Update: Unfortunately, we were recently informed that Ready for Zero has shut down its credit score and debt planner tools. However, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. We recommend you visit our credit score monitoring services page (plenty of services here to meet your needs) or download the Pay Off Debt app from the Apple or Android app stores.
Creating a plan to get rid of your credit card debt is fairly simple.
First, list out all of your debts and rank them according to one of three methods: highest interest rate (debt avalanche method), lowest total balance (debt snowball method), or most emotional.
Then, start aggressively paying off debt #1, while making minimum payments on the others.
Work your way down the list over the course of weeks, months, years until you are debt free.
A company called ReadyForZero wants that process to be even easier. Their online based tool let’s you securely sign up and provide your financial account information, such as credit card accounts.
Once you’ve signed up, they create a debt reduction plan (based on the debt avalanche), and give you suggestions for paying off your debt quicker.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the core features:
Accounts – Securely link all of your accounts including student loans, credit cards, car loans, etc.
Alerts – Receive email reminders and notifications for account changes and payment due dates. Email reminders keep you on track each month.
Mobility – Use the mobile app to track progress and receive alerts while you’re on the go or just don’t feel like sitting in front of your laptop.
Money Tips – The ReadyForZero blog content is accessible inside the tool where you can get articles relevant to conquering debt!
User Interface – The UI is intuitive and easy to learn.
You can also upgrade your account to take advantage of additional features:
Payments – Make one-time or recurring payments directly from the tool so you don’t have to use bank bill pay or set up automatic payments with each financial account’s website
Time and interest savings – Real time updates for time and interest savings as you pay down your debt.
Track your credit score – Track your credit score along with paying off your debt. You receive your VantageScore 3 credit score (provided by Experian) that is updated monthly for you.
Insights Plus *New* – Insights Plus has just been released and provides a detailed look at your full debt repayment plan. You get visual snapshots of your debt and payment behaviors to help you optimize paying off debt.
In addition to the above features, the following improvements have recently been made to the Plus plan:
- Get a breakdown of the factors that impact your personal credit score
- A complimentary copy of the ReadyForZero ebook, Destination Debt Free: The Complete Guide to Mapping Out Your Financial Success
- Speedier sign up process
All of the above features sound great, right? Especially considering you can have a FREE plan to pay off debt in minutes! Just to put some other common concerns at rest, I decided to dig deeper into the website and summarize some key points from the FAQs:
Security – The company states they are using bank level security technology to keep your data safe. They even offer a page about security for those who want to learn more.
How do they make money? – Aside from the Plus plan, ReadyForZero offers a Savings platform similar to Mint.com’s suggestions. Based on your accounts and data, they provide offers they believe will help you make more progress on paying off debt.
Some people don’t like this and I understand. But, I’ve never had any concerns with Mint or even ReadyForZero providing powerful tools and offers within as long as they are based on my suggestion and can help me make progress.
How much does it cost? – Again, the basic features are free. The plus upgrade costs $10 or $15 per month depending on which functionality you want to enable that I described above.
Are there impacts to your credit score? – Here it is straight from the website: “ReadyForZero does not report to credit bureaus and using the product does not negatively impact your credit score. If you miss payments or make late payments your credit score will be impacted regardless of if you are using ReadyForZero or not.”
ReadyForZero is free and easy to sign up. Literally within 5 minutes you could have your very on debt reduction plan in a pretty, user-friendly online tool.
If you are looking for a single, simple solution to help you focus on debt and smash it, I suggest you check out ReadyForZero (www.readyforzero.com).
Once you check it out, come back here and let me know what you think!