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How do I create a Debt Reduction Plan?

Updated: 10/21/2013 | Article ID: GEN85955

Learn about Quicken's Debt Reduction Planner.

Quicken's Debt Reduction Planner helps you set up a debt payment schedule optimized to reduce the amount of interest you pay and get you out of debt as early as possible.

  1. Click the Planning tab.
  2. Click the Debt Reduction button.
  3. The three steps to create a debt reduction plan are listed below. Click each step to learn more.
  • Identify your debts

    In this first step, Quicken searches your data for loan and credit card accounts with outstanding balances and then lists each account in one of two areas: Accounts to include in this plan and Other debt accounts.

    You have the following options

    • Click Remove to exclude a debt from your plan.
      If you have credit card or other high-interest debt, it's better to create a plan for that debt before including your longer-term, lower-interest debts such as mortgages or student loans. However, feel free to add any debt to your plan.
    • Click Include to add a debt to your plan.
      If you don't see an Other debt accounts list it means that all of your loan and credit card accounts with outstanding balances are already included in your debt plan.
  • Get the details

    For each debt in your plan, Quicken displays the Interest Rate (APR) and Minimum Payment. If you've previously entered this information, Quicken displays it. If any information is missing, enter it now.

    The minimum payment to enter is the minimum monthly payment required by your financial institution, rounded up to the nearest dollar (the field does not accept cents). Do NOT enter the minimum payment that you plan to make.

    Review your statements or visit your financial institutions' websites to get the correct numbers.

    For credit cards, look for the words Purchases or Standard APR to find the interest rate.

  • Make a plan

    The final step is to decide how much you want to pay on your debt each month. Quicken needs to know the cumulative amount you want to pay, not the individual payment amount of each of your debts. Based on the total amount you want to pay, Quicken creates a payment schedule optimized to reduce your interest cost and pay off your debt as quickly as possible. That payment schedule will list the individual amounts to pay on each debt, month by month.

    Note that all amounts are rounded up to the nearest dollar.

    Move the slider to see the effect of various monthly payment amounts on your debt. You can also type an amount if you'd rather do that.

    The graph displays the total amount of your debt, and when you will be debt free. The yellow line plots the result of making minimum payments; the green line plots the result of paying the amount reflected by the slider, just above the graph.

    If you want to accelerate your plan, enter an immediate onetime payment amount to make towards your debt. To assist in this decision Quicken displays the balance of your savings and non-retirement investment accounts.

    If your plan includes credit cards, you should not use those cards to make purchases during the plan period. If you do, the amount of your debt will change and the data your plan is built on will no longer be valid.

    When you are done, click Next to create your plan!

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