9 Apps to Help Pay Off Student Loans

Student loan debt can be a huge burden that can take decades to pay off. On the bright side, if you’re looking for a way to pay off your student loans faster, there’s an app for that.

In fact, there are dozens of apps. They include programs that help you budget, save, invest, and strategize ways to get rid of your student loan debt as quickly as possible. The hardest part is choosing which one best fits your lifestyle and goals.

Apps to Help Pay Off Student Loans

Our pick for the best overall student loan payoff app, Debt Payoff Planner, helps you create the best strategy for getting rid of your student loan debt fast. Plus, its visuals help you stay on track by showing your payoff progress and rewarding you with indicators to show payoff victories.  

The other apps on this list all shine on doing one or two key things really well, like earning you cash back on everyday purchases, diverting your spare change toward extra loan payments, or helping you budget your overall finances. 

Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations have an average return of 618%. For $79 (or just $1.52 per week), join more than 1 million members and don’t miss their upcoming stock picks. 30 day money-back guarantee. Sign Up Now

Fortunately, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one.  For example, a micro-investing app, a cash-back app, and a debt strategy app could all play a role in your overall student loan payoff plan. Which apps will you choose? 

Best Overall: Debt Payoff Planner

Debt Payoff Planner Logo
  • Cost: Free for the basic version; premium version starts at $1 per month
  • Platforms: iOS, Android 

The Debt Payoff Planner is for those ready to figure out the best strategy to get rid of their loans as quickly as possible. Though you can use the app to pay off any kind of debt — from car loans to credit cards — it includes a category for student loans. 

Once you’ve added all your loans to the app, you can compare debt payoff strategies. The debt snowball method prioritizes paying off the loan with the lowest balance first, while the debt avalanche prioritizes the highest-interest-rate loan first. Or choose a custom plan. You can also see the impact of adding additional payments (the debt snowflake method).  

Upgrading to the Pro version gets you more detailed planning templates, printable plans, payment reminders, and Web access. But either version gives you an actionable plan to keep you motivated to get out of debt sooner than later, which is why this app is our top pick. 

Best for 529 Account-Holders: Upromise

Upromise Logo 1
  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox

Though more well-known as a college savings app, Upromise is equally suitable for those looking to pay off their student debt post-graduation. The smartphone app and browser extension work like any other shopping rebate tool, allowing you to earn cash back on everyday purchases.  

But the options don’t end there. You can also earn rebates for in-store and online grocery purchases. And if you link a debit card or credit card, you can earn cash back for dining out at restaurants. 

Earn even more with a Upromise Mastercard. Just pay off the balance every month to avoid negating your cash-back rewards with credit card interest.

Once you reach a minimum $50 threshold, you can transfer your rebates to either your checking or savings account or linked 529 college savings account. You can use up to $10,000 of 529 savings to pay off student loans.

Best for Online Shopping: EvoShare

Evoshare Logo
  • Cost: $29.99 per year, but EvoShare frequently runs specials like 24 months free 
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox

EvoShare is a browser extension and smartphone app that earns you up to 30% cash back for your online purchases and travel bookings. Additionally, you can have micro-savings, small amounts of your choosing, deducted daily from a linked bank account. 

Aside from the high percentage of cash back, EvoShare is unique in that you can opt to have your cash back paid directly toward your student loans. That helps you avoid the temptation to spend it.  

In some locations, mostly California so far, you can even earn cash back offline with a linked debit or credit card.

Best for Applying Micro-Savings: ChangEd

Changed Logo
  • Cost: $3 per month
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

Any amount you can pay above the minimum payment, even if it’s just a few dollars, can go a long way toward paying off your student loans early and drastically reducing the amount of interest that accrues. 

The app ChangEd helps you do that by taking advantage of micro-saving. It keeps track of your everyday purchases on any linked credit or debit cards and rounds up each transaction to the nearest dollar. 

The difference goes into your ChangEd account to save toward making extra student loan payments. Once your balance reaches $50, the money automatically goes to the student loan you designate.  

