If you’re serious about getting your finances together, you should consider debt consolidation. When you put all of your debts together, you can start making headway toward a stronger financial future, and debt consolidation is one of the ways to do that. Here are some debt consolidation tips to help you out.
Never scoff at negotiating your debt. While you may wish for all the debt to go away, it will not. Bankruptcy is your only option for a clean wipe, and most people do not want to go that route. If you can reduce your debt by any amount of money through negotiation, do so. Dropping some of the debt is better than nothing.
Be careful with the terms of collateral for any debt consolidation loan you apply for. Many times these types of loans will include a clause about your home, should you default on payments. Obviously, this could put you at serious risk should circumstances make meeting your loan payment difficult. Keep your home out of any loan agreement, and read the fine print.
If your creditors are applying high interest rates to your accounts, a personal loan could be a good option. Try finding a personal loan with a good interest rate. A loan is a good debt consolidation strategy as long as the interest rate offered is lower than what creditors are charging you.
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.
Don’t borrow from pros that you don’t know anything about. When you’re in a bad spot – that is when the loan sharks pounce. Choose a lender who is reputable, trustworthy and comes highly recommended.
When trying to pay debt off, you have two options. Option one is to pay off the smallest debts first. The second option is to pay the highest interest rates off first. Both options have their own set of benefits, so choose the option that works for you and begin getting out of debt today.
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.
Make sure to discuss your plans for debt consolidation with your spouse before entering into a program. You need to be on the same financial page as your partner in order to truly reduce your debt and improve your financial situation. If you don’t take the time to discuss things, your spouse could end up continuing to rack up debt, hurting your financial situation in the long run.
Find out whether the people you are dealing with at a debt consolidation company are certified counselors. You can contact NFCC for a list of companies that adhere to certification standards. This can help you feel more comfortable as you’ll be dealing with a good company.
You need to consider if debt consolidation is truly the answer to all of your problems. If you don’t change your spending habits, it won’t actually better your future. You have to commit to the process entirely, from saving money for emergencies to not spending on things you don’t really need.
Consider using a non-profit credit counseling agency before using debt consolidation. They help you negotiate with your creditors to get lower interest rates and reduce your debt. This can lower your monthly payments without extending the length of time you have to pay them off for, which is a huge benefit over a consolidation loan.
Speak to an accountant before you get involved in a debt consolidation loan from a loved one. There are perks and problems associated with such a loan when it comes to income tax. The interest may be taxed, or they may receive tax deductions. Speaking to a pro will give you the scoop.
Once you get a debt consolidation loan, you must commit to never becoming overwhelmed with debt again. If this means living a lean lifestyle where you count the squares of toilet paper you use and you don’t splash out on expensive clothing, so be it. It is better to live stress-free than fabulously.
Now that you’ve learned a little about debt consolidation and how it can help you, start looking into ways you can get started. Use the information laid out here to turn you in the right direction and to provide a springboard for starting your own debt consolidation efforts. Keep your head up and your financial picture will improve.