Debt Consolidation: Handle With Care

By: Amanda Hash

Debt is quite bothersome, mostly when you know that you are having a hard time to pay it all off. The usual procedure for most cases is debt consolidation, although we must handle it with care, so as not to make irreparable mistakes. There are two basic methods which we shall look into as well as point out the pitfalls that may appear.

Run Away From Hype

You will surely see, mostly on Internet, lots of hype announcing debt consolidation. Obviously, every company or agency claims to be the best in the market and it generally is only the hype that is best. You should prefer the quieter ones, which rely totally on their names and reputation, to seek advice on your debt consolidation.

The Actual Consolidation

This can be done in two main ways, with some variations. One of them is when most of your debt is generated by your multiple credit cards. You are likely to come across a credit card company or even one of your own, offering a 0% interest consolidation card. This means that the balance accumulated in the other cards will be transferred to the 0% interest one.

This process has a trick, though. What they do charge you is a fee for transferring the balance from one card to another. Find out the fees first, do your math and you will know where you stand.

Debt Consolidation Agency

The other option is a debt consolidation agency, to do things for you, for a fee or the interest of a loan, naturally. Their services are to manage all your debt, negotiate write-offs for a prompt payment and/or grant you a loan. As with the credit cards, there are agencies that lure you in through the front door of a house that has no rooms. Get what I mean?

What They Do

Agencies can grant you a loan whose amount will be determined by the total sum after negotiating and getting write-offs, or make the payments individually, when your payments to the agency reach a determined sum.

The Average Debt

On average an American family has around $10,000 distributed among several debts, bills and expenses, which make it difficult to remember to pay each one, let alone on time. One single late payment can leave a smudge on your credit report and it cannot be blotted out so easily.

So, all in all, a well-performed debt consolidation is a healthy option to avoid losing control of your payments and, most of all, to stop the vicious circle of spending unnecessarily. It concentrates all your debt into one single payment, which is easy to make and to remember. Meanwhile, your debts have been paid with the product of the loan.

Types Of Debt Consolidation Loan

Typically, there are secured and unsecured loans. Unsecured loans will have a higher interest and it will be a good thing to analyze the convenience of this option very carefully. A secured loan will have collateral, typically your home, which can get you a much lower interest rate.

However, if you are a homeowner, you might do well in taking a home equity loan to pay off your debt and negotiate it yourself, if you deem yourself fit to do so. Two well-coordinated negotiators, especially if they are a couple, will be able to put enough pressure on the creditor to grant you a discount for a prompt payment. However, too much pressure will backfire on you, spoiling the negotiation.

Debt Consolidation
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