Debt Consolidation: What You Need to Know

Debt consolidation is a process of paying off several debts with a new loan or balance transfer credit card, often at a lower interest rate. It can help you pay off debts faster, lower your interest rates, and improve your credit. But it's important to understand the true cost of each debt consolidation loan before signing on the dotted line. When you consolidate your credit card debt, you're applying for a new loan.

If you get a consolidation loan and keep making more purchases with credit, you probably won't be able to pay off your debt. If you have problems with credit, consider contacting a credit counselor first. When you consolidate all your debts, you no longer have to worry about multiple due dates each month because you only have one payment. Plus, the payout is the same amount every month, so you know exactly how much money to set aside.

But if you can secure a lower interest rate, you may have lower monthly payments. And combining debts could also simplify the number of different payments you have to make each month. At the other end of the spectrum, if your debt burden is more than half your income or if the amount you owe is overwhelming, it might be a better idea to explore debt relief options. If you have credit card debt that charges 20% or more interest, consolidating into a new credit card or loan with a lower interest rate will save you money.

Combining several outstanding debts into a single loan reduces the amount of payments and interest rates you need to worry about. In addition, a debt consolidation loan can diversify your lines of credit and improve your credit score when you make your payments on time. In almost all debt consolidation cases, those lower payments mean that the term of your loan is longer than in Grey's Anatomy seasons. Ultimately, the CFPB says debt settlement companies could leave you with deeper debt than where you started. Debt consolidation can simplify payments, but it doesn't address any underlying financial habits that led to those debts in the first place.

The impact that debt consolidation will have on your credit depends on your financial situation and your credit history. Credit card debt consolidation allows you to combine multiple credit card balances with a balance transfer or loan and pay a monthly payment. If your debt consolidation loan accrues less interest than individual loans, consider making additional payments with the money you save each month. Debt consolidation loans are used to pay off several debts and combine those monthly payments into one, sometimes with a lower interest rate. You must repay the new loan like any other loan. In addition, debt consolidation may not be worthwhile if you can settle your balances within the next 12 to 18 months at your current repayment rate. Yes, if there is no charge to consolidate, you get a lower fixed interest rate, your repayment period is shorter, and your motivation to repay the debt does not decrease.

Evan Turomsha
Evan Turomsha

Award-winning twitter buff. Amateur web ninja. Total food maven. Typical travel fanatic. Certified beer geek.

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