Pay Down Debt and Get Cash Back With These 6 Services


Let's face it — being in debt sucks. Quite literally, it sucks up your money, and if it makes finances a struggle for you, then it can suck up your energy and your happiness, too. And it's great to talk about paying debt off early, but what if you don't have any extra money?

Fortunately, there are a lot of new services geared toward helping you get cash back on debt re-payment and purchases you're making anyway. Some of these offerings put the funds straight toward your debt, but others will simply help you get the cash back (so it will be up to you to put it towards your debt). Consider these six options.

See also: Effortless Ways to Make Money Online

1. Ebates and FatWallet

Ebates and FatWallet are two of the best and most popular cash back sites. Just register on the website, find the store where you'd like to make an online purchase, follow the directions, and get a certain percent of your purchase back. Sure, it takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for the money to post to your account, but when you get it back, it's all yours.

Neither of these sites will funnel the cash back directly to your debt payoff, but you can do that easily for yourself. Just note how much you should get back, and when it posts to your Ebates or FatWallet account, transfer it as directly as possible to your debt. Easy peasy.

2. Upromise

Register your credit and debit cards with Upromise, as well as your store loyalty cards. Or, you can use their portal to book travel and buy online, and even get a MasterCard that earns cash back every time you use it. The catch? All of your cash back goes directly into a 529 account, which can be used to pay for college, or towards paying off your current student loans.

It's not useful for all types of debt, but if massive student loan payments are causing stress, this can help alleviate at least some of the burden. Also, it's nice to have your earnings go straight to your loan, without you having to touch or direct them.

3. Some Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are popular right now, for good reason. If you are responsible and pay them off every month, you can make some significant money and put that towards your debt. Just choose a card that fits your needs, use it wisely, and send the cash you get back towards your debt.

Some people will caution you against using any sort of credit card — even the best cash back card out there — to pay off debt, because so many people end up in trouble due to credit card overspending. However, I include them here because I know that even fiscally responsible people sometimes end up with debt. Maybe you have school loans or are in debt for medical care, but you still pay off your cards every month. If this is you, why not use your good credit to your advantage and pay off your debt as soon as you can?

4. iBotta

iBotta is an app that offers cash back for shopping at certain retailers, online and in-store. If you want to shop online, see if your store works with iBotta. Spend a certain amount or buy certain products, and you will get money back. If you are shopping in a store, check if iBotta is offering cash back on any of the products you're planning to buy. Since you're going to get it anyway, you might as well earn money that you can then put towards your debt.

Make sure you don't start buying things you don't like and won't use just for the iBotta cash back. This can cause you to spend more money, because you'll have to get the products you want, too! The cash back isn't enough to justify a purchase unless you'll use the product.

5. SavingStar

This app is similar to iBotta, except that SavingStar mostly focuses on groceries, while iBotta includes all sorts of products. Even if you don't do much shopping outside of the grocery store, SavingStar can help you earn cash back that you can put towards your debt payoff. They also have some cash back deals for online retailers, too. While their deals may not be as good as those on some other sites, they offer money back and can allow you to consolidate your cash back deals in one place.

Sometimes, you can get two cash back deals on the same product. If both SavingStar and iBotta offer deals on an item, for instance, in some cases you can get cash back from both services. Use these deals to jump start your debt payoff.

6. You Don't Need an App, Just Pay Down Your Debt Early

You don't need to have an app or be part of a special service to pay down your debt quickly. There are a million ways to earn a little extra money. Fill out surveys online. Freelance a bit. Get a few hours at a second job. Or, change your spending habits so you have a few more pennies every month. Then put these towards your debt.

See also: 100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year

If you are paying interest on your debt, even a small amount extra each month can make a big difference in interest savings. For example, if you have $1,000 of credit card debt with 15% interest, making $20/mo in payments, it'll take you almost 10 years and you'll have paid over $850 in interest. Raise that monthly payment to just $50, and it'll only take you 2 years to pay if off, with just under $158 in interest. Paying $30 extra each month saves you almost $700!

If the apps and services help you pay off your debt, then use them. If you have other ways to bring in extra money, use those instead (or in addition to the apps!). The important piece is that you pay off your debt as soon as you can.

Do you use apps or services to get cash back for paying off debt? Which one is your favorite?

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Guest's picture

I also use the new uGrocery app to compare grocery prices and find the cheapest place to buy my groceries every week! It's the fastest way to save!

Guest's picture
Lynn Ramdin

Many banks now offer cash back deals at stores and restaurants when you use your debit card. This allows you to stay debt free and make money also. Win win!

Guest's picture

Great suggestions Sarah. I'd also encourage you to check out Splender is a new cashback site that launched this summer. We're focused on providing users with competitive cashback rates, a clean & simple site experience, and fast, monthly payments (via check or Paypal). And, we've got lots of new features on the way!