New Online Credit Management Tool: ReadyForZero

New Online Credit Management Tool: ReadyForZero

Credit card debt is still a big issue for many people. According to a detailed post on NerdWallet, the average amount of credit card debt carried by U.S. households is $15,185.

Many people want to get out of debt but can get overwhelmed trying to figure it out – especially with all the conflicting information available. Questions around debt reduction include questions such as:

  • Pay the card with the largest balance or the highest interest rate first?
  • Save money while paying down debt or take money out of savings and make a lump payment?
  • Consolidate debt or just pay off the cards one by one?
  • And, which is better? Biting the bullet and paying it all of as quickly as possible (and going into what some call deprivation mode) or setting aside a specific amount each month and paying it down slowly over time while enjoying your life?

That’s why we like this new tool: ReadyForZero.

Developed by people who actually had debt, ReadyForZero helps you manage debt, track your credit and change your attitudes about money.

Manage Debt

With the basic plan (free!), you can set up a personal profile that allows you to track your progress in paying off debt. Within your profile, you link your credit card accounts. The tool then tells you which credit card to pay first and charts show your progress.

You can also upgrade your account to the Plus plan ($75 per year) which gives you two cool features: automatic payments and your credit score. You can have the system make payments for you automatically on a bi-weekly basis (26 payments a year versus 12) based on when you get paid and have cash.

Making bi-weekly payments has a number of positive benefits.

  • One, as with weight loss, you see your debt being reduced much faster – which motivates you to try harder.
  • Two, by paying biweekly, you eliminate late charges which can lead to higher interest rates and a lower credit score.
  • Three, splitting your payment makes it less painful.
  • And four, by paying more over time, you lower the amount of interest paid.

Track Credit

The system also works with Experian, one of the credit reporting agencies. When you upgrade to the Plus Yearly plan, the system automatically tracks your credit score.

If you’re saving for a house or a new vehicle, knowing this information can help motivate you to clean up any credit issues and pay down debt – even a few points increase in your credit score can help you get a better interest rate.

Change your Attitude about Money

For many people, money is an emotional topic – one that we don’t like talking about – and this is especially true with regard to debt. Once people get into debt, they have a hard time getting out due to feeling shame and embarrassment.

In addition to offering tools for managing your debt, ReadyForZero’s staff (some of whom were in debt themselves) address the emotional issues surrounding debt. Instead of beating you up and telling you how awful you are (as some of the big name financial gurus do), they help you change your attitudes toward money and debt. By addressing these issues in a more positive way, you free yourself to reach your goal: paying off your debt.

What It Doesn’t Do

ReadyForZero doesn’t help you consolidate debt, work with creditors to reduce payments or interest rates, or remove faulty information from credit reports.

In addition, you may not be able to link all of your credit or student loan accounts. When we did a test run of the application, we were not able to link a credit card from a lesser-known bank. When we emailed ReadyForZero support, we received an email back the same day (from a real person!) stating that the company is aware of this issue and is working to resolve it.

We work with people every day in terms of helping them resolve credit issues so that they can refinance their home or purchase a new one. If you’ve got tough credit problems and/or an underwater mortgage – give us a call and let’s talk. We’re here to help you.