It’s a sad day in the debt repayment space, especially those with student loan debt (there are so many). The awesome tool, ReadyforZero, has decided to shut down and focus on their blog content. You can still check out their blog here. While I think blog content is important, their tool was one of the best in the student loan debt space. Technically, they shut it down last week, but I wanted to wait in hopes they would get some hate mail about it. It really did help a lot of people pay off their debt. In fact, they indicate they’ve helped over 200,000 people pay off over $350 million in debt. That is huge.
Since we are big proponents of paying off debt (any debt really), this shutting down is an opportunity to show you what other tools are out there to help you along your debt repayment journey. We fight debt with the best of them here, so we want you to do the same. So, let’s dive into some other tools out there which will help you pay down debt and get your financial life back on track. Some of these tools are fully debt focused, while others help you get your money in order, so you can pay down debt.
This free tool is pretty slick. It’s a web-based debt snowball application where you can enter your financials, your debts, and you plan to see how to pay off all of that debt. It’s a pretty clean system without many bells and whistles. They do have a premium plan that has more features, but the free one is good enough for many. The biggest downfall is you have to manually enter all of your debts and expenses into the system. It doesn’t aggregate like a few of the other tools below or like ReadyForZero did, but it’s still a slick tool that you should check out.
This is probably the closest to ReadyforZero with it’s focus on student loan debt. They really want to help you pay it all down and their interface makes it easy to see how you are doing. You can pull in all your loan data into their slick dashboard. This helps you make informed decisions about where your money is going and how long it will take you to pay off those student loans. They also make it super easy to consolidate your debt based on advice they provide for your situation. They try to help you save a lot of money by providing personalized repayment plans focusing on refinancing, forgiveness, and any other options that might work in your favor. All in all, Student Loan Hero is a great tool for those looking to crush their student loan debt.
While Mint.com isn’t debt focused, they do give you an all-around view of your finances. Where they can help you with debt is by creating goals. They have a great goal setup section that allows you to put in the debts you have, when you want them paid, and even notifications about those debts. I used Mint.com to help me pay off over $75,000 of consumer debt. Their goals worked really well for me. I’ve since switched to Personal Capital as it’s a better tool for my needs now.
Where Mint thrives is their ability to pull in your banking and debt accounts. It doesn’t work for every bank, but they cover many of them. This easily allows you to pull in all your expenses, income, and debt to see your overall picture and then you use goals to get you where you want to go. They also have free credit scores in their system. They do get a little heavy on the advertising and recommendations, but if you push through those, their system is pretty powerful.
This is my favorite financial tool as it has helped me get a hold of my life and pull ahead with my investments. Personal Capital really shines with investments, but they have an excellent (and free) tool to help you manage your money. Their system is mainly just an account aggregation system, where you can see all of your income, banking accounts, debts, assets, investments in one place. Their account tools are a little more reliable than Mint.com, but since I believe everyone should save and pay off debt at the same time, Personal Capital can be quite helpful. They don’t have any advertising on their dashboard and they keep thing pretty simple.
Created by Dave Ramsey and team, EveryDollar is a free budgeting app. They do have a paid version with more features, but this online application is really just budget focused. The reason we are putting it here is because without a solid budget, paying down debt is almost impossible. You’ll have no idea how much you have left over after your other expenses to put toward your debt. Remember, you can only pay down debt by putting extra money toward it. If you just pay the minimum, you’ll be in debt for most of your life.
EveryDollar does connect to your bank accounts to help you easily categorize and pull in transactions. You can also drag and drop them into place, which is pretty cool. It’s a relatively new tool in the budgeting space, but it does a great job for sure.
This option for those who love to just run good old fashioned spreadsheets. The beauty about Google Sheets is you can take them anywhere with you as long as you have internet access and your Google account. Google Sheets is like Excel (not as powerful) where you can install templates to help you with your finances. Many companies have created templates to help you along the way as well, such as this debt repayment one.
You can also create your own if you’d like as that’s the beauty of Google Sheets. If you can’t find one you like, then build it. There are no fancy bells and whistles with spreadsheets, so don’t expect bank connectivity or even fancy graphs (unless you build those yourself). Spreadsheets just work and if you’re a basics person, then these could be awesome options.
The point of all of these apps and websites are to help you with your money. Remember, they won’t be able to help you unless you’re willing to make changes and do the work necessary to pay off your debt and get on the right financial track. There are some other awesome apps out there which can help you pay off debt, but they might have a fee attached. I felt it was important to give you free options and these are the best around right now.
Do you have any suggestions for this list? What’s your favorite debt payoff/financial budgeting app or website which you use? Tell us in the comments and maybe we can include it here.
Do You Know Your Credit Score?
Even if you don’t plan on getting a loan, a good credit score can affect your ability to get a job, a place to live, and will save you money whenever you need to borrow. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get yours free at Credit Sesame. It’s 100% free with no credit card required to signup. I’ve been using it for years to monitor my credit score.