ReadyForZero: The Fastest Way to Become Debt Free

As we begin a new year, we long to finally make this the year we make a lasting difference in our lives. While 2012 witnessed us throw our resolutions out the window by mid-January, 2013 brings new hope that we will all lose 50 pounds, become independently wealthy, quit our vices, and obtain sainthood all in the span of 365 days.

Improving our financial lives come second only to losing weight when we sit down to make that hopeful list of what we will accomplish in the New Year. These financial goals could include saving more for retirement, making more money, or saving up for the purchase of an appreciating asset. But for a lot of us it means paying off debt.

It is an understood fact in the personal finance realm that debt is bad. It makes you a slave to the lender, it causes great anxiety, and it means that your money isn’t really yours. In most cases, debt is the consequence of not delaying gratification. So now we are crushed by the double whammy crappy feeling of both owing money and realizing that our childlike demands of NOW! NOW! NOW! put us in that position. It sucks and we all want to see that debt balance at zero. Are you ready for zero? I know I am and I even wrote a post detailing what it would mean to be DEBT FREE!

Lucky for us, there is an awesome program that allows us to pay off our debt in the most time-efficient, cost-effective manner. It is cleverly named ReadyForZero and it pretty much rocks. ReadyForZero allows you to link all of your debt information in one place – balances, interest rates, and minimum payments – and then tells you how to pay it as quickly and cheaply as possible. It’s the bomb-dot-com and you need to sign up now. Here’s why…

What exactly is ReadyForZero and how does it work?

ReadyForZero is free online software that allows you to track your debt and pay it off in a cost-effective manner. It links all your debts, the minimum payments, and interest rates in one place – letting you get an all-in-one snapshot of your debts. Basically, it creates that list of debts that every financial guru and PF blogger tells you to make.

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After linking your debts, you create a Payment Plan, where you choose either the monthly payment you can afford or the date you want to be debt free. If you choose a minimum payment, ReadyForZero will give you your debt free date, and vice versa. The program will also tell you the amount of interest you will pay, along with the interest and time you will have saved by paying more than the minimums.

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The reason ReadyForZero will help you become DEBT FREE the fastest is because it helps you implement the Debt Avalanche method. While I detailed a variety of strategies for optimal debt reduction, the Debt Avalanche method is mathematically the fastest way to pay down debt.

With that in mind, ReadyForZero adopts the highest interest rate method of debt repayment (the Avalanche Method) by giving you a “Target Account”. This target account is your debt with the highest interest rate, and the only account where you will be making more than the minimum payment (until it’s paid off and you move onto the next one!). It’s Dave Ramsey meets Suze Orman (just don’t tell them that).

What other awesome things does ReadyForZero offer?

  • It tracks your progress. Who doesn’t like a good chart or graph? ReadyForZero has graphs and charts aplenty! (Maybe less exciting for people who aren’t total nerds, like me.) Your progress is tracked both by individual debts and as a total.

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  • It tells you what to pay. ReadyForZero tracks your monthly payments and the due dates. It also emails you when bills are due. So I guess a downside to RFZ is that you no longer have an excuse for late payments.

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  • There is a ReadyForZero blog! And what do PF nerds like better than more blogs to read? Well, becoming debt free and reaching financial independence. But new blogs are a close second. Anyways, the RFZ blog posts articles on how to get out of debt and into financial freedom. Be sure to check it out!
  • Keep up-to-date on the go. ReadyForZero also has a free app for your iPhone. Paying off debt almost feels more B.A. when you are multitasking. Just don’t update it while you’re driving!

ReadyForZero Plus

The great thing about ReadyForZero is that it’s completely free and you can use the features mentioned above for no cost at all. However, they do give you the option to upgrade to ReadyForZero PLUS in order to setup online bill pay through RFZ. Again, I’ll note: You can still use the normal ReadyForZero tools and just pay through your account sites for free, without having to opt for the “Plus” option. However, for $4.99 per month it may be a great option for those of you that want to have one place where you set up all of your monthly debt payments.

The most interesting feature that intrigued me about ReadyforZero Plus is that it allows you to pay your debt payments on a bi-monthly basis. I’ll probably do a write-up on this when I have time, but by paying your debt payments twice each month, you actually make an extra payment each year! Therefore you’ll get out of debt that much quicker! When looking at the RFZ Plus sign-up page, they’ll show you the calculation on how much more quickly you’ll become debt free AND how much interest you’ll save by adopting this bi-monthly payment method.

Where Can You Sign Up?

Click on the ReadyForZero image below (which will take you directly to their site), enter in your basic information and link all of your debt accounts using your account log in information for your various credit cards and loans. ReadyForZero will then prompt you to set up your Payment Plan. Pick your target debt free date OR the amount you can pay monthly and let RFZ do the rest!

After chatting with Shannon at ReadyForZero, she did assure me that ALL of your passwords are eliminated once you enter them into their system (so you don’t ever have to worry about somebody getting your hands on them). Furthermore, they are PCI compliant and use bank level security for their site. It’s just another step they’ve taken to keep your information secure and put you at ease when using their tool.

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About the Author

By , on Jan 29, 2013
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of WorkSaveLive.com.

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{27 Comments}

  1. I never use such type of tool . It will help many people like me through reminding payment day and also keeping the track of information. I will definitely use this software for the next time

    @ Andy,
    1. As we heard regarding hacking Debit or credit card during online transaction, How much secure this software in case of that issue?
    2.Would you please tell me how do I use RFZ tool in my iPhone 4S?

  2. What a great little tool, can’t wait until it lands in the UK! Any idea when it may be due out over here?

  3. Matt says:

    That’s a fantastic tool!
    As always, it’s the US first, I don;t suppose you are aware of a UK alternative? BTW, I forgot to tell you – you got a mention in my last post :)

  4. I’ve never heard of this before but like Holly I thought it sounded like mint. I think as long as it does what it’s supposed to and the person who uses it does so in a manner that helps them beat debt, then why not. Cheers

  5. There are a lot of really great online tools now that can help people pay off their loans in a cost effective way. Ready For Zero looks great from all the reviews I have read. I have never used it but thanks for sharing and giving some pointers on how to make the most of it!

  6. I know that paying down the highest interest rate first is mathematically the fastest way to pay off debt. However, most people with a ton of debt will quit before they finish eliminating all their debts because they aren’t motivated enough to keep going – they need the quick wins that a lowest-balance debt snowball method provides.

    It is quite possible that Ready For Zero helps mesh those two practices together: It gives debt-payers the “progress report” they need to stay encouraged while paying down the highest interest rate balances. Very interesting!

  7. Awesome review Andy. I’ve been considering joining this program very heavily. However, one question I have is that I have some medical debt that I would like to add into the program, would I be able to either link that up as well or could I add it in manually?

    • Andy says:

      That is an excellent question, Chris! Unfortunately at this time I don’t think you’d be able to link the medical debt. However, on my conf call Shannon told me that they’re in the process of having their software redone so that there is an option to input certain debts (or all of then if the user prefers) manually.

  8. I really like the idea. I tried to sign up but they can’t link to my local bank or my student loan account. Other than mortgage, there aren’t any other debts to track. I wish I’d know about it when we were paying down our credit card. It would have been fun to watch.

    • Andy says:

      That stinks you can’t link your student loan! I wasn’t interested in linking my bank account simply because I keep track of that well enough, but seeing the student loans go DOWN is a lot of fun! You might consider giving Shannon a shout to see if she can help you link your account…

  9. Looks like a great tool! The variety of free financial tools that are available online nowadays is amazing, there’s really no excuse not to be on top of your finances!

  10. It would make my life easier if I could use a tool like this. Last time I tried, my student loan company locked me out of my account for violating their terms (3rd-party logins not allowed)

  11. This looks like a great way to tackle debt. Anything that collates all your financial info into one place so you can see your progress and manage payments effectively has got to be a good thing in my eyes.

  12. RFZ is a great site for folks trying to get out of debt and a great asset to the PF community.. I am a huge fan.

  13. Pauline says:

    Ready for Zero is a fantastic tool, and their blog is really neat!

  14. I’ve already signed up with them!

  15. ReadyForZero is the program necessary for people that want to pay down debt, not just track their accounts. I wish I knew about it when I was paying down my debt because I used the Avalanche method, but did it on a whiteboard. I recommend ReadyForZero to anyone that asks.

  16. Wow, ReadyForZero is actually a really helpful tool, plus their site is really well designed and I’m a sucker for pretty websites. Thanks for sharing, I’ll be using this to track my debt from now on!

    • Andy says:

      Andrew, thanks for stopping by and being a part of WSL! I’ll have to say that your site is designed fairly well, and now knowing you’re a “sucker for pretty websites” would explain why. :)

      They do have a really well-designed site though and I love how things move when you scroll up/down the page. If you decide to use ReadyForZero to help pay down your debt the fastest, then be sure to sign up for the Debt Movement as well!

  17. Good review Andy. I’ve wondered about their program and how it works. I prefer the method they promote, so it’s gotta be good, right?! ;)

    • Andy says:

      LOL. Even if they encouraged the debt snowball method, they’d still be cool! However, they do help people pay off debt the fastest by using the “avalanche” method which just makes them awesome. In all seriousness though: I’m a big fan of visual motivation when paying down debt, so for the ‘not-so-nerdy’ (see ‘excel loving, personal finance dork’) that doesn’t create their own graphs then it’s a really great free online tool where the software creates all of the visuals for you.

  18. AverageJoe says:

    Cool stuff! We interviewed Ben and Shannon from ReadyForZero for our podcast next week. Not only is it a great tool, but the people behind it are awesome, too.

    • Andy says:

      I’m with you AJ! I had a conference call with Shannon a few weeks ago and she was tremendous. It’s exciting to see how energetic and motivated she was to help people become debt free.

  19. I have never heard of this program before. Is it kind’ve like Mint? Very interesting!

    • Andy says:

      I wouldn’t totally relate it to Mint. There are features that will help you track your spending/bank account activity if you choose to link that information. However, their primary focus is helping people pay down debt and providing their users with the graphs, tools, and motivation to do so as quickly as possible.

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