Paying down your debt? There’s an app for that

By Athena Valentine Lent

Reviewed by Kimberly Rotter

Mar 19, 2024

Read time: 5 min

A woman sits at her dining room table using a debt payoff app.

Key takeaways:

  • A debt payoff app could help you discover a debt payoff strategy that saves you money, time, or both.

  • Financial insights, bill reminders and debt payoff strategy suggestions are just a few features that debt payoff apps feature. 

  • Using an app is a great way to take the reins on your debt payoff strategy. Let an app help you design a custom debt repayment plan that suits your situation.

If you just started your debt repayment journey, or are looking to start, you know that you want it to be as easy as possible. After all, the easier something is, the more likely you’ll be able to stick to it. That’s where a debt payoff app comes in. Yup, there’s an app for that!

Debt payoff apps have features and benefits that could make it easier to:

Here’s why a debt payoff app belongs in your financial toolbox. 

Top features of a debt payoff app

A great debt payoff app should have features that make it easy for you to organize and track your debts and payments. 

A user-friendly interface

Any great app must be easy to use. You should be able to take advantage of the app’s features and understand what’s going on even if you aren’t a techie—or a financial wizard. A user-friendly interface is especially important for apps that help you manage your money.  

Connects easily to your accounts

Any financial app you use should connect easily to your accounts. Otherwise, it’s a lot of work to set up and manage the app. 

It’s normal to be concerned about security and privacy, especially if you’ve never used an app before that connects to your bank and credit card accounts. The best money management apps use bank-level encryption to keep your information secure. Using the app should be just as safe as banking online.

Budgeting help

When getting rid of your debt is a priority, budgeting is an important factor. It’s easier to pay more towards your debts if you’re able to find other expenses where you can pay less. Those are the choices you get to make when you have a solid budget, and a great debt payoff app or a money management app will help by showing you where your money goes.

Debt tracking

With your accounts connected, a good debt payoff app should show you the progress you’re making against your debts. Watching your balances go down each month—and watching the projected payoff date get closer—can be immensely satisfying. 

The best debt payoff apps take debt tracking one step further by analyzing the cost of your debts and making recommendations for how you might be able to save money. These insights could help you pay off your debt faster. 

The benefits of using a debt payoff app

If you take full advantage of the features of the debt payoff app you use, you might reach debt freedom sooner. Here are some of the benefits a great app could deliver. 

Everything in one place

One of the best features of a debt payoff app is that you can view and track all of your debts together on one dashboard. The first time you see all of your debts at once, it might make you feel uncomfortable—as it could be a rude awakening. But you can’t make a plan to deal with your debt if you don’t know where you stand. It can be very empowering to have a clear understanding of the situation and the goal. Some people say that seeing all of their debts in one place motivates them to avoid adding to it. 

Increased motivation and accountability

Apps can increase your motivation to pay off your debt by tracking your progress in an interactive way that you control. Some apps can send notifications to remind you to check in on your budget, or to pay upcoming bills. 

Having a better understanding of your finances could help you do more with your money. A great app will give you insight into your income and expenses so that you can improve your money management skills.  

A customized debt payoff plan 

With a customized debt payoff plan, you get to make the decisions, but an app could make that easier by providing guidance and reminders. An app might be able to analyze your current balances and interest rates so that you can make informed choices about how to attack your debts. An app can make suggestions—and provide a plan—for DIY debt payoff methods, such as the debt snowball or debt avalanche. Letting the app do the math could give you helpful information about the most cost-effective way to pay off your debt. And saving money could get you out of debt faster.   

An app can also recommend debt solutions that could help—based on your own unique financial situation. For instance, an app might notice a spending category you could consider cutting back on, to free up cash for paying down debt. The app could also offer strategies to consider, such as consolidating your debts with a personal loan or a home equity loan, or negotiating with your creditors if you have a hardship and are struggling to pay your debts.  

What’s next

Try the Achieve GOOD app. The GOOD app makes it easy to see where your money’s going, make a smarter debt payoff plan, and get debt-free faster. You’ll get tailored recommendations and insights to help you take control of your debt. Bill reminders, spending alerts, projected payoff dates, and automatic budgeting are all features that the Achieve GOOD app provides to help you along your debt repayment journey. It’s free to use, with no outside third-party ads. 

Ask friends and family for debt payoff app recommendations. Ask people in your circle if they can recommend a debt payoff app. Some may already be using one they love. Before you try an app, make sure it protects your data with bank-level encryption.

Commit. To get the most out of your experience, use the app for at least three months. That gives you time to get used to the app, to play around with your budget, and to see some progress against your debt. 

Athena Valentine Lent

Athena is one of Achieve’s content writers. She’s an award-winning advice columnist for Slate Magazine and author behind “Budgeting For Dummies” (Wiley 2023). Her writing has appeared in BuzzFeed, Tripadvisor, The College Investor, GOBankingRates, KeeperTax, and her personal website, Money Smart Latina.

kim rotter 2022 2

Kimberly is Achieve’s senior editor. She is a financial counselor accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education®, and a mortgage expert for The Motley Fool. She owns and manages a 350-writer content agency.

Frequently asked questions

No, debt payoff apps don’t affect your credit score or show up on your credit history.

Yes, there are legit debt payoff apps that are free to use for consumers. But it’s smart to always be wary. Check out who owns the app and what technology they use to safeguard your data. Check out reviews on trusted websites like TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau, as well as in the App Store. The Achieve GOOD app protects your financial information using bank-level security—the app doesn't store your banking usernames or passwords.

Some debt payoff apps can be configured to make payments directly to your creditors. But typically, debt payoff apps function more as a planner, allowing you to maintain control of your payments. Most people find it helpful when their debt payoff app sends notifications of upcoming payment due dates. 

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