Disclosure: I am writing this review of my own free will. I have not received any compensation, service, or product for writing this review. At this time, I am only reviewing the free version of the product and not the “gold” premium service. I have been in contact with the developer (Jeff Donaldson) while creating the review. His feedback did not influence my review as I only asked for accuracy and additional information from him.
Last week I came across a very resourceful site in an unusual place – Buzzfeed. Typically, I glance at BuzzFeed for a few minutes when I need to give my mind a rest. I go there for humor, so I was intrigued when I came across an article titled 32 Amazing Websites That Will Actually Save You Money.
Undebt.it immediately jumped out at me. Undebt.it is an online debt manager that will help you get the bills paid off. I happen to be a big fan of the debt snowball (paying lowest balance first) & debt avalanche (paying highest interest first) methods to get out of debt, so a free online tool to manage my snowball has my interest.
How Undebt.it Works
Set up a free account
You don’t have to use your real name, but you do need to supply a valid email address
Insert your debts
You are not including any private information (such as account numbers). The information needed for each account is:
- Nickname for debt (e.g. Credit card, student loan, car payment etc.)
- Balance (current balance of debt)
- Highest (The highest balance of debt, used to track progress)
- Interest rate
- Next due date
- Credit limit
- Minimum payment
If you are serious about getting out of debt, it is a good idea to get all this information together ahead of time, and then load everything at once. But even if you don’t have all the information, you will be able to log in later and adjust the debts.
Choose Debt Snowball or Avalanche Method via Dashboard
Don’t get caught up on which method to use! The debt snowball is the default method and if debt payoff is already overwhelming don’t over-complicate the matter. The debt snowball allows early wins by paying the smallest balance first (without regard to interest rates). The debt avalanche method attacks the higher interest debts first. Mathematically, the debt avalanche will save you money on interest in the long run and may speed up your debt pay-off time period. However, the debt snowball method makes sense behaviorally, because the motivation of eliminating that first debt can be the motivation needed to continue. Do what works for you! When in doubt, leave as the default snowball method.
View /Print / Export Snowball Payoff Sheet
Once your debts are loaded and you’ve determined how much money you have each month to put towards debt, a payment plan like the one below is generated.
Most payment plan generators I’ve seen in the past stop here. You are able to print the table and manually track your spending, but Undebt.it features are just getting started, this is where it starts to shine…
The Payment Manager
The payment manager shows your due date and minimum payment. The due date cell is red if the payment is overdue. A quick pay button notates the payment as paid. This is NOT linked to your actual accounts so this is only as accurate and up to date as you make it.
The remaining debt bar graphs give a quick visual representation of the remaining debt.
My first impression:
My first impression is this is a clean intuitive interface. The website design is well-done and easy to follow. I did not get lost in the setup process, even though I did have to do a little extra digging to find out how to switch between the debt snowball and avalanche method (It’s in the debt dashboard).
A nice feature (that I haven’t used yet) is called snowflake payments. If there is a month you have extra money to throw at debt (gifts, tax returns etc), you can enter that amount. You can also enter negative amounts for months you come up short of your snowball/avalanche because of unforeseen expenses.
This tracker is a living document that will be as accurate as the person managing it.
Some features, which are currently free, will be rolled into the premium service: Undebt.it Gold. These features include:
- Undebt.it mobile
- SMS text payment reminders
- Historical reporting
I haven’t had a chance to use the mobile app, and accept for the SMS updates, I probably would not have a reason to as I am in front of my computer most of the day. However, the SMS text reminders and historical reporting makes the premium service worth the cost. Just to put this in perspective, Dave Ramsey’s snowball tool is $10/mo to save and have access to, albeit that comes with access to additional tools beyond the scope of this review. If you want to save and track your progress, Undebt.it will do that for free.
I reached out to the developer, and here is what he had to say:
Being in debt eliminates many options. I would rather be paying $1,500 per month for a vacation/retirement home but I don’t have that option. That’s the amount it costs me each month to pay down my debt. I’m 40 years old now, and it’s just been over these last few years that I’ve really begun to get a grasp of seeing how important debt freedom can be to a family.
I’m a numbers guy and I like to see the things laid in a way that’s easy to visualize and that’s why I created Undebt.it. Doing a debt inventory is the first step to becoming debt free. Once you get all of your information entered into the site, a payment plan is generated based off of what you can afford to pay for the whole month. Stick with the plan and you’ll be on your way to debt freedom.
What’s the future hold for Undebt.it
- A site redesign that is mobile-device friendly (underway)
- Additional historical functions & reports (short term)
- Budgeting & bill payment managers (intermediate)
- Native iPhone app (long term)
What about you?
Have you heard of Undebt.it before?
Do you plan on taking advantage of the service?