Here at KCL, we are all about helping you make the most of what's in your bank account—no matter how much or little that may be. But ultimately, the goal of saving money through couponing and other strategies offered here is to save and watch your bank balance grow. We also realize that this task can feel much more challenging if you have come into the KCL community still battling unresolved debt. So in this post, we'd like to introduce you to some great free resources that will ease the sting of struggling through debt in isolation, provide you with free empathetic support and most of all give you access to some great free resources to pay down debt one dollar at a time.
1. Women in Red Racers
I first learned about Women in Red Racers when a friend of mine joined. Her goal? To pay down more than $20,000 in debt incurred in the aftermath of a nasty divorce. She has since raved about the support she has received from these women. The name comes from the group's goal to outrace debt. The group is quite structured—new members are asked to create a free account and username, then post their debt balance and visit a page to get initial ideas for how to start paying it down. New members are also encouraged to join the thread for their geographic region (five regions in all) for more specific support.
2. Get Out of Debt Free
Get Out of Debt Free is an international online community that promises you can get out of debt in 30 days—fee free. The community offers a series of free template letters you can use to negotiate your way out of debt with various entities including banks, credit card companies, payday loan companies, debt collectors and others. Signing up takes just a moment or two, and the support forums are robust.
3. Ready for Zero
Ready for Zero has been touted by The Huffington Post, CNN Money, Forbes, LifeHacker—but most of all by its enthusiastic online community of users. The site boasts that, to date, users have paid down $150 million in debt. You can sign up absolutely free in minutes and be on your way to generating a free personalized plan. The plan lets you link your online accounts, set up payment reminder alerts and more. You can also track your credit score (this feature requires a paid upgrade).
Note: Ready for Zero has recently (as of 2013) partnered with Debt Movement to offer even more free support in the form of a helpful debt reduction blog, debt coaches and community forums.
4. David Bach's Debt Free Challenge
David Bach is the bestselling author of "The Automatic Millionare," "Smart Couples Finish Rich," and, most recently, "Debt Free for Life," which is the focus of the Debt Free Challenge. The challenge is simple and free—it asks you to sign an online pledge to get out of debt. When you do so, you can also receive a free download of the ebook version of "Debt Free for Life." You can also learn more about the Debt Free Challenge and watch a series of free videos on living debt free on Bach's website.
5. Dave Ramsey's My Total Money Makeover Forums
Dave Ramsey is one of the leading financial gurus in the world today. Ramsey himself has experienced either end of the extreme—descending into bankruptcy and back to millionaire status again. In addition to Ramsey's fee-based resources, his website offers a wealth of free resources, including Ask Dave, the My Total Money Makeover Forums, the Dave Ramsey Show podcast, and a free Getting Started Guide with step-by-step instructions—just for joining the email list. Best of all, even if you do want to join any of the paid services, prices are quite reasonable ($9.95/month if you pay monthly and $7.49/month if you pay in one annual sum), and you can have a free, weeklong trial of the paid service so you don't have to decide right away.
Payoff.com is another free online community created by a collective of financial luminaries and headed up by Scott Saunders. Goldman Sachs recently recognized Saunders as one of 2012's "Top 100 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs." The resource is currently "under construction," but you can sign up for free to be notified of the site re-launch. If the structure is the same as before, it will be well worth it—the more you pay down your debt, the more eligible you become for some of the more than $12,000 in cash rewards users have received!
For more money-saving tips, check out: