Trying to navigate your way out of debt can feel overwhelming. The good news is that there are some great debt payoff tools out there — and many of them are free! While these calculators, apps and software programs can’t pay off your loans and credit cards for you, they can help you map out a smart debt reduction plan that works for you.
Debt Payoff Strategies
Before you decide on an app or tool, you may want to start by choosing a debt elimination strategy. Two common strategies to consider are the debt avalanche and the debt snowball methods.
The Debt Avalanche
With the debt avalanche method, you’ll prioritize paying down your higher-interest rate loans and credit cards first. You’ll make minimum payments on all of your debts each month except the one with the highest interest rate — for that one, you’ll try to pay extra. Once you eliminate the first debt, take that extra money and add it to your monthly payment for the account with the next highest interest rate – and so on, until you are debt-free!
The Debt Snowball
The debt snowball method is another common method. For this approach, list your debts in order from smallest balance to largest and prioritize paying off the smallest one first. Like the avalanche method, pay the minimum on all other debts except the one with the smallest balance – for that debt, pay a little extra each month until paid off, and then do a quick victory lap!
The snowball starts to grow with each debt you pay off, as you’ll have a larger amount of money available to allocate towards the next debt on your list (and more victory laps to run). You can use this simple debt snowball calculator or some of our other favorite debt snowball worksheets to help keep your snowball on track.
Best Debt Reduction Apps and Software
While debt payoff spreadsheets may work well for some, there are a lot of powerful tools out there that can simplify the process and help you successfully become debt-free. We looked at a wide range of debt payoff calculators and apps and found a few that we really like. All are easy to use, free or low-cost and offer plenty of helpful features.
Best Debt Reduction Apps
Best All-Around: The Debt Payoff Planner
This is a great app because it is free and readily available for both Android and iOS. It’s also been used by over a million people to help them get their debt under control. With the Debt Payoff Planner, you can easily calculate a ‘debt-free date’ and create a customized debt repayment schedule by entering basic information about each debt.
The app also offers additional helpful content including tips and articles on how to pay off loans faster and helpful strategies for debt consolidation.
Most Innovative: Qoins
Qoins is a newer debt reduction app that takes a different approach, helping to automate savings that can be used toward debt reduction. With Qoins, you set up an account and choose a savings vehicle that works for you. This helps you set aside money to put towards your debt payments. Qoins will auto-withdraw a certain dollar amount or percentage (chosen by you) from your bank account at the end of each week – or every time you get paid.
Qoins also offers a purchase roundup feature that you can enable that rounds up each purchase to the next dollar and deposits the spare change into your debt payoff account. All of these features work together to find extra money, set it aside in your Qoins account and then automatically apply it to a debt payment of your choice every month.
Best for Student Loan Debt: ChangEd
ChangEd is a bit like Qoins in that it finds and sets aside extra money to help pay off student loan debt. You can link all of your student loans within the app and choose which you’d like to pay off first. The app can also link to bank accounts for automated loan payments as well as transfer those purchase ‘roundups’ on a regular basis. For example: spend $2.45 on your next cup of coffee and you just put $0.55 towards your student loan. Go coffee!
Best Debt Reduction Software
Best New Software: Undebt.it
Undebt.it is a free, mobile-friendly debt snowball calculator that generates an easy-to-follow payment plan – to help you finally eliminate your debt. In addition to the snowball and avalanche methods, Undebt.it also features 7 other debt elimination calculators and offers users the option of creating a custom plan as well. Undebt.it also allows you to view how each debt payoff strategy stacks up against the others and add additional one-time payments—known as debt snowflakes—to your payoff plan.
Best Veteran Software: Quicken
Quicken has been around a while—30 years to be exact—and for good reason. To date, more than 17 million people have used Quicken’s suite of tools to create debt payoff plans, budgets, manage spending and even plan for retirement. While Quicken’s cost is higher than some of the newer apps, you also get access to the Quicken mobile app along with the software so that you can track your debt repayment progress on the go.
Ready? Set? Tackle that Debt!
Making a debt payoff plan is an important first step in becoming debt-free. Whether you prefer snowballs or avalanches or want to create your own custom approach, these powerful tools and calculators can help you create a solid plan to help you stay on track to reach your debt payoff goals.
The content provided is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute financial or legal advice. RISE is not acting as a credit counseling or repair service, debt consolidation service, or credit services organization in providing this content. RISE makes no representation about the reliability or suitability of the information provided – any action you take based on this content is at your own risk.