More Americans than ever are struggling with student loan debt. Currently, they owe over $1.5 trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”!) in student loan debt, spread out over 44 million borrowers. That number has jumped by over $29 billion in the most recent quarter alone — not surprising, considering that in 2016, the average student left college with $37,172 in student loan debt.
This kind of debt is a huge burden that can follow you around for a long, long time. That means you must learn to organize and stay on top of it. These apps make it easy to tackle your student loan debt and know where you stand, every step of the way.
IonTuition combines both your federal and private loans and puts them on a single, easy-to view dashboard, so you can keep track of all your student loans in one place. The app also alerts you of any changes in your loans, so you know when you need to take action.
IonTuition also keeps you in the know on how much you owe, who is servicing your loans and how you can optimize your repayment plan. To guide you, it offers live loan counselors, repayment calculators and more.
This free online calculator can be a huge boost if you’re struggling with a large amount of student loan debt and want to find a way out. Using either the “snowball” (smallest to largest debt) or “avalanche” (highest to lowest interest rate) method of debt repayment, you can see which plan will work best for your financial situation — and when you will reach your goal. You can even see what will happen if you throw additional money toward your debt each month.
The tool’s graphs will give you a visual of your loans over time, and you can toy with the numbers until you find the repayment plan that is right for you.
LearnVest isn’t designed for student loans alone, but if you are looking to pay off your debt, its certified financial planners can help you formulate a plan to do just that. For $19 per month (plus a $299 setup fee), LearnVest connects you with a CFP to help you craft a full financial plan — from budgeting to loan payoff goals — all customized to your exact situation.
Their visual tools help you see with perfect clarity exactly where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re heading financially. Working with a CFP might give you that extra level of accountability that you need to tackle your debt, especially if you’ve gotten off course.
Student Loan Hero
Student Loan Hero allows you to sync all of your student loans and view them on one seamless dashboard, so you can easily track your progress as you pay down your debt. The tool automatically updates your loan information so you can see your current balances, interest rates, and monthly payments.
Another bonus? Its easy-to-use calculators (including prepayment, refinancing and deferment) allow you to find the best student loan debt repayment plan for you.
Much like some of the other save-without-thinking apps (such as Digit or Acorns), ChangEd syncs up with your bank account and analyzes your spending habits to identify how much money it can trim away without you noticing. Once your savings hit $100, ChangEd automatically sends that money to your loan servicer as an extra payment.
While the app does come with a $1 per month fee, it’s well worth the cost, especially considering that ChangEd users can save up to $10,000 in interest by using the app to send in extra payments. And let’s be honest: Who doesn’t want to stop thinking about paying back student loans?