the Goals with Mint, you’ll need to link a checking or savings account related to that goal — or in this case it will be a credit card(s) or loan account. With all this information it will calculate a figure of when you’ll be debt-free based on your monthly payments and desired timeline.
Cost: Free (with your account)
Debt Free Calculator from CNN
If you want to get a quick glance at your situation, then check out this calculator from CNN. You can choose from 3 types of outcomes based on your financial choice:
- Minimum payment amount
- Fixed monthly payments
- Debt-free deadline
You can easily see how long you’ll be in debt based on what your monthly payments are, or you can type in the date you want to be debt-free and the calculator will let you know how much your monthly payments need to be to reach that goal.
A Long-Term Plan from LearnVest
If you need a little more help during your debt pay down process, you might want to consider hiring a financial planner through LearnVest. You’ll start off by choosing your five-year plan, meeting with a CFP and then set your target for when you want to be out of debt.
Your personal financial planner will hit you with some challenges and tough love, but your bank account will thank you for it later. And having this accountability partner will give you a better chance of success towards your debt-free goal.
Cost: $19 per month
Debt Eliminator from Suze Orman
Once you type in your name, number of credit cards and other loans, and state if you have any additional funds you can put towards debt, the Debt Eliminator will spit out your customized plan.
Generally your payoff plan will consist of starting with the highest interest rate card first, to which you’ll put any extra money towards. Then you’ll pay the minimum payments on all your other loans.
When your first credit card or loan has been paid off, you’ll put all your extra funds, plus the amounts of these two minimum payments towards this balance. And continue until all your debts are paid off. This is called the Debt Avalanche method versus the Debt Snowball method we mentioned earlier.
Gain Control from Unbury Me
No one likes the feeling of being buried in debt and not knowing where to start. This is what Unbury.Me aims to change with their simple and straight-forward calculator. Not everyones approach to getting out of debt will be the same, so you have two options to choose from:
- Snowball method
- Avalanche method
Within a few seconds of inputting all your financial details, you’ll be able to compare the best debt reduction method and which one helps you save the most money on interest. It will also display a chart showing your principal balances remaining after you pay your debts down, and debt-free date.
All of these debt reduction tools will help you create the best plan of action to become debt free on your terms! Take a minute to try ReadyForZero now and get your debt-free plan started.
Image Credit: MiiiSH