Debt can feel like having a monkey on your back. At first it’s really not so bad; maybe like one of those funny circus monkeys—you know things could get a little wild but you’ve got it (mostly) under control.
But the next thing you know you’re giving a piggyback ride to a 400-pound gorilla who has a troupe of sugared-up circus monkeys on its back…and you realize this is not a good situation. At all. It’s tiring, it’s heavy, it limits your freedom, and, quite frankly, it stinks.
If you’re sick of the chaos and ready to lighten your load, check out this list of the five best apps to help pay off debt.
What’s the Best Way to Get Out of Debt?
The best way to get out of debt faster is easy: make extra payments. Unfortunately, that’s also the hard part! First of all, just acknowledging that your debt is a problem that you’re interested in solving is an important first step—so you’re already well on your way. Celebrate your small wins.
Here are your next steps to creating a solid debt management plan:
- Know What You’re Dealing With: Let’s face it, your approach to battling one mostly manageable circus monkey is going to be far different than going to war with the Planet of the Apes. This step may not be fun (and honestly, if it is, I’m curious about your definition of a good time) but you can’t come up with a payoff strategy if you aren’t clear about what you owe. Sit down and make a list of all of your debts, the balances owed and figure out which have the highest interest rates.
- Find More Money: “Well, if I had more money, I wouldn’t be in debt,” you might be thinking. I get it. However, if you continue making the minimum payments, you will never get ahead. The whole system is designed to make sure you don’t. You’re going to need to make more or spend less and put that extra money towards your goal. Check out this list of ideas to help you pay off debt fast for inspiration.
- Stick With It: Achieving any goal requires focus. Whether you plan on sprinting to the debt payment finish line or making it a marathon, you need to find a way to stay on track. That’s why learning about the best apps to help pay off debt is your next move.
The 5 Best Apps to Help Pay off Debt
When it comes to paying down debt, technology can be an excellent tool. Apps are an ideal option because they’re more organized than us, they’re better at math than us, and they’re available whenever you have your phone, tablet, or computer (which is probably almost always.)
Here are 5 of our favorite options for apps to help pay off debt:
Debt Payoff Planner & Tracker
True to its name, this app is a payoff planner and debt tracker that can help you decide which debts to tackle first. The Debt Payoff Planner has nine different types of loan categories and offers different payoff options, including debt snowball, debt avalanche, or a personalized plan. Once you enter your loan information, monthly payment budget, and payoff strategy, the Debt Payoff Planner calculates how long it will take you to pay off the loan.
The Debt Payoff Planner is available on iOS or Android. The cost is free with limited features and ads or $10 per month, with reduced pricing available if you purchase multiple months upfront.
Tally is an interesting option if your primary concern is credit card debt. You create an account and link your cards, and Tally keeps track of your balances, interest rates, and due dates. If you qualify, Tally offers debt consolidation by extending a line of credit at a lower interest rate. With the optional “Tally Pays” feature, Tally will take over and make your payments for you, or it will send notifications to remind you to do so if you prefer to manage your payments yourself—very helpful if your forgetfulness is affecting your credit score.
Word of warning: Debt consolidation isn’t for everyone—it addresses the symptom instead of the root cause of the issue. Read this post about debt consolidation to see if you’re a good candidate.
Tally is free (they make money on the interest charged on the line of credit they offer) and on iOS and Android, but is not available in every state yet.
If you need some extra (and automated) help when it comes to finding and saving money, Qoins could be an effective option for chipping away at those outstanding balances. Qoins offers four different options for saving money, including: rounding up your daily transactions to the nearest dollar, an everyday deduction from your funding source, a percentage or amount every payday, or a set amount recurring weekly. Once a month, Qoins sends the money saved towards an extra debt payment or to your savings account.
Qoins is available on iOS and Android, and has a monthly fee of $2.99 a month per goal or $4.99 a month for multiple goals. Qoins doesn’t offer ideas on the most strategic way to get out of debt, but is helpful for saving money if you struggle with doing so.
If you’re trying to come up with a debt payoff plan, Undebt.it is a great option. Available on mobile or on desktop, Undebt.it is essentially a loan calculator that offers nine different debt payoff methods, including the popular debt snowball or debt avalanche options where you aggressively tackle debt with either the lowest balance or highest interest rate first, so you can build momentum towards making bigger payments as you progress.
Undebt.it is free or offers premium features (including integration with YNAB!) for the bargain price of $12. There is no dedicated mobile app, but the program is very mobile-friendly.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Okay, so we’re not entirely unbiased, but in our ever-so-humble opinion, YNAB covers all of the bases when it comes to getting out of debt…and staying out.
YNAB is a budgeting app that does more than help you organize your finances; with the Four Rules, fun and supportive educational opportunities, an entertaining and informative video series, ingenious way of managing credit cards so debt doesn’t accrue, and the new handy dandy loan planner that helps you strategize, visualize, and put your accelerated debt pay off in action….YNAB is the total package when it comes to managing your money. For good.
YNAB is available on iOS, Android, and on the web and pays for itself faster than you’d think. Try YNAB for free for 34 days (with no credit card or commitment required) to see if it’s the best app to help pay off debt.
But regardless of which app you choose to help pay off debt, you can get rid of that monkey on your back once and for all.