As of 2010, Americans owed almost $1 trillion on revolving lines of credit, and $68 billion of it was past due. On top of that, 13% of all Americans currently carry more than $10,000 in credit card debt.
However, everyone’s situation is a little different. If yours is not that bad, you may benefit from a simple online budgeting tool, such as Mint.com. If your debts are more significant, however, consider a service such as SpringCoin, a simple, easy-to-use debt management tool that can help streamline your finances and provide a path out of personal debt.
How It Works
The sign-up process is simple and straightforward, and you will have a much better understanding of your finances in just a few minutes.
- Sign Up. Enter your name, email address, and create a password to initiate your account.
- Enter Personal Information. Input your address and the last four digits of your social security number. SpringCoin uses this to pull your TransUnion credit file and to post debts listed there to your account.
- Manually Enter Debts. This includes credit cards, medical bills, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, and others not automatically located by SpringCoin. When you manually enter debts, you don’t need your account number – just the name of the creditor, current balance, and APR.
- Enter Income. You can enter this information manually or link to your bank account. This helps SpringCoin determine a feasible payment plan.
- Enter Monthly Expenses. Here you provide an estimate on what you spend in different categories, such as housing, transportation, utilities, and more.
Based on this information, SpringCoin computes a projected monthly payment and places it on a slidable graph. If you think you can commit more to your debts, simply slide the graph up and it will show how much faster you’ll get out of debt and how much you’ll save in interest.
After your information is entered, choose your plan. There are two options:
Basic Plan ($8 per Month)
- Personalized Goals. Each week, you’ll receive three new goals. For example, you may be challenged to pay more to a certain creditor or to cut back in an area of spending. You might also be asked to complete a short quiz, which will earn you points redeemable for gift cards once you reach a certain level.
- Debt-Free Roadmap. This will help you track your progress and see where your finances will be in weeks, months, or years.
- Automatic Budgeting. SpringCoin analyzes your income and spending and tracks changes over time. Each month, you’ll be given a new budget based on how you did the previous month. You can also adjust the budget as you see fit. If you don’t bank online, you can still get help with budgeting. You’ll be asked a few questions regarding your income and spending, and a sample budget will be prepared. Going forward, you need to fill in how much you spend each month to get an updated budget.
Premium Plan ($35 per month)
In addition to everything the Basic Plan includes, the Premium Plan offers the following:
- Bill Payment. SpringCoin will set up automatic payments for your credit cards, so you’ll never miss a due date or pay a late fee again.
- Negotiation Tools. SpringCoin offers automated software that will allow you to negotiate lower interest rates or balance reductions with your creditors.
- 24/7 Financial Advice. You’ll have access to certified credit counselors 24 hours a day through chat, and you can call or email during normal business hours. Also, if you receive communication from a creditor or a bill you’re unsure of, you can upload the document on the website and SpringCoin will help you find a solution.
- Convenience. After my credit file was pulled, most of my debts were automatically linked to my SpringCoin account. This made the set-up process much more convenient.
- Payment Calendar. The first thing that pops up after you choose your plan is a payment calendar with the due dates and payment amounts of your debts.
- Rewards. You can earn rewards good for Amazon gift cards by completing weekly quizzes and other financial challenges.
- Spending Reduction Tips. If you click the “Budgets” tab, you will see a list of all of your monthly expenses. For categories in which you may be able to save money, you will be offered specific advice on how to do it.
- Sliding Calculator. The sliding calculator is a simple and convenient tool you can use to find out how much you can save and how much faster you can get out of debt by increasing your monthly payment.
- Affordable. $8 a month isn’t that expensive, especially if your only other option is a debt settlement company, where the fees can be outrageous.
- Secure. If you’re concerned about identity theft, you can input all your information manually. Either way, all of your personal information is secured with 128-bit encryption technology.
- Sends Payment Reminders. If you link your bank account, SpringCoin will identify your monthly bills and send out payment reminders.
- Updates Automatically. As long as you link your debts, SpringCoin will track and update them as necessary.
- Free Trial Is Available. You can try out SpringCoin for one month free of charge. Just be sure to cancel your subscription before the 30-day mark if you don’t want to be charged.
- Cost. If you can’t get a grip on your finances on your own, paying a small fee is probably not an issue. However, at $35 per month, the Premium Plan is a bit pricey.
- No Access to Premium Plan During Trial. No matter what I did, I simply could not access the Premium Plan during my free trial. SpringCoin is working on fixing this issue, however.
- Limited FAQ. The website is fairly new, so I’m sure this will be expanded in the near future. For now, most of your questions will have to be submitted via email.
- Balances Must Be Manually Updated. Unless you link your debts, you’ll have to manually enter your payments and balances.
If you want to take a comprehensive look at your debts and receive concrete advice on how to pay them off, SpringCoin is definitely worth checking out. And since the website was founded by experts in credit counseling and debt negotiation, these tools can be most valuable. You’ll never be able to achieve your full financial potential until you eliminate personal debt - particularly high-interest personal debt – from your life. SpringCoin can help you reach that goal.
Have you had any experience with SpringCoin?