Learning to live debt free isn’t easy – it takes lots of commitment and determination. Financial experts agree that to be effective a debt management strategy needs to be integrated into every aspect of your life. Since more and more of us are orchestrating our lives through our mobile devices, it only makes sense that debt reduction apps should be an important tool for your debt management efforts. Here are four mobile apps that can provide vital assistance in your battle to get your debt under control.
Debt Minder – Any debt control app worth using should come with two standard features: a bill reminder that helps you stay regular on your payments and a repayment organizer that supplies a strategy for setting up your debt payments. Debt Minder keeps you abreast of your upcoming bills by linking to BillMinder, an app that tracks your recurring bills. For debt prioritization it uses a basic version of the debt snowball method. That’s the debt reduction approach that typically gives you two choices about which debts you pay first: those with the smallest balance or those with the highest interest rates. Debt Minder supports multiple currencies and will export your progress reports to a spreadsheet. It also charts your account history. Debt Minder is for iPhones and can be downloaded at the App Store for $1.99
Debt Free – This app also uses the debt snowball approach. But along with the smallest balance and highest interest options, Debt Free lets you create a customized approach to tackling your repayment. Like other apps, it calculates how long it will take you to be debt free and what the payoff dates are for each of your debts. But if you make extra payments, Debt Free will also calculate how much interest and time you’re saving by making the additional payments. Graphics are a crucial element of any app, but especially so for financial apps, which deal extensively with charts and reports. Debt Free excels in this department, with charts that are vividly displayed and easy to read. It’s compatible with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and costs $0.99 at the App Store.
ReadyforZero – If you want some freedom on how to structure your debt strategy, then Ready for Zero’s app may be for you. ReadyforZero publishes online software for organizing bill payments and for creating debt payment plans. Its app is the mobile version of the company’s online tool. The app connects to users’ online bank accounts and lets them fashion a debt reduction schedule based on a strategy that’s custom built by the user. This payment plan can be adjusted as often as needed and can be done on the fly. The app will make income-based recommendations about the most effective approaches to reducing your debt, but it doesn’t force you to choose from a list of preset schedules — a feature which makes this app stand out from other debt reduction apps. ReadyforZero tracks your debt payment progress and sends you a notice about what bills you have due and when you need to pay them. ReadyforZero’s app works on iPhones and can be downloaded free at the App Store. (They’re working on an app for Android phones.) You can upgrade to premium services but they come with a monthly charge.
Debt Payoff Planner – This is another app that relies on the debt snowball approach, but this app comes with some major differences. First of all, this is an app for Android devices. Second, this app lets you choose from a handful of debt-paying strategies. It comes with the lowest balance, highest interest and custom options we’ve seen in other apps. But this app also has a highest balance option and a minimum-payment-only option (not recommended if you want to pay down your debt quickly). The Debt Payoff Planner lets you compare the effectiveness of each of your options, and will show you which strategy will produce the lowest overall interest payments and the earliest debt-free date. A nice feature of this app is the handy snapshot view it provides of your monthly repayment status. The Debt Payoff Planner is available at the Google Play store for $0.99
Convenience and organization are essential parts of any debt reduction plan. With these mobile apps you’ll be able to stay on top of your payments while keeping track of your progress. And those are benefits that will go a long way toward winning your battle to control debt.
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