Business & Finance Debt

Is Debt Consolidation Good - Should I Consolidate My Debts Or Not?

Debt consolidation is generally understood to mean a process which leaves you having only one payment to make instead of lots of different debts. However, there is more than one way to achieve this, so a little explanation is required first, with regard to the possible alternative meanings of debt consolidation.

Debts can be consolidated in two main ways, the most common being through a debt management plan and the other through taking out a loan. Debt consolidation loans can be a bad thing if you are not very careful about how you use them. The very idea of borrowing more money when you are deep in debt can feel a bit strange, and this feeling is often right.

When you take out a debt consolidation loan, the monthly payments you make on the loan should certainly be less than the total of what you were paying for all your debts. There would be little point doing it if this were not the case, but that is not the full picture. Quite often the reason the payments are lower is that the new loan is spread over a much longer period of time, so it is quite possible that you will end up paying much more money out than you would have under your old debts. Debt consolidation loans, therefore, should only be used if your existing debts are at a really high interest rate, and you can get a new loan at a considerably lower rate.

The more usual form of consolidation is achieved by using a debt management plan, debt payment program or whatever you wish to call it. This does not include borrowing any money and is about finding new ways to pay back what you owe in a more affordable way. To consolidate your debts in this way you need to go through a debt management company.

When you apply to a debt management company they will take a good look at your financial situation to see whether consolidation is the best option for your circumstances. If they do set up a plan for you, they will approach all of your creditors and negotiate with them to change the details of your debts to bring the repayment back within what you can afford. When this process is complete you will have just one payment to find each month, which you will make direct to the debt management company.

This kind of debt consolidation is only suitable for tackling unsecured debts, so will not deal with mortgages, refinancing or equity loans. Debt consolidation can certainly be a good thing if you have a fairly serious amount of debt to two or more different creditors. Always consider consolidating through a debt management plan before a loan as this is much more likely to be more effective.

The good thing about debt consolidation is that you will have less to pay out each month and only a single payment to organise. An additional bonus is that the management company will be dealing with your creditors, so they should stop calling you about your overdue debt. By using a plan like this you can see a definite date by which you will be free from debt.

If you think debt consolidation