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Quicken can help you make a plan to pay off your loans and credit cards faster by using the debt reduction planner under the Planning tab. Quicken's Debt Reduction Planner helps you set up a schedule to pay off your debts. It can help you optimize your payment schedule, to reduce the amount of interest you pay on your loans and credit cards, and help you get out of debt as early as possible. It's best to set up you debt reduction plan after you've added all of your loan and credit card accounts to Quicken. Let's walk through the steps for creating a debt reduction plan in Quicken. Click the Planning tab, and click the Debt Reduction tab along the top.
If you don't have a Debt Reduction Plan created in Quicken yet, you'll see this screen when you open the Planning tab. Click the Get Started button in the middle of the window. You'll see three steps for creating a debt reduction plan. Identify your debts, get the details, and make a plan. For the first step, identify your debts. Quicken searches your accounts and displays the accounts to include in the plan. In this example, Quicken has selected Jeanie's credit card accounts as areas to reduce debt. Quicken may also suggest other debt accounts on the right side of the screen to include.
For now, we're just going to include one credit card account. We'll remove Jeanie's AmEx. We'll just include Jeanie's Visa credit card. Click the next button in the bottom right corner. And you've included all the accounts you need to include in a debt reduction plan. Now you'll get the details. Find out the interest rate and minimum monthly payment on each debt account you'll be including. If you're entering information from a credit card account, look for the interest rate called APR, or Purchases, on your credit card statement. This credit card has an APR of 14.24%. The minimum payment to enter is the minimum monthly payment that's required by your financial institution, rounded up to the nearest dollar, this field does not accept cents.
Do not enter the minimum payment that you plan to make. Check out your last credit card or loan statement, or visit your financial institution website to get this information, and enter it here. This credit card has a minimum monthly payment of $45 per month. Click next to see the next step and make a plan. In the Make A Plan window, Quicken has calculated how long it will take you to pay off this debt if you pay the minimum monthly payment given the Interest Rate of the loan based on the information you entered. In this example, it would take more than five years to pay off this debt by just paying the minimum monthly payment.
You can see how this outlook could change if you paid a one time contribution towards the goal, which you can enter under the Kickstart Your Plan area here. We'll see what happens if Genie pays 500 dollars towards her total amount today. The graph shows that if she paid 500 dollars today, she'd be debt free by December 2017, in just three years. You can also change your monthly payment to pay off this loan sooner. Use this field to increase your monthly payment amount. Let's see what happens if Jeanie pays $100 a month, towards this credit card bill. We can see that Jeanie will pay off this debt next year with this revision to the monthly payment.
Select when you want to start following this plan with these radio buttons in the bottom corner. I'll select that Jeanie wants to start this plan this month and select next. Now your debt reduction plan will display in the debt reduction window. It shows your pay off graph if you follow this plan with the green line, compared to the minimum monthly payment on the yellow line. It also lists the monthly payment, the total interest you'll pay and save, the pay off date, and how much faster you'll pay off this plan compared to the standard pay off rate. You can edit or delete this plan at any time using the plan actions menu in the upper right. Using the debt reduction planner can be motivating for paying down debt, because it's easy to see visually how much faster you can pay off loans and credit cards by paying more than the minimum payment each month.
Try using your Quicken budget to help you plan money to save towards these debt payments.
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