NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If you’re up to your ears in debt, you may find solace at ReadyForZero, a free website that helps consumers prioritize their loans so debts can be paid down while incurring the least amount of interest possible.
The site lets users link their credit cards, mortgage, student loans and auto loans accounts as well as any checking or savings accounts they have and then presents them with a payment strategy.
“[The website] will tell you how long it will take you to get out of debt based off of what you are currently paying,” says Rod Ebrahimi, found of ReadyForZero. It will also suggest ways to pay the debt down more readily, it will send email alerts when a payment is close to its due date and it will notify consumers when they have extra cash on hand in their checking or saving accounts that can be used to make a large payment.
Ebrahami says he and his partners created the site because they wanted to use their technology backgrounds to “solve a real problem” for people. Their intent was to not only help consumers come up with a financially-sound payment plan, but also force them to confront their debt woes head on.
For instance, users are also sent emails after they have made a purchase with a credit card outlining how much that new charge will add to their debt woes.
“When debt is out of sight, out of mind, it accumulates,” Ebrahami says.
An earlier version of the website, launched in February, simply let users prioritize credit card debts. Ebrahami say the company currently has a few thousand users managing more than $65 million in credit card debt online. The company hopes to introduce SMS alerts as well as integrated bill pay in the future.
While ReadyForZero definitely seems useful for consumers who may feel overwhelmed with loan obligations and interest rates, the idea of linking multiple financial accounts together in one place may raise security concerns for others.
Ebrahami says he understands why some consumers worry about identity theft, but says that many security precautions have been put in place to protect the information. Account numbers appear encrypted and the usernames and passwords associated with them are not stored by ReadyForZero.
Beyond that, the website follows the same protocol that most banks and issuers do when it comes to protecting user information. You can find a full explanation of its security policy on the website.
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