On March 19th at 5:30 PM PT, we’re hosting a live money chat featuring ReadyForZero! We’re going to provide you with tips and free tools that you can use to pay off debt quickly. You’ll also be able to type in your questions and chat directly with a financial planner! Click now to sign up: http://webinar.thesavvyduo.com/money-chat/
At Savvy Duo Financial Planning, Inc., we’re always on the lookout for tips and tools that can help couples reach their financial goals. That’s why I was so excited when I was recently able to connect with Shannon McNay from ReadyForZero.
We talked credit card debt and how ReadyForZero offers a free online planning tool to help you pay off debt faster. I was most impressed by the number of stories they’ve shared on their blog of individuals who have paid off thousands of dollars of debt. Here, Shannon shares some more info about ReadyForZero, and their quest to help users “pay off debt faster and build wealth sooner.”
We also just wanted to add in a quick note that Savvy Duo Financial Planning, Inc. is not affiliated with ReadyForZero and has not been compensated in any way to write this article. We just wanted to share a helpful free tool with our readers!
Can you tell us a little about ReadyForZero and your role with the company?
ReadyForZero is a free online tool that helps you create a plan to pay debt off faster, on your own. I’m the Community Outreach and Customer Support Manager and I also write frequently for our blog.
If a couple is sick of having credit card debt, do you have any recommendations on the first step they should take to pay of their debt quickly?
First, see if there’s a way you can lower your interest rates – either by calling your lenders and asking them to lower your rates or by consolidating all of the accounts into one using safe consolidation options like a peer-to-peer loan.
Once your interest rates are as low as they can be, then you want to create a plan. Put all of your debt in one place and see how much you’re paying each month on your debt in total. Can you increase that amount? If the answer is yes, apply it to the highest interest rate debt only. This is called the debt avalanche method and can be done for you automatically on ReadyForZero.
Does ReadyForZero recommend the snowball method or the avalanche method of paying off debt?
We recommend the avalanche method for sure. This is the fastest way to pay off your debt and will allow you to focus more of your money to principal balances rather than interest costs.
How does ReadyForZero help you pay off debt faster?
We help you pay off debt faster by creating your plan for you. All you have to do is plug in your debt accounts and then adjust your plan to your needs. Then just sit back and watch your progress each month. We have progress charts and send you milestone emails that keep you motivated along the way. You can even sign up to have your progress sent to a loved one if you’re looking for a little bit more accountability!
Aside from that, we support you through our community and provide you with more educational resources to help you through our blog, resource centers, and now our brand new ebooks!
How much does ReadyForZero cost?
ReadyForZero is free. We do offer upgrades if you’re looking to further automate your plan, but these upgrades are purely supplemental. We have PLUS, which allows you to make payments on your plan directly from ReadyForZero. This is $10 a month and you have the option to set up one-time, monthly, or accelerated biweekly payments. We also have PLUS Credit, which gives you all of that plus credit score tracking for $15 a month.
What makes ReadyForZero better than creating a spreadsheet or some other do-it-yourself method?
Automation, empowerment, and motivation. Automating your plan allows you to set it and continue on with your busy life. Showing you your progress empowers you and motivates you to stick to the journey.
What’s the most debt you’ve ever seen someone payoff using ReadyForZero?
There are probably higher amounts paid off that we haven’t been able to interview, but the highest amount paid off that we spoke to was by Jen, who paid off $37,000 in debt in 7 months. She’s a world traveler who owns her own business and managed to boost her plan in a big way by selling her car and buying a used one in cash to get around in while she focused on her debt payoff. We were lucky enough to meet her in person and learn more about her story just one year ago!
Can you share with us some inspirational stories of couples or individuals who have paid off debt?
There are so many, it’s hard to narrow them down! We have an MVP page where you can find many of these stories and we also have a monthly blog series called the Debt Destroyers. The Debt Destroyers is a series in which some of us on the RFZ team participate with some of our users and blog readers to set monthly budget goals and talk about how we did. This is a major source of accountability for me in my own life!
Probably the very most inspirational story we heard recently was the story of Joe, a husband and father who started his own company and faced debt after some difficulties in his marriage and the economy. Last New Year’s Eve he set a goal to pay off debt and he was successful – paying off $24,000 in one year while supporting five kids!