Consolidating your debt can be the start of your financial freedom. It is a long process and it doesn’t always yield the quick results you deserve, but it is certainly a step up from having to file for bankruptcy. There are plenty of things you need to know about this process before you get started. Use this article full of carefully compiled tips to help you reach your goals!
Understand the difference between debt consolidation and a home equity loan. Many companies will guise a home equity loan (where you put your home on the line for the debt) as true debt consolidation. That’s not always the wisest move to make, especially if you have a family involved. Know the differences and the risks before making that decision.
Focus on consolidation services that look at long term goals. Consolidators that offer a quick fix for your debt and credit woes may not get you the best results. Those that focus on creditors one at a time, improving your credit score with each successful negotiation, will wind up saving you money in the long run.
Consider the benefits of debt consolidation, even if you’re debt isn’t that heavy. For example, a debt consolidation loan with very favorable terms can save you a lot of money in interest every month. A single payment is also much easier to manage than many. Weigh the pros and cons, and see if debt consolidation can put you in better financial shape.
If you own a home, boat, motorcycle, or the like with a clear and free title, you may be able to use a title loan. Be sure that you are getting the rate that you want. Make sure you understand the terms so that you know whether you get to keep your property or if it’s turned over to the lender for your term of loan. Understand your payment schedule, as failing to meet them can terminate the ownership of your property.
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.
It is important that you read the fine print of any debt consolidation loan before agreeing to it. For instance, let’s say you get a home equity loan. Should you default on this loan, your lender can take your home from you. Prevent this from occurring by reading the fine print.
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. This will help you avoid costly mistakes that you could regret for many years.
A non-profit debt consolidation agency is not necessarily a better option. Regardless of the status of your debt consolidation agency, contact the Better Business Bureau to make sure it is a legitimate business. If you find that some complaints have been filed or come across some bad reviews online, find another option.
Don’t take money from an unknown entity. Unscrupulous lenders are counting on the fact that you’re desperate when you’re looking for a consolidation loan. You should get an interest rate you can live with and a reputable debt consolidator.
Understand the company’s rates and fees and know what type of rates are reasonable. A set-up fee in excess of a $100 should be cause for concern, for example. Similarly, a monthly fee higher than $50 is unreasonable. Call around to several different companies before settling on any one in particular.
If you decide to enter into a debt consolidation agreement with a company specializing in such arrangements, make sure the terms and amount of your recurring payments are set to a level that you can realistically honor every month. The last thing you want to do is start missing consolidation payments, as that basically defeats the entire purpose of your decision.
Talk with your creditors about combining all your bills into one simple payment. Many people get out debt this way and you can, too. You can do this by contacting all your creditors and working out a payment plan, or you can speak with a reputable debt consolidation company who will do the work on your behalf.
Try finding a good consumer credit counselling office in your area. These organizations offer valuable debt management and consolidation services. Using a debt consolidation counselor may hurt your credit score, but going through your local consumer credit counselor will have less of a negative impact.
It is important that you know exactly what you’re up against financially. Debt consolidation in any form is often overlooked as a way to get out of debt. Instead of letting your finances drift off, get the help you need. Follow the simple advice discussed in this article to be on your way to a brighter financial future.