The Daily App: Debt Free -- Pay Off Your Bills Faster
Debt is a scary reality during these troubling times. But apps like "Debt Free" help keep the dizzying mound of obligations straight, so you can make informed decisions and tackle your bills.
Whether you have student loans, credit cards or mortgages, paying off debt is a struggle, and the fragile economic climate doesn't help keep your head above water. Financial management is a major source of stress for many, who find juggling multiple due dates, interest rates, and other pieces of information confusing.
Debt Free, however, helps untangle the thicket of numbers that paying bills can get mired in, helping you tackle your burdens and make smarter decisions about finances.
What's the App?
Created by Mobile Innovations, Debt Free is available for iOS devices in a free limited trial and paid version. The app helps you balance and ultimately pay off bills by organizing your finances with the "snowball method" -- a strategy where you pay off one item at a time, and only pay minimum payments on rest. Once one debt is paid off, you move on to the next on the list, compounding payments to get out of debt.
Through a simple, back-to-basics interface, you enter debt totals, interest rates and due dates. Then, using a variety of tools, the app calculate payment amounts, projected payoff dates and forecasts how your debt management decisions play out in time.
You can explore a variety of strategies within the snowball method -- for example, choosing to pay off the highest balance debt first vs. paying off the highest interest rate debts.
The ability to see your debt strategy -- and show how minor tweaks and changes in decisions can affect the big picture -- is one of the most powerful aspects. Other tools, like loan, mortgage and credit card calculators, as well as extra payment tools, help make adjustments to your strategy without overwhelming you with information.
One of the strengths is that it recognizes that people absorb data in different ways, and displays it in a variety of pie charts, graphs and lists. You also get quick at-a-glance summaries of your total debt load, as well as motivating bar graphs showing how much further you need to go to pay off debts entirely.
A notification features keeps you on track too. It also syncs with other devices if you use multiple tools to keep track of and manage your finances. For privacy, there's a lock feature to keep things under wraps, even if the phone is lost or stolen.
You'll Want It If...
You're drowning in debt and bills and need a simple yet robust way of grappling with the total picture of your finances. Many people are simply too consumed by stress, emotion and sometimes even shame to really look at their debt picture, and get frazzled at the sheer amount of dates, amounts and rates to absorb and look at.
Debt Free irons out a tangled picture, offering a clarity that actually helps you take action in a sometimes overwhelming situation. The performance is also smooth and non-disruptive, making it reliable as well as robust.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
Debt Free offers a powerful set of features and functionality for its price, making it a worthwhile investment. But uses the "snowball" method, so if you want to tackle their debt in another way -- or just want a simpler way to track bills and payments -- you'll find it limiting.
Others may find the amount of information and features overwhelming despite the clean, basic interface. If that sounds like you, check out a more general financial management app, like BillTracker or even Mint. But if you're managing mountains of debt -- and often feel like drowning under a sea of numbers -- Debt Free will be a godsend. ♦
Categories: Finance | The Daily App