Debt Consolidation Loan
The average debt ratio in the United States is quite high, and debt consolidation can often prove to be a valuable financial vehicle for getting back on track. However, there are several things to consider. There are different types of debt consolidation programs, and some unscrupulous operators that will do little except to take your money. Rather acting as a typical loan program, some debt consolidation programs merely take all of your bills and attempt to negotiate payments with your creditors. You then send them one monthly payment, and they will take care of all your bills for you. This does offer the consumer some convenience, and in some cases, it may be the only solution outside of bankruptcy.
On the plus side, the consolidator may be able to get penalties waived, but in some cases, a consolidator isn’t offering you anything you couldn’t do yourself. And a possible negative is that while a debt manager may be able to negotiate lower payments and waived penalties, these may still show up as a negative strike on your credit, even though you may pay the new, lower payment on time.
A more commonplace, and often more effective type of debt consolidation, is achieved through a home equity loan. The advantage here is that the loan you are able to receive based on your home equity often carries a lower interest rate than the debt you are consolidating, so you will get some real savings. Many equity-based debt consolidation loans do not require credit checks, and will be available to you even if you have poor credit or bankruptcies on record. However, using your home as leverage to pay off existing debts carries the ultimate risk of losing your home if you cannot pay.
Another method of debt consolidation may include transferring debt from high-interest credit cards to lower-interest credit cards; an approach that requires some research, and more often than not, switching debt between cards more than one time. But, as with any type of loan, be sure you pay the lower credit card payment on a timely basis, or that lower interest rate will go through the roof in short order.
Caution is of the utmost importance in debt consolidation, and whether you use home equity, low-interest credit cards, or debt consolidation services, the overriding piece of advice here is to focus more on good management, rather than continual shifting, of debt.