Setting up Pay Off Debt for the First Time

This tutorial describes the general process of setting up your debt payoff plan and list of debts within the Pay Off Debt app. Follow the steps below to complete the setup process.

Step 1: Set Up Your Plan

The first time you use the Pay Off Debt application, it will open to the Settings screen, which allows you to set up the app. You can also access the Settings screen at any time by tapping the Settings in the navigation bar at the bottom of the app.

  1. Tap the Configure Snowball option on the Settings screen.
    You will be taken to the Configure Snowball screen.
  2. If you will be using the debt snowball method (which is a method that works very well for many people) or a debt avalanche, leave the Snowball set to its default setting of On and continue to step three.

    Note: The debt avalanche is essentially a slightly different form of the debt snowball, so that’s why you would leave the snowball set to On as well if you’re using that.


    If you will not be using the debt snowball method or the debt avalanche, tap Snowball and then tap Off.

  3. Tap Additional Amount.
    A keyboard will appear.
  4. Enter the additional amount that you intend to send to the first debt in your list each month in the Additional Amount field, and then tap Done.

    This is the amount you can send in addition to your set minimum payment. If you will not be sending an additional amount, leave it set to zero. You can change this later at any time.

  5. Tap Sort Debts by to choose the order for your debt payoff.
  6. Tap the desired option:

    • Lowest Balance if using a debt snowball
    • Highest Interest Rate if using the debt avalanche
    • Custom Order if you’d prefer any other type of order.
      Note: If you choose Custom Order you will need to return to this Sort Debts by screen once you’ve entered your debts to drag them into the desired order.
  7. Tap the Back arrow on the Configure Snowball screen.

    You will return to the Settings screen.

Step 2: Add Debts

  1. Tap the Add Debt option on the Settings screen to begin adding your debts.

    You will be taken to the Add Debt screen.

  2. Tap the Name field and type in the name of your debt.
  3. Tap the Type option and choose the type of debt.

    (This sets the icon that will be associated with the debt. If you select the Mortgage/HELOC type, it will also add an additional field to the Debts screen.)

  4. Tap the Amount Owed field and enter the amount that you owe on the debt right now.
    Both the Amount Owed and the Current Balance fields will automatically be filled in with the same amount.

    Note: The amount in the Current Balance field will automatically change later as your record payments to the debt. You won’t have to change anything in this field unless the balance on your debt increases later on for some reason. See Editing an Existing Debt if you need to know how to do that.

  5. Tap the Interest Rate (APR) field and enter the interest rate for the debt.
  6. Tap the Due Date field and enter the date of the month when the debt is due.

    (For example, if your debt is due on the 1st, enter 1. If it’s due on the 18th, enter 18.)

  7. Tap the Minimum Monthly Payment field and enter the amount of your minimum monthly payment.

    Tip: For ease of use and to get out of debt faster, do not adjust the minimum payment that you send to each individual debt over time, even if your statement says you can send less or offers to let you skip a payment.

  8. If the debt is not a Mortgage/HELOC type debt, skip this step.


    Tap the Amount of Minimum Monthly Payment that Goes to Escrow field and enter the amount of your minimum monthly payment that goes to escrow.

    (For example, if your mortgage payment is $1200, but $200 is set aside for escrow by your mortgage company, you would enter $200 here. If you don’t have escrow taken out, enter $0.)

  9. Tap Done.

    The keyboard will close.

  10. Tap Save.

    The debt will be added.

  11. If you have additional debts to enter, tap the Settings (the gear-shaped icon at the bottom of the Debts screen) and repeat Adding Debts steps 1-10 for each debt.
  12. If you have chosen Custom Order for your snowball, once you are done adding your debts:
    • Tap Configure Snowball.
    • Drag the debts shown on the Configure Snowball screen into the desired order.
    • Tap the back arrow.


    Skip this step.

  13. Tap the Debts icon in the navigation bar to see the listing of your debts and to begin using the app.

Step 3: Make Any Optional Setup Choices, if Desired

You may also complete any of the following optional steps.

Change the Default Currency (Optional)

  1. If you want to change the currency to something other than the default of dollars, tap the Currency option on the Settings screen.

    You will be taken to the Currency screen.

  2. Tap the desired currency.
    You will be returned to the Settings screen and the currency will be set. Note: Only one currency can be set at a time.

Add Email Addresses (Optional)

  1. If you wish to enter up to 4 different email addresses to send your snowball information to, tap the Email Addresses option on the Settings screen.

    You will be taken to the Email Addresses screen.

  2. Tap the + icon.

    A keyboard will appear.

  3. Enter your email address and tap Done.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for up to three more email addresses.
  5. When you are finished entering email addresses, tap the back arrow to return to the Settings screen.

Set Payment Reminders (Optional)

The Payment Reminders option can be used to notify you of approaching due dates for your debts. Note: Payment reminders will only appear (if on) prior to the due date. Once the due date has passed, the reminders will no longer appear. Payment Reminders can be used in conjunction with the Modify Due Dates option.

  1. Tap the Payment Reminders option on the Settings screen.

    You will be taken to the Payment Reminders screen.

  2. Choose how far in advance of the due dates you would like to be notified, if the app is opened. Tap either 1 Day, 3 Days, 5 Days, or 1 Week.

    You will be returned to the Settings screen.

  3. If you would to temporarily advance due dates that would otherwise fall on a weekend or a non-existant date, tap the Modify Due Dates option on the Settings screen.

    You will be taken to the Modify Due Dates screen.

  4. Tap On.

    Due date modification will be turned on, and you will be returned to the Settings screen.