4 iPhone and iPad Apps for Reducing Debt With the Snowball Method
The snowball method for reducing debt involves aggressively eliminating debts one at a time, usually from smallest to largest. There are iPhone and iPad apps that will help you use this method to pay down your debts faster.
How does the snowball method work? Start by paying as much as you can on your smallest debt while paying the minimum balances on your other ones. When you're done paying the first debt, roll the money you were paying on that one into the minimum payment for the next smallest debt. Continue on to each debt in the same way, gradually building a bigger payment with each rollover to the larger balances—until your debt is completely eliminated.
Although the snowball method is usually done by addressing accounts with the lowest balance first and working your way to the highest balance, it can also be done by going from highest to lowest interest rate, or from highest to lowest balance.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device, then you can use these apps to help eliminate your debt more quickly.
Both the iPhone and iPad versions of Debt Free are easy to use with a clean user interface. You start by entering the debts you want to pay off and then choose a strategy for eliminating the first debt. You can choose to start with the lowest balance, or you can start from highest interest rate, highest balance, or an order that you create.
The app shows you how each of these strategies will affect the total amount of debt and interest, as well as the debt payoff date. The variables (interest amount, remaining balance, etc.) are updated each time you enter a payment toward your debt.
Debt Free includes some calculators, including a payoff date calculator, a loan calculator, and a mortgage calculator. It also includes an amortization table so that you can view principal and interest for the remaining balance associated with each payment for each debt. Another helpful feature is the ability to set up notifications for payment due dates.
Other features include a quick summary of all debts with a percentage progress bar, debt-free date, interest savings, early payoff date, and a pie-chart view of debts by category and remaining debt. You can export reports into HTML format that you can then email to yourself for viewing outside of the app.
Cost: $0.99 to work with an unlimited number of debts.
Debt Payoff Pro's user interface is designed with large calculator buttons. The currency used depends on your device's region setting.
Start by entering your loans and other debt, then choose from one of four debt payoff strategies: lowest balance first, highest balance first, highest interest first, and custom order. Then, choose to set due date reminders for payments.
Reports show your total debt amounts, remaining debts, total interest paid, total interest saved, debt payoff date, and debt payoff time savings. You can also view interest, principal, and remaining balances and payments for each loan in an amortization table.
The app also includes a mortgage calculator, loan calculator, and payoff date calculator. Other features are the ability to export payment lists and amortization schedules to HTML so that you can review them outside of the app, customizable debt icons, backup and restore data options, and a lock feature so that you don't accidentally delete a debt or payments entered.
Cost: $0.99 to work with an unlimited number of debts. You can try Debt Payoff Assistant for free, but you are limited to two debts.
The Debt Manager app helps guide you through the process of setting up your debt repayment with on-screen hints and tips, and you can also access a full manual in the app. You can choose to pay off your lowest or highest balance first, highest interest rate first, or another custom order.
Once you enter your accounts, you can choose to start with weekly, biweekly, or monthly payments, and choose to receive notifications when they're due.
The app's interactive reports offer a visualization of debt breakdown with an interface that allows you to compare debts side by side; press, hold, and slide to see the costs per month; and pinch to zoom in. You can choose to send reports via email, along with full amortization schedules, and choose to back up your data in Dropbox.
Debt Manager also includes a monthly payment calculator, an extra payment benefit calculator, a payoff date calculator, and a refinance benefit calculator.
Cost: $0.99 to manage an unlimited number of debts.
With Debt Strategy, you enter your debts, then take a look at how one of three payment strategies for debt elimination will work. You can choose from making only minimum payments (you won't use this one for long if you're serious about reducing debt), paying lowest balances first, or paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first.
Debt Strategy will perform what-if analyses, and it has some reports that visually break down debt by category or remaining balance. You can set up payment reminders, override your home currency if needed, and email reports. Your private financial data is password protected.
This app does not offer financial calculators like the other apps listed here.
Cost: $0.99 to work with an unlimited number of debts. Debt Strategy Lite lets you try the app for free but is limited to two debts.