There are many resources available to you if you are looking with help eliminating your debt. From apps to calculators, if you have a hard time keeping track of your repayments and outstanding balances then you should turn to these tools for help. Debt comes in many forms, from credit cards to loans, and according to the Federal Reserve, the average household credit card debt for American consumers was $15,611 in 2014. Regarding mortgage debt, that number jumps to $155,192, and student loan debt averages came to $32,264 for the year.
“Budgeting tools can help put your debt in perspective.”
These are high numbers, and while it is a valid point that things like mortgages and schooling are also expensive, it is clear to see why people lose track or have a difficult time keeping up. However, if you are with debt you shouldn’t be alarmed. By implementing modern financial tools, you can gain a better grip on your financial standing and eliminate your debt.
Here are a few tools to consider when approaching your debt:
Cash Central’s Budget Planning
You will have a difficult time paying off any form of debt if you don’t have a budget in place. Budgeting is important so you don’t get behind on bills. Think of it as a proactive approach to finances, which is definitely where you want to be.
Cash Central’s Budget Planning 101 walks you through a step-by-step process to establishing a realistic budget, tracking expenses and best practices for moving forward month to month. It is free and worth taking a look at.
Many companies have a variation of a budgeting app that are designed to assist you in your financial approach. As more consumers continue to use smartphones, the amount of apps like these will certainly grow as well. Some of them can be incredibly valuable.
According to The Simple Dollar, Unbury.Me and Debt Eliminator are two excellent apps for scaling back outstanding debt. Not only are they both free, but they both have clear breakdowns of how much debt is affiliated with which card or loan. Additionally, they provide various approaches depending on your specific situation. One of the more common options is the debt snowball method.
The debt snowball method is a concept in which you pay the minimum on all debts except one, which receives an extra large payment. In this way, you can eliminate one loan balance before the others, and continue on this path until they are all paid off. Instead of just chipping away at all of them, this system helps you see your progress, as you will be removing one balance after another.
Additionally, The Debt Myth noted the Pay Off Debt app is also effective, and utilizes the same debt snowball method to help you visualize your progress.
Many financial websites will have debt or budget calculators that are available for you to simply enter your own financial information and receive results about monthly payment amounts, or approximate lengths of time to pay back.
An example is this calculator at CNN Money. Typically, calculators follow this model. They are straight forward and easy for you to use. Even if you believe you have your payback method in place and it’s working fine, it’s still worth checking a calculator to see approximations about how long it will take, and how much interest it will end up costing.
Having a great deal of outstanding debt can be a troubling situation. However, by taking a practical approach, you can gain control of your financial situation and get yourself to a better place.