The truth is that debt consolidation isn’t necessarily for everyone. If you only owe one financial institution money, it can’t help. If you owe multiple lenders money, you may be able to use it to help you reduce your payments and finally be able to come out from under your burden, so read on to learn more.
Before restructuring your financial situation with a debt consolidation loan, get a copy of your credit report. Analyze your habits and see where you stand with the major credit bureaus. Doing this will help you figure out what you have been doing wrong and what habits you need to change going forward.
To consolidate your debt, try taking out a personal or signature loan. This has become a limited option due to the credit crunch, however. Many lenders that used to offer unsecured, signature loans for consolidation do not anymore. If you find one that offers this option, be sure it’s not a high-interest loan, even if it helps you lower monthly payments by extending the terms.
If you are struggling with debt and have a free and clear title to a car, boat or other motorized vehicle, consider a title loan. A title loan allows you to keep your motorized vehicle as long as you make your payments on time. Many times, you can lower your overall interest rate using this type of service.
Know what you’re getting into. This is critical. Before you sign up for any debt consolidation program, be crystal clear about the terms. Not only that, but if you’ve taken out a debt consolidation loan, make sure you are sure that you got the best loan rate available. Find out as much as you can.
Some creditors will consider your debt as paid off if you can give them enough cash to cover 70% of what you owe them. Contact your different creditors to see if they are interested in this kind of payment arrangement. Try gathering as much cash as possible so you can make a reasonable offer to your creditors.
Remember that debt consolidation isn’t for everyone. You’re a good candidate if you have multiple debts like medical bills, credit card bills, personal loans, unsecured debts, collection accounts, etc. Consider your interest rates because if they’re over 15%, you’re paying too much with financial charges every month, which is money that you could save or use for your retirement account. Finally, consider if you have a hard time making minimum payments, have gotten behind recently, or are close to your limits. If these apply to you, debt consolidation may be a solution.
Inquire about education and help a debt consolidation company can give you. After your arrangement is over and you’re on your own again, you need to make sure that you can move forward smartly. Your debt consolidation company may offer some types of classes or assistance so that you can continue to do well.
Generally, debt consolidation takes one of three forms. Make sure you are aware of all of them so you know what your options are and what you are getting yourself into. For example, a second mortgage or a home equity line is usually one choice. Depending on what you go with, your interest rates could vary.
The first thing you need to do is create a list of all the people you owe money to. Even if it is $5 to Uncle Ben, it needs to be listed. It should include the phone company, utility companies, credit cards and your bank. The more comprehensive, the better.
A good debt consolidation company should offer you learning resources for free. Make sure to take full advantage of any available classes that are offered so that you get the financial education you may be lacking. Make sure you choose an agency that offers a variety of services to help you improve your financial situation.
When creating a list of creditors, don’t forget a single company or person. Include your car payments, mortgage, medical bills, overdue library books, student loan, utility bills, phone bills, cable bills, internet costs, magazine subscriptions, and anything else you might owe. Be sure to make a comprehensive list so that you can easily figure out what your next step should be.
Before you make a payment offer, make sure that you can truly afford the payment. Although saving 30 percent off your minimum payment may sound good, it will not help you unless you can afford the decrease in payment. Once you have determined the amount you can afford, contact your creditor and try to come to a payment agreement.
You should never allow lenders to access your credit report unless you agree to use their services. You shouldn’t have a mark on your report for an inquiry if you do not want to use the company’s services. Be sure to make this clear as you talk to the lender so they know you are serious.
If you are seeking debt counseling along with your consolidation loan, choose a non-profit company which doesn’t ask for money up front. They may ask for a donation monthly, whatever you can afford, but know that you don’t have to pay it if you don’t have the money to offer.
You have learned a lot today all about how you can use debt consolidation to deal with your personal situation. All that is left is for you to put these tips into action. Take the time to truly plan for how you will tackle your debt and you will find it happens faster than expected.