Thanks to technology, it’s now easier than ever to keep tabs on your financial situation. The major banks and credit cards offer mobile applications, allowing you access to your balance and payment history at any time. You can check your credit score with the click of a button. As much as technology facilitates the act of buying (imagine how much less you’d spend without online shopping!), it also makes it much, much easier to pay down your debts. Check out these top tech tools to keep your debt situation under control.
Take advantage of your bank and credit card app features
It helps to download the app connected to your credit card and bank, if available, so you can instantly access your information at any time. Some apps will also notify you when a statement is available or a bill is due (in addition to regular email alerts). These apps also simplify the process of setting up auto-payment every month, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay.
Check out budget and goal-setting tools
You may already choose to use a household budget app, such as the one offered by Mint.com. This site also offers a financial goals feature that allows you to link up your credit card and loan accounts. Once you designate paying down your debt as one of your financial goals, the site will suggest different options for repayment, such as using any available savings or making changes to your budget. This feature also provides a timeline based on the expected date when you will be free of debt.
Track your debts in app form
Debt reduction apps abound in the App Store, and you might want to try out a couple of different ones to see which interface works the best for you. Some of the most popular examples include ReadyForZero, Debt Control Free, and Debt Assistant. (A bonus is that they are all free apps.) The theory behind these apps is generally similar across the board: You link up your outstanding debts and due dates, come up with payment strategies and utilize the built-in calculators to determine the best strategy for payoff. They also allow you to zero in on your progress, which keeps you motivated when you’re trying to repair your credit.
Put money aside without even having to think about it
Some apps aim to take the stress and aggravation out of debt payoff, by doing some of the work for you. Take, for example, Digit, which will analyze your spending habits and come up with an amount to withdraw from your checking account that it thinks you won’t notice (don’t fret – the app guarantees no overdrafts). You can set goals for reaching a certain amount to pay off a debt. Once the app accumulates that amount in an in-app savings fund, you can then use it to pay down a debt.
Another app called Qoins links up to your bank account and rounds each of your purchases to the nearest dollar. It then applies the savings to your chosen debt.
Figure out the best debt repayment method
A free online service known as Unbury.me asks you to enter all of your debts and loans. Based on that information, the service shows you how you can tackle your debt using two options – the debt snowball (where you pay the smallest balance first, followed by the next smallest and so on) method, or the high interest rate method (in which you’ll start paying off the balances that carry the highest interest). Having such a clear, side-by-side comparison of the two debt payment strategies can help you decide which one would work best for your particular situation.
Calculate your debt-to-income ratio
You can find calculators on numerous websites that allow you to determine your debt-to-income ratio and then figure out a plan to pay down your debts in the most financially prudent way possible. Many of these services are free, but you may want to consult with a professional if you have a substantial amount of debt to pay down.
While debt payoff can be overwhelming at times, technology offers plenty of options to make the process a whole lot easier. And at Ovation Credit, we want to give you a hand. Let us know if we can help you work through any credit report issues that arise by contacting us for a free consultation.