There are many ways in which debt consolidation can work for you if you approach it with caution. This article will cover the basics of debt consolidation and provide useful tips to help you make the best decision. Most of the time, you will come out ahead when you use debt consolidation. It can put you in a good position to budget and save.
Do your research on your potential debt consolidation companies.
Not every one of these companies is best for your scenario. Some are not even reputable–there are a lot of “fly by night” operations in this market. Don’t fall into the trap. Research the companies fully before making any decisions.
Ask your credit card company if they’d accept a lump payment for a lesser amount than the debt. Many companies will accept 20% to 30% less than the amount you owe currently just to get the cash in hand. If you can scrape up the cash, this is an excellent way to save funds that can go to other debts.
Be careful not to take out additional high-interest loans after you’ve consolidated your debt.
You aren’t doing this simply to free up more opportunities to worsen your financial outlook! Take debt consolidation very seriously. That means that you need to make a plan for what happens after you’ve taken all these efforts.
Debt consolidation loans don’t affect credit scores. This type of loan, for the most part, just lowers the amount of interest on the loans you’re paying. This is a very effective method, but only if you keep up with the payments.
Get a debt consolidation company’s TOS (terms of service) in writing before making any decisions. It should have information about their fees and how long you will have to use their services. They should also outline what the benefits of using their company are. If you cannot get anything in writing, steer away from the company.
If you decide to go through debt consolidation, contact the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB keeps records of any complaints lodged against a company. By checking out the debt consolidation company, you can ensure that complaints have not been filed against the company. This is especially important because there are many fake debt consolidation companies.
Find a debt consolidation agency that hires qualified counselors. Ask about the background and the certification of the counselors before becoming a client. Ideally, a debt consolidation counselor should be certified by the NFCC or another recognized professional organization. Do not work with an agency that does not hire qualified staff.
With the current low home mortgage interest rates, you may be able to refinance your home and take out some of the equity. Be careful to avoid borrowing as much as possible on your new mortgage. If home values should drop even more, you may end up owning a home that is less than the amount you owe on it.
Always do research with the Better Business Bureau before choosing a debt consolidation firm. They are one of the best places to go to help confirm that the company you are considering is out for your best interest. If the company has complaints on record, then it’s best to move on and consider other options.
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.
Even if you’re given a longer period of time, your goal should be to pay off your debt consolidation loan in five years or less. If you wait too long to pay it back the interest on the loan requires you to pay back much more than you owe, so five years should be the most amount of time to pay the loan back.
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.
Talk to your credit card companies before making any decisions in regard to debt consolidation.
You may find that your creditors have some solutions that they can offer too. Of course, you’ll want to consider them against your other options as well, but there could be some viable options here.
If you borrow money to consolidate your debt, make sure you get a fixed interest rate. An interest rate that is not fixed can keep growing and eventually cost you more than what you originally owed to your creditors. Ask your debt consolidation counselor about the interest rate and make sure it is fixed.
Be careful when considering applying for a consolidation loan online. Not every lender on the web is truly working with your best interests in mind. Research the lender and check out reviews from other customers. Only select a lender who has an overwhelming reputation for great customer service and low rates.
Debt consolidation is not as complicated as it may seem and get reliable information is key to your success with it. Research your personal situation and use the advice from this article to determine your next step. Look at short and long-term options and how debt consolidation can get you ahead of the game.