Bad credit? There’s an app for that!
Trying to keep track of the mortgage, credit card payments and student loans isn't always easy. But your smartphone can help you avoid late fees and keep your credit score from plummeting.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite apps to keep your personal finances in order:
Account Tracker Free (iPhone, free).
This is a free, scaled-down version of Account Tracker ($2.99), an easy-to-use account tracking, budgeting and expense management application that lets you enter, then track income, spending and balances across multiple accounts. It has all the features and functionality of the full version, but it is limited to 25 transactions.
QuickBank Checkbook with Desktop Exporting (iPhone, $0.99).
Balance your checkbook and keep track of credit card charges and cash expenditures. Then share your expenses for use with Quicken, Microsoft Money, Excel and other programs.
freecreditscore.com (iPhone and Android, free to download, then $15/month subscription).
The steep fee buys you an unmatched set of features like a daily snapshot of your Experian credit score, alerts you whenever it changes and shows you factors why your score changed. It also features the Score Estimator tool, which forecasts how financial moves and missteps can affect your rating.
Mint.com Personal Finance (iPhone and Android, free).
The Mint service ties into your bank accounts, credit cards and investments to automatically calculate your financial standing and keep you on budget. The app gives you a polished dashboard of your debt and cash, as well as your spending by category and budget. An Android widget puts your debt and cash front-and-center, so you always know your vitals, and cloud functionality keeps all your devices in sync. One drawback, the app has no bill-reminder features.
Pageonce Pro – Money & Bills (iPad, iPhone and Android, free).
Similar to Mint, Pageonce ties into your bank and cards to show your transactions, but it takes things one giant step further. The app lets you tap into major utilities (phone carriers, cable providers, etc.) to track your upcoming bills and upcoming payments. It also tracks your credit card APR’s and calculates payments, then warns you if you're at risk of overdrawing after all your bills are paid. There's also a $12.99 version that promises an "ad-free experience" and an ability to refresh all accounts at once.
EasyMoney (Android, $10).
The app offers the security and accuracy of managing your money manually via a strong expense-tracking suite, including checkbook balancing, bill reminders and budgeting tools, all without connecting to an external server. The app even allows you to export your financials to Quicken and keep photographed copies of receipts in case of an IRS audit.
American Express (iPhone and Android, free).
AmEx card members have access to recent transactions within seconds of making a purchase. The app also alerts you to upcoming bills and even lets you pay them down within the app itself. In addition, the app shows your accrued points and outstanding AmEx cash cards, and can tie into your Open business card for simplified expensing.
Bank of America (iPad, iPhone and Android, free).
Bank of America doesn’t have a lock on the banking app market; others like Chase offer dedicated smartphone apps. And the features go far beyond finding the closest ATM. Standard perks include viewing recent transactions and transferring money within the device to prevent overdrawing. Some notify you when your investments mature and when mortgage payments are due, letting you deposit a check by snapping its photo or even alerting you to potential score-crushing identity theft.
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