The biggest key to enhancing your financial profile is simple: You need to pay down and eliminate credit card and personal debt. While this can be an overwhelming task to tackle, online tools can help you achieve your goals.
One such online tool is SavvyMoney (formerly DebtGoal.com). By utilizing one of their plans, you can pay down and eliminate debt without having to increase your monthly income. There are plenty of ways you can generate more revenue, but to speed up the process of climbing out of debt, SavvyMoney is an option worth considering.
How It Works
The setup process is fairly straightforward. You begin by entering all your personal debt and banking information, either linking up automatically to your online accounts or by entering the information manually. If you choose the first option, simply enter the username and password for all accounts, and if you enter the debt and account information manually, you will need to input your current balance, the APR, and the due date for each bill.
Once the information is received, SavvyMoney automatically calculates your monthly minimum payment, and provides you with an overall glimpse of your current debt situation: your total current debt, what you’ll need to pay each month if you only make the minimum payment, and a projected debt-free date.
Next, create a pay-down plan for yourself. The website provides three preset plans you can choose from as part of its SmartPay Plan feature:
- Debt Stacking. This is where you pay off the debts with the highest interest rates first, and make the minimum payments on the others.
- Snowball. With the debt snowball option, you pay off the cards with the lowest balances first while making minimum payments on the others.
- Custom. Here, you can customize your plan to include parts of stacking and snowballing, or to target a particular debt first.
- Plan Comparisons. Whether you select one of SavvyMoney’s three plans or have no plan at all, you can compare and contrast your options. It lists for you side-by-side your projected overall monthly payment, what you’ll save in interest, and the projected date when you will be debt-free.
- Compatibility. You can change your plan whenever you like if you conclude that your current one isn’t working. You can also add and delete accounts as your financial picture changes.
- User-Friendliness. Your dashboard illustrates in easy-to-read graphs the breakdown of the plan you choose. It shows your current level of debt, how much you’ve paid off, your current monthly commitment, and your projected debt-free date. The tool also has sliding calculators available so you can see how much you’ll save if you increase your monthly payment.
- Security. The site uses bank level encryption software, so all the information that you input on the site is always safe and secure. Your information is never shared or sold to outside third parties.
- Provides Information. SavvyMoney features articles and advice on a variety of topics regarding credit, debt, spending, and saving. They explore the basics of prudent financial money management, but also branch out into a wide array of other topics including home improvement, teens and money, how debt can affect your marriage, and more. There’s also a forum where you can ask the experts questions and share your own experiences.
- Assists With Rate Negotiation. I’ve researched a variety of debt payment tools, and this is the first one that explains how easy it is to simply negotiate a lower interest rate for one of your debt accounts. Furthermore, they even provide a mock script that you can use when you make the call.
- Can Manually Input Accounts. This is key if you are wary of entering multiple usernames and passwords to your online debt accounts. However, manual input of account information requires much more time and attention on your part. For each account, you will have to enter the type of account, your current balance, the interest rate, and the due date. You’ll also have to manually enter each payment made on these accounts.
- Tracks Progress. SavvyMoney tracks your payments and balances to help you stay on course with your plan. As payments are entered, you will be shown how much money is applied toward the principal, and how much interest you’ll save over the life of the debt.
- Requires a Credit Card. If you want to sign up for a seven-day free trial, you’ll need to provide your credit card information. If you try the service and do not wish to subscribe, be certain to cancel your account to avoid any charges.
- Cost Is Relatively High. A subscription to SavvyMoney costs $14.95 per month. While they do offer tools and benefits to help solve your personal debts, you may be able to find other free options.
- Does Not Offer Payment Reminders. The tool does not offer email payment reminders when bill due dates are forthcoming. This would seemingly be an easy feature to set up, and one that customers would surely appreciate.
When you’re trying to get out of debt, you may want to avoid adding another monthly expense. However, SavvyMoney could be worth the cost if you like the debt management tool and it helps you to eliminate thousands of dollars in debt.
But remember, no one is going to manage your finances for you. That job lies squarely on your own shoulders, regardless of the debt management plan you utilize. SavvyMoney is certainly a tool you can use to get your finances on track, but by eliminating unnecessary spending in your life and by spending less than you make each month, you’ll be sure to set yourself up for a financially fit future.
Have you had any personal experience with SavvyMoney? What are you thoughts on the tool?