One of the greatest feelings of financial freedom is the day you pay off all of your credit card debt. It’s also one of the hardest things for many to accomplish. In fact, a study by the United States Department of Justice found that 90% of no-asset non-business Chapter 7 filings had credit card debt, accounting for nearly half of the debtor’s total debt. The same study found that the average credit card debt among these Chapter 7 filers was $17,738.
So when Mint launched a free tool to help pay off credit card debt, I thought it was worth sharing. Mint is a free online money management and budgeting tool that I’ve used for several years now (You can check out my review of Mint.com for more details). One feature of Mint is goal setting. And last week they added two new goals–one to help you pay off credit card debt, and one to help you pay off other loans.
Using these goals in Mint is really simple. The first step is to make sure all of your credit cards are linked to Mint. Once linked, Mint automatically pulls in all of your credit card activity. Once you click on the pay off credit card debt goal, Mint brings up all of your linked credit cards and their balances. You can choose which credit cards to include in the goal and the name of your goal. And it’s at this point that Mint Goals really shines. After naming your goal, Mint walks you through the details of each credit card:
As you can see in the screenshot above, you can set the interest rate and minimum required balance for each card. But Mint goes a step further. If you have taken advantage of a 0 percent credit card offer, you can also enter the details of this offer. Once you’ve entered all of your credit card data, you can select how much in additional payments, if any, to make each month.
And the result is a very nice looking plan by month, including additional tasks you can take. For example, Mint suggests that you take advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer, and it suggests either the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard or the Slate card by Chase. The Citi Platinum Select was the balance transfer card we used to help get out of credit card debt, because it offers the longest 0% offer we could find. Here’s what the summary looks like on Mint:
To give one of these goals a try, check out Mint.com goals.