My new favorite debt software is undebt.it which is free to sign up for and start. With $12/year you can get more functionality out of the software.
It’s one of the worst designed websites out there, worse than this blog. But I love how it works. I’d tell you to watch the tutorial video but the narrator I think was having a seizure during the presentation and it’s just not informative.
I’d tell you to read the How-to guide but that’s even worse than the landing page and tutorial video combine.
Debt listing on undebt.it
Essentially, you list all your debt balances individually. You enter the interest rate and minimum payment and then choose which debt payoff method you’d like to follow.
You decide how much money you want to pay each month towards your debt and based on that the software will tell you which debt to pay off first, how much to pay for each, and exactly when you’ll be debt free.
I would suggest playing around with their calculator to get a sense of what the software can do. That’s free and you don’t even need to create a login.
After that, you can start a free account and test drive it or you can use their sample log-in (brilliant) and play around with a generic account they created. The demo account can be accessed here.
Even better, if you already have YNAB – which you most certainly do if you are trying to master budgeting – then you can link your YNAB to undebt.it and make things even easier.
If you are someone who is motivated by knowing exactly when and how your debt will reduce then this is the right tool for you. It will give you a very realistic sense of how close you are to your debt-free goal.
Debt payoff strategies
Just like investing, there is no one right strategy for debt payoff. Some like to do it fast, others like it slow, and others yet like to be tied up with a rope and….
Some prefer to get rid of the smallest balances first, others prefer to get one single loan in order to have a single payment for all of their debt.
My biggest motivator was having fewer accounts which meant fewer individual payments. Having a payment completely disappear from my to-do list was clutch.
Since then, I’ve stuck with that simplicity concept. Simplifying finances frees up your mind so that you can do good with your attention. It’s liberating. It’s why people say: “I only have only one more debt left, the rest is all paid off.”
Credit counseling services
I benefited immensely from using a credit counseling company even though everyone said it’s a bad idea. They negotiated with all of my credit cards and lowered my payments. I made one single payment monthly and once a credit card was paid off, the account was closed.
Unfortunately, I didn’t learn my lesson from that. After a $25,000 credit card counseling service agreement, I managed to stay debt free for 8 month before starting a new credit card.
I then got into nearly $50,000 of credit card debt and obtained a $30,000 personal loan from Sun Trust bank to pay most of it back.
But hold on, there is more. I then went into a little more debt and got a Lending Club loan for like $14,000 to pay that off.
By the time I finished sabotaging my finances, my credit was shit. So I hired a credit repair agency which fixed that – even though I was told that those don’t work either. So, who knows, maybe I just got lucky.
I have used other debt payoff strategies such as settling debt with my creditor. I got a $56,000 secondary mortgage dropped down to $13,000. I negotiated this myself after I learned what the credit counseling agencies were doing.
Debt free status
There are a few points in our medical professional lives worth noting and celebrating. Hitting the 100k net worth mark, hitting the $1M net worth point, retiring from medicine, being debt free, becoming financially independent – golden moments in any medical professional’s life.
When there is debt then your money isn’t truly yours because you must pay someone else first. Someone else is profiting from your interest payments.
Being debt free means having many more options to work the kind of job you want. It means that you can bring in less income and not have to worry about any consequences.
I don’t differentiate much between a student loan, a mortgage, or an auto loan. I don’t see why medical professionals can’t buy their homes in cash. Cars – that’s even easier.
For me it was and still is tough to stay out of debt. As hard as I worked to get out of debt, the idea of obtaining something valuable with tiny monthly payments is stupidly enticing. Why is that? No idea – maybe just my nature.
If you want to be debt free bad enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. I don’t think lack of finances is a valid excuse for docs – it’s just that getting rid of debt isn’t that high on the list.
My writing caters to a tiny percentage of medical professionals which is why I push deb freedom as much as I do. Most doctors are more comfortable taking their time paying down debt. And they do quite well in life – by no means am I saying that this is the only way.
But lemme express a few words of motivation to get you to aim to be debt free. Being debt free means that you can inflate and deflate your spending as much as you want, instantaneously.
If you want to go live in a $7k/month high-rise, you can. It’s just rent, you’ll be out of there in 12 months or sooner if you can sublet it. Or you can move to Seville, Spain and live large on $1,500/month.
I’m debt free which has allowed me to cope rather well – sort of – with my who medical board investigation. If I had debt then I would be royally fucked.
Credit score irrelevance
Naturally, if you are debt free and planning on staying so, your credit score doesn’t matter.
Counterintuitively, my credit score is well above 800 even though I could care less about it. I only know what my credit score is because I’m monitor my credit reports tightly for fraud.
I’ve closed many of my credit cards with long credit histories and my credit score is still high. I carry no revolving debt except for a student I cosigned for a friend – still a solid credit score.
Updates for this week:
- Sent a certified letter to Washington Medical Board to tell them that the California Medical Board is investigating me.
- Sent a certified letter to Oregon Medical Board to tell them that the California Medical Board is investigating me because of the investigation and license suspension which the Oregon Medical Board initiated. Idiotic.
- Trying to recruit patients for a clinical trial I’m leading for my consulting gig. Failing miserably but I’ll figure it out.
- Anticipate earning $6,000 this month from my consulting gig.
- Haven’t looked at my investments in forever. I figure I’m still above the $800k net worth – happy with that. Shit, I’d be happy with $500k.
- I’ve made $235 with JA so far this month – November 9th.
- Collecting more termination letters – this time from Nexus for whom I did utilization management work.
- Made some bomb ass fucking vegan food this week. Hadn’t cooked with collard greens in a long time.
- Crushed some V6 problems at the gym. Life’s great.
- Thinking about moving back to Sevilla but need to finalize all this shit with the medical board(s).
- Still considering starting my own urgent care but have legit hesitations.