If you’re having trouble managing your loan payments, you’re not alone. Fortunately, downloadable tools provide you with opportunities to master your debt.
The average American in his or her thirties has $37,172 in student loan debt. That doesn’t include mortgages, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and others. Multiple, poorly managed accounts drag down your personal budget and possibly your credit.
Meanwhile, loan management or consolidation services can charge a $75 setup fee and as much as a $55 per month. But you can avoid costly services with affordable or free downloadable tools.
How would you like to stabilize your budget and get out of debt quickly? Let’s look at some of the best types of tools for this complex problem.
Free Tools for Any Financial Challenge
We’ve identified the five best benefits of using freely available tools for managing debt. First, we’ll take a look at how the most popular types of tools will help you get them.
Loan Payment Trackers
Loan payment trackers often come in the form of in-browser or downloadable Excel templates. Preexisting formulas enable you to enter data and keep track of all of your payments. Loan payment trackers offer a flexible way to visualize your payment history and manage all future payments as you go.
Debt calculators help you approach your debt in a way that fits your financial goals. Calculators can help you reach a specific “debt free” deadline. Calculators may provide other options, such as fixed monthly payments to fit your budget. This tool enables you to recalculate your strategy at any time.
Financial Planning Tools
These tools help you set broad financial goals that incorporate your debt. Financial planning helps you save money for college or plan for retirement, all while paying off your loans in a timely way.
Payment Management Apps
Payment management tools help you track expenses and manage personal finances. They can also suggest certain methods for paying off your debt. Many of these tools use the popular “debt snowball” method to suggest a payment strategy. This method recommends minimal payments on all of your accounts except that with the smallest balance.
If you’re concerned about consistency, payoff tools are good motivators for sticking to your repayment plan. Payoff tools help you center your plan around a specific payoff date. Your payoff date is the theoretical day when you will be debt free.
Lapses in your repayment consistency can prolong or even add to your debt. Payoff tools help you visualize the goal and maintain repayment discipline.
The Five Best Benefits of Using Downloadable Tools
The following tools offer personal and long-term benefits at low or zero cost. We’ll compare them to the benefits of traditional debt management solutions. You can consider how they could help you with your own finances as well.
No Costly Financial Services
Traditionally, financial planning requires a paid contract with a financial expert. Now, a modest amount of personal effort gives you the education and tools you need to achieve any financial goal. Here are some costly financial services that are now achievable with downloadable tools:
- Debt Management
- Education Funding
- Personal Financial Planning
- Retirement Planning
Not all free downloads or in-browser tools will support your financial needs. Even so, many of the more sophisticated tools support paid advertising. This offsets any cost to you while supporting a more comprehensive application.
Precise Payment Amounts for All of Your Loans
You want a clear picture of how much you will be paying on your loans in total each month. You also want to set up an optimal repayment schedule. Downloadable tools enable you to build repayment strategies with any number of goals in mind. Here are some of the repayment plans you can create using these tools:
- “Debt snowball” method
- Highest Interest Method
- Fixed-monthly payments method
- Debt-free deadlines method
Using a repayment plan helps you get out of debt more quickly. It can also reduce your total monthly payments, and limit negative impact to your credit. Downloadable tools enable you to change details about your finances and improve your payment plan at a moment’s notice.
Repayment Schedule Visibility
Unlike traditional financial planning services, downloadable tools enable you to track your repayment strategy in real time. You can adjust your own repayment strategy whenever you are ready.
Debt calculators are simple to use for immediate insight into how best to manage your debt. You can use the calculator again later to create a whole new strategy.
You can also use financial planning tools to factor changes in employment or lifestyle into your repayment strategy. Here are some of the immediate actions available when using financial planning tools:
- Identify spending trends
- Make income and lifestyle adjustments
- Plan for a vacation or retirement
- Plan for future financing, such as student loans
Flexibility for Unexpected Developments
When preparing for the future, you can quickly calculate how emergency financing can factor in to your existing budget.
Financial planning tools enable you to plan for emergencies and continue managing your debt. You can use a debt calculator to include existing lines of credit into emergency planning. Simply establish a repayment plan beforehand.
Short-notice financiers like Cigno instant payday loans can provide help at difficult times. Still, minimizing disruption and adjusting your long-term plan is simple. Here are some benefits downloadable tools offer you when planning for an emergency:
- Financial planning tools help you plan for future emergencies
- Debt calculators help you consider how emergency financing will affect your debt
- Payment management apps help you quickly incorporate debt from an emergency into your plan Loan
- Payment trackers provide visibility into how your repayment activity has changed
Long-Term Financial Health
Eventually, you will have a clearer view of your financial future. Irregular ups and downs needn’t throw your long-term plan off its course.
Downloadable tools provide a powerful, flexible means of managing your finances that can be applied throughout your lifetime. And unlike finance professionals, your tools can easily be replaced as updates emerge.
Now, take the initiative and familiarize yourself with the features. You won’t have to walk into a financial services office again.
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