Will mobile innovation make credit cards obsolete?Read more...
The company is backed by Y-Combinator and offers a personalized pay-off plan for credit card debt
Update: ReadyForZero has removed the minimum $1000 credit card debt cut-off for using its service.
Managing debt is like dieting. You’re strong out of the gate, but eventually you end up wallowing in self-pity while eating Cheez-Itz and buying new shoes on Overstock.com. I know I’m not the only one.
But a new site, ReadyForZero.com, promises to empower users to take charge of their credit card debt one payment at a time. Y-Combinator-backed ReadyForZero launched Wednesday to provide a wholly personalized strategy for getting out of credit card debt. By fully analyzing factors like credit report data, cash flow, and payment behavior, the service creates a customized pay-off plan for each customer.
For example, let’s say you have $5,500 in debt spread out across four different cards. The service will look at your income and other expenses to find the best way to quickly and efficiently pay off your debt by a specific date, like July 1, 2011, for example.
The obvious question is why use this service over Mint.com, which takes a more comprehensive approach to your overall financial health? Indeed, Mint.com includes other kinds of debt in addition to money owed on credit cards, such as student loan debt, home loan debt, and so on, while ReadyForZero focuses exclusively on credit card debt.
But on closer inspection, the two services don’t really compete with one another as much as the complement each other. Customers who register with Mint.com get a full overview of their financial health and habits, including where they’re spending their money, how much debt they have compared to how much money they’re bringing in, and red flags on things that can harm their credit, like having too high of a balance on a credit card.
ReadyForZero, on the other hand, allows those customers who already know they’re in debt and want to get out find the most suitable pay off plan. The company has also partnered with Lending Club to provide low interest loans to help users pay off their high interest credit card debt.
"After the credit crisis our country went through, deleveraging is top of mind for millions of Americans and getting rid of credit card debt has rightfully become a top priority for many—over 60% of loans issued through Lending Club have been used to help consumers pay off their high interest debt," said Rob Garcia, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Lending Club and ReadyForZero Advisory Board Member, in a prepared statement. "ReadyForZero has built a simple and straight-forward solution that will help guide consumers through every step of the debt resolution process. I believe ReadyForZero is uniquely positioned to empower consumers to better assess their creditworthiness and manage their debt responsibly. This team is onto something disruptive."
Image source: readyforzero.com
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