Avoiding credit card debt isn’t always easy, but now there’s an app for that too.
Antonio Ferris, a 15-year-old whiz kid hailing from Mesa, AZ, created an app that helps consumers decide whether it’s worth charging an item to their credit card, which in turn can help prevent them from falling into debt. Often times, consumers may not be fully aware of how much a credit card charge will really cost once interest is factored in.
The app allows users to plug in their credit card’s information, such as the APR, in order to determine what the payments will be and the amount of interest that will accrue.
“If you pay the minimum payment, that $1,200 item could end up costing over $3,000,” Ferris explained. “If you pay only $10 more per month, that would only end up costing almost half that — $1,700.”
The app, called Cost of Credit Calculator, is free and available on Google Play. Ferris also hopes to release the app for iPhone by summer 2016.
“I feel like asking for money to help someone get out of debt is kind of hypocritical, and I really wanted to make sure my app was free,” said Ferris.
The tech-savvy teen designed the app using the calculus he learned in school. Ferris also worked with a freelance programmer to ensure the app’s interface was user-friendly.
Ferris was inspired to create the app by his own personal drive to help others. “Since I was younger, I really wanted to do something that makes a difference,” he said. “Doing something charitable that can help people’s lives without asking for something in return, I feel like that can make an impact.”
He hopes consumers will use the app as a financial tool to determine the true cost of credit card purchases. “A lot of people really don’t realize how much just paying a little bit extra could save them in total, especially since some of that money every month goes towards interest and not towards the principal,” he said. “It can help them really consider the savings of paying just a little bit more per month.”