Debt burdens have the ability to make life truly miserable for those dealing with them. That said, there are things that can be done to make the situation much better, with debt consolidation being among them. Read on for some useful information about assessing the available options and making life better.
Try using a debt consolidation service to pay down your debt. When you look for one, make sure they aren’t charging high fees. You can check with a local consumer protection agency like your local BBB. You may have to make sacrifices via using extra lines of credit and harming your credit rating, but they can help get your debt paid off. They generally require a single monthly payment.
Look into whether the debt consolidation firm you are considering approaches things individually or if they use a “one size fits all” approach. Quite often, those general approaches can be pretty cheap, but it may not be the best fit for your specific need. They may even cost you more money in the long run. A custom approach is typically the best.
Get financial counseling to change your long-term spending habits. A good counselor will help you analyze your financial situation. When you have gotten a loan to consolidate your debts, think about the changes you will need to make in order to improve your financial life, over time.
When evaluating whether to use a certain debt consolidation agency, see if they are licensed by an outside organization, preferably the NFCC. Test them as well by seeing if they know how your debt consolidation situation is going to be affected by your state’s laws. Each state is different, and you need a licensed and certified debt specialist that knows about the different laws by states.
Take advantage of zero percent credit card offers by transferring higher rate balances onto them. Even though there will likely be a 4 or 5 percent transfer fee, the total amount will be less than the interest rate you would pay on your current balance on the higher rate credit cards.
There is no harm in comparison shopping for consolidation loans. The fact is that some financial institutions, or friends and family, may offer you a better rate than others. Whether it is a line of credit, mortgage, credit card or loan, compare the interest rate and terms and figure out which is the best bet.
If you decide to consolidate your debts, be smart about the savings. Since you will be paying less each month on those bills, save as much of the excess as you can and put it in an emergency fund. That way, you will be less likely to get into debt in the future because you will have a small reserve from which to draw from when unexpected things happen.
Use your common sense when getting involved with a debt consolidation company. You may not think you know as much as these companies do, but you can certainly tell when something is wrong and when you are being taken advantage of. Be very careful to think wisely and to keep your wits about you.
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.
Almost all debt consolidation is non-profit. The IRS gives tax breaks to companies who offer services to clients who are consolidating debt. Non-profit does not mean free. These companies do charge fees for their services. They have to pay their employees, file paperwork and have other costs associated with running their business.
Try fixing your debt without borrowing money by contacting your creditors. Ask about the payment plans they can offer. You might be able to get lower interests or not have to pay late fees. If the new interest rate is lower than what debt consolidation will cost you, choose the new payment plan.
It is hard to exaggerate the difficulty that extreme amounts of debt can have on any individual or family. Therefore, it really does pay to explore the options available for solving the problem, including that of debt consolidation. We hope the information above has provided some valuable insights on the process and the benefits it can provide.