Extra perks include the ability to send larger deposits to your loans when you have some spare cash and the option to have friends or family sign up and send their spare change toward your loans. The app also lets you track your progress. You can see how much your spare change saves you in interest and how soon you’ll be debt-free.

The only caveat is that this app works best for those who make lots of credit or debit card transactions each month. You must have enough spare change transactions each month to cover the $3 per month fee and still make a dent in your debt load.

Qoins Logo
  • Cost: $2.99 per month for the basic version (covers one debt goal), $4.99 per month for the premium version (allows you to pay off five debts)
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

Like ChangEd, Qoins also lets you round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and send the difference to your student loans. Unlike ChangEd, there’s no minimum threshold to reach before payments go to your designated loans. Instead, they send payments once per month. 

There are also several other ways to pay down your loans:

  • Pay your loans through payroll deductions.
  • Have a chosen amount regularly debited from your checking account.
  • Use the Smart Savings feature, which automatically determines how much to withdraw each month based on your budget and how quickly you want to pay off your student loans.
  • Use the prepaid Qoins card to earn cash-back rewards for loan payoff at participating merchants. 

All these ways to automate savings mean you can put extra money toward your student loans without having to think about it.

Best for Maximizing Your Cash Flow: Digit

Digit Logo
  • Cost: $5 per month for savings only; $9.99 per month for budgeting, saving, and investing (first 30 days free; save 20% by paying annually)
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

Digit is an all-in-one app for managing your personal finances. But unlike other budgeting apps, which require you to do all the work, Digit makes your budget for you by analyzing your income and spending patterns. It also connects with your bank account to set aside money for bills where you won’t touch it.

Then, it lets you know how much you have left to allocate toward your financial goals and safely spend. It even automates your savings according to the parameters you set to help you reach your goals. 

So you can set paying off your student loans as a goal, and Digit helps you get there by placing your student loan repayment plan into the total picture of your personal finances.   

Best for Credit Monitoring: Mint

Intuit Mint Logo
  • Cost: Free with in-app advertising
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

Mint is another app that can help you manage all your personal finances in one place, including your student loans. As with other budgeting apps, you can use it to build a budget and automatically track expenses, which is helpful in figuring out a repayment strategy. 

But it stands out from the crowd of budgeting apps because it lets you view all your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and loans on a single dashboard in the app. And you can keep a constant eye on your credit score, which should improve as you build a history of on-time payments. 

As a bonus, Mint is owned by Intuit, the makers of TurboTax. If you file your taxes with TurboTax, you can easily import data from Mint to make tax filing easy. 

Best for Bill Pay: Quicken

Quicken Logo
  • Cost: $35.99 – $105.99 per year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows

Like Mint, Quicken lets you manage all your financial accounts with a single app, including your bank accounts, credit card debt, investments, and loans. Quicken also includes a Debt Reduction Planner tool to help you develop a strategy for paying down your student loans.   

One thing that helps Quicken stand out is that it allows you to transfer money between accounts easily and pay bills directly in the app. If you have multiple accounts with different loan servicers, that makes managing your student loans easier. 

Additionally, Quicken has a desktop version that syncs with the mobile app. So you can easily switch between the two if you prefer working on a larger screen when you’re not on the go.

Best for Balancing Debt Payoff & Investing: Fidelity Spire

Fidelity Spire Logo
  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

The Fidelity Spire app pairs investing tools with savings goals and financial education resources. It allows users to create goals, such as paying off student loans, and keep track of their goals in the app. 

Meanwhile, the app also gives users access to a suite of tools, including Fidelity’s Student Debt tool, which offers tips on paying down the debt. 

Additionally, the app lets you invest in stocks and exchange-traded funds directly through the app with as little as $1. Many student loan borrowers put off saving for retirement while paying down their loans. But they miss out on years of compounding interest, potentially losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments. So pairing micro-investing with paying down debt is a useful feature.

Source link