Thursday, July 23, 2009

DebtGoal Adds Aggregating Features

We’ve written a lot about DebtGoal (here and here)in the past here at PLR, so it seems like a good idea to point out some new features they’ve recently launched.

DebtGoal now has aggregating capabilities now! This will make the data-entry a lot simpler. Previously it required you to enter your statement, interest rate, new purchases and all payments made. I sometimes make several payments in a month, depending on how business is going, so I was spending a lot of time on the DebtGoal site punching in numbers.

DebtGol continues to improve the usefulness of their charts and graphs as relevant to the user interactive experience, however the “on track” features are still a little wonky. The sum of my minimum monthly payments is just $26. DebtGoal is “pushing” me to go to $91. Following this plan, I’ll be debt free sometime in 2045. Yay for me! Actually, we’re planning to be free and clear by the end of this year following a far more aggressive plan) DebtGoal’s slider will only go as far as $91, so I’ll play with it more and fudge my minimum payments a bit higher to see if that makes it work right for me.

What I’d really love to see DebtGoal do, is to add a calculator like CNN’s.The CNN calculator allows you to either choose what you can pledge towards your goal and get a date from that; or choose a date and get a dollar goal. So far, I haven’t found a way to change my DebtGoal “debt free date” to 12/31/09.

I see the value in most of the tools on the site, but my favorite parts are the blog and message boards, which are a wealth of information—especially for math nerds like myself who enjoy seeing compound interest reversed and reduced.

And yes, while DebtGoal is aggregating now, I’m passing on that feature and continue to manually-enter my data. I begged for an aggregating feature, but I’m still concerned about their ability to scale, and after my previous adventure—receiving someone else’s statement—I want to give them a little more time to work out any kinks that might arise before I air any more of my financial laundry than necessary.

Jessica Ward is a freelance writer and blogger from Seattle. She writes on family, money and business. For frugal family tips you can also see her blog at

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