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10 Tools to Get Out of Debt

tools to get out of debt

Managing Debt with Tools

So, you’ve made the decision to manage your debt. Congratulations! Now what? Do you have the tools to get out of debt?

Before deciding which tool to pick up, take a quick look at a few of the best. Here are 10 great tools to help you get back on top of your finances.

The Front-Runners

Online budgeting tools usually have an option to upgrade to a paid version once you’re familiar with the benefits of the basic. When searching for the best no-cost debt management software, look for features like the ability to link securely to your bank accounts, a mobile app for on-the-go intelligence, and a calculator that tells you how much you’ll save if you tackle debt the right way. Programs that incorporate all those features include:

More Online Tools

If you’re buying a home, trying to dig yourself out of back-taxes, sending a child to college, or just doing your best to avoid debt, these free online tools can also come in handy.

  • Making Home Affordable: In 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department launched a program called Making Home Affordable, and using their free online tool, you can easily see whether you’re eligible for a lower monthly mortgage payment or reduced interest rate. Just answer a few quick questions on their site, and based on your answers, a list of programs pops up for you to check out. The best part is you already know you meet the eligibility requirements for the programs your looking at.
  • Budget Templates: Debt cannot be managed if you’re not first managing yourself. Thankfully, budgeting can be a cinch if the template has already been made for you. There are dozens of free templates available with a quick Google search, just waiting for you to plug in your expenses and income. The results may be enlightening --- and motivating!
  • Envelopes Online: Have you ever heard of the “envelopes” system? The concept is simple: you can’t spend what you don’t have. Every payday, you stock your envelopes (entertainment, auto, food, clothing, housing) with cash, and when an expense arises, you pay with whatever’s in the envelope. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and debt is not an option. Enter Mvelopes.com, a free online version of the same.
  • Offer In Compromise Pre-Qualifier: The IRS might seem like the “opposing team,” but when you owe more than you can pay, an offer in compromise might be the answer. Check out the free questionnaire that helps you determine whether you can settle up for less than the full amount.
  • FAFSA4Caster: Before sending your kid to college with a kiss and your credit card, check out the Department of Education’s forecaster tool which will give you a ballpark estimate of how much you are eligible to receive in federal aid.

Like any skilled carpenter, you may want to keep a variety of tools on hand, so that you’re ready for any situation. Sometimes, even a custom combination of tools can get the job done.  For many people, self-managed tools alone are not enough to tackle the issue -- they need the help of an expert to get them on the right path. For a free consultation about your options to get out of debt, contact one of CESI’s certified counselors today

 

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