You’ve probably heard about Acorns, an app that rounds up every purchase you make and applies those extra cents to savings and investments.
Now another piece of the “round up” puzzle is here, and it’s called Qoins.
Qoins is a web app that rounds up every transaction you have on a linked account and sends the change to your student loans and credit card debt. It’s a simple concept that could shave years off your debt repayments and save you thousands of dollars in interest.
Curious? Let’s dive in!
Visit Qoins.io and set up a profile. You’ll need to enter the routing and account numbers for your checking account -- this is the account where all the Qoins withdrawals will occur (even if that’s not where your transactions occur). The options are limited to the top American banks, for now, but more banks should be added soon.
If your bank isn’t supported, there are still a few ways to put Qoins to work for you. Plus, you’ll be notified as soon as more banks are available.
You’ll then connect the debt accounts you want the payments to go toward. The app is set up to make it easy to connect to credit cards and student loans, but you’ll also have the option to connect to other types of debt (like car loans).
With Qoins, every purchase you make gets you a little bit closer to paying off your debt (unless you’re putting these purchases on credit without plans to pay them off before the end of the month).
Rounding up isn’t the only function you can use, though. You’ve also got the option to set a pre-determined amount to withdraw from your account every week. You can pick the amount, or let them do it via magic.
Ok, it’s not really magic. There is a “debt personal assistant” called Charlie (it’s an algorithm) that takes your total debt and how aggressively you want to pay it down, then calculates how much to withdraw and send to your debt. Once you approve the setup, you never have to think about it again if you don’t want to.
THAT is a great way to make automated payments toward your student loans!
The automatic payments are great for people who:
- Don’t have many monthly transactions
- Use a bank that isn’t supported yet
- Like the idea of the app but want to have more control
- Want to be more aggressive about debt repayment and like the way Qoins does it (as opposed to setting up automatic payments through their bank)
First and foremost, Qoins has a monthly fee. It’s low -- just $1.99 -- but it’s not free.
That said, you don’t start getting the monthly fee until your total spare change amounts to $10. Same goes for months when you don’t accumulate at least $10 -- your banked coins roll over to the next month, and you don’t pay the monthly fee.
Otherwise, the money gets deducted from your payout and the rest goes straight to your debts.
Qoins is also NOT for you if you don’t like giving third parties access to your financial accounts. This is a big deal for some people, so don’t be surprised if you go to sign up and see that they’ll need access to your bank accounts.
They need to see your spending accounts so they can do the rounding up and withdraw the change, and they need your credit accounts to know where to send the payments.
We’re still waiting on the Qoins smartphone app, in the meantime you have to sign up on their website. While it’s relatively easy to connect your bank account, credit accounts, and student loans, if there’s another debt you want paid down (like that car payment I mentioned earlier), you’ve got a few more steps to go through.
Once it’s all set up, though, there’s nothing for you to do! It’s a “set it and forget it” thing that basically just runs itself.
The key to paying off your debt is to get more conscious about your spending. If you really want to accelerate your way to being debt-free, you’ll need to make substantial extra payments.
Because it’s just sending spare change toward your debt payments, Qoins isn’t going to get your mortgage paid off 15 years early or anything like that. But it does help you squeeze every extra cent out of your budget so you can get just that much further ahead.
If you’re not ready for an aggressive pay-down plan but you’re ok with making teenie, tiny baby steps toward debt payoff, Qoins is a pretty nice tool. Because it’s fully automated once you set it up, you can feel good about your debt repayment efforts without having to expend any real effort.
It’s definitely in its fledgling days, but so far Qoins looks like a great thing in the making!