If you're one of the thousands of people who are under a mound of bills,
debt consolidation can offer you a new lease on your financial life.
Debt Consolidation can help you dig your way out of the financial mess that
you currently find yourself in and do it without needing to
file for bankruptcy.
What is Debt Consolidation?
A debt consolidation program can help you combine all of your monthly credit card
payments and other "consumer" credit payments into one easy to live with payment.
Using debt consolidation programs typically means that you'll stop the annoying phone calls
and high interest payments as well. Before you agree on any debt consolidation program
make sure you understand what the terms are and how they impact your credit standing.
Why It's Better Than Bankruptcy
Debt consolidation allows you to pay back your debts and rebuild your credit.
Filing for bankruptcy can not only affect your credit report for years to come, but the
fact of the matter is that it can also affect your employment possibilities for several
years into the future. Since debt consolidation allows you to pay back your debts without
the stigma associated with bankruptcy your purchasing power and your employment prospects
for the future remain secure.
Types of Debt Consolidation
There are many ways in which you can consolidate your monthly debt payment. Following
are three of the most popular ways:
- Debt Consolidation Loan -
If you own a home, you may be able to consolidate
your debt under your monthly mortgage payment via a debt consolidation loan or cash out
You may wish to speak with a mortgage lender about these opportunities.
- Debt Settlement - Debt settlement means you work with a debt consolidation
company who has direct connections with the creditors. On your behalf, this company will
negotiate lower interest rates and more favorable terms on your debt. It's in the best
interest of the creditors to give you a break and get some money rather than none. Debt
settlement may affect your credit score and you will want to speak with your debt consolidation
company to understand if this option makes sense for your situation.
- Consumer Credit Counseling - Consumer credit counselors will help
you analyze your spending habits and come up with a monthly budget. By sticking to the budget
and getting mentorship on your spending habits, you can change your financial situation.
The benefit of credit counseling is this option has low impact on your credit score and
teaches you valuable financial skills that will serve you well for your whole life. You
may wish to research your local chapter of the Consumer Credit Counseling Services
The Internet and Debt Consolidation Programs
You might be wondering how to find the right program for you. There are many options
that are available to help you find the right program for your situation. One way of course
is the Internet. Using the internet allows you to research programs that are available.
Check the companies offering programs through the
Better Business Bureau and you
can also find hundreds of sites that offer hints and tips about finding the program that
will work best for you.
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Making a Decision
As with any other financial decision you make you must be aware that it's going to
have an impact on your family and your spending power. Make sure that before you make a
decision that you've carefully evaluated all of your options. Be sure you understand
fully all of the terms and conditions of any debt consolidation program including
monthly payments, fees and what happens in the event of a default of payment.
Staying Current With Your Monthly Bills
Once you make the decision on a debt consolidation program, make sure you stay current
on all of your payments. Many debt consolidation programs charge exorbitant fees for defaults
on as little as one payment. Additionally, failing to make any payments could seriously alter
the terms and conditions of agreements made with your creditors. If for any reason you believe
you are going to be unable to make a monthly payment, you must immediately contact the company
you've signed on with to make sure that you can protect yourself.
Debt consolidation programs can be a new financial lifeline for you and your family. There
are three main options available - debt consolidation loans, debt settlement, and consumer
credit counseling. Make sure to research the three options thoroughly before making your
decision. Rest assured that you are not alone, millions of American's are in consumer debt,
and congratulations on taking the steps to improve your finances, a decision that takes
courage and determination.
See also: FTC.gov's Guide To Debt and Bankruptcy
Related topics: Credit Card Debt Consolidation,
Why Consolidate Credit Card Debt?