It is not difficult to understand why debt is the source of major stress and discord in the lives of those immersed in it. However, all is not lost, because debt consolidation can often provide a valuable solution as long as it is approached wisely. Continue reading to learn more about the options.
Try keeping and applying for those introductory 0% interest credit card offers in the mail. Consider the amount of interest that you may save via consolidating all that debt onto your new card. You must use caution, though. Keep to a plan that lets you pay off the transferred debt during your low interest period. Don’t miss payments or you will make your interest rates go up drastically. Don’t open multiple cards and keep one of your old ones with a small balance on it.
Investigate any debt consolidation company you are considering. That means calling the Better Business Bureau, but it also means you need to do some online research. Most companies will have reviews written by people who used them. Watch for any company that does not seem to have positive reviews, that could be a problem.
Find out whether a debt consolidation company is a “home equity loan” provider in disguise. Some debt consolidation companies really just want you to take out a home equity loan. Don’t let this be you. After all, your home is the most important thing you have. If you find out a company wants you to take out a loan on your home, move on.
When thinking of using a company to consolidate your debt, you should remember to research them and go over a few different reviews of that place. Solid information is crucial to making a good choice.
If you have student loans that are from federal programs, consider consolidating them only after your grace period on those loans has ended. If you consolidation sooner, you can lose your grace period, making it necessary for you to start repayment immediately. Timing is everything with federal loans, so make sure you understand the terms of your original agreement before signing on for consolidation.
Remember that debt consolidation isn’t for everyone. You’re a good candidate if you have multiple debts like medical bills, credit card bills, personal loans, unsecured debts, collection accounts, etc. Consider your interest rates because if they’re over 15%, you’re paying too much with financial charges every month, which is money that you could save or use for your retirement account. Finally, consider if you have a hard time making minimum payments, have gotten behind recently, or are close to your limits. If these apply to you, debt consolidation may be a solution.
Be sure your first talk with a credit counselor or debt consolidation agent happens for free. They should be able to do a preliminary analysis of who you owe, how the company can help you, and what options are available. If you cannot get a simple introductory session, look elsewhere.
Understand that different debt consolidation plan may have differing levels of fees involved. These fees can be rather costly, so ask about them up front before making any decisions. If it appears you are getting hit with a landslide of fees, you may be better off choosing a different option.
There can be little doubt that heavy debt burdens are the cause of extreme difficulty and life disruptions for countless individuals. Fortunately, with a bit of solid knowledge about how to achieve peace through smart debt consolidation, help is near. Review the guidance provided above on a regular basis as you make your decisions, and a bright financial tomorrow can be yours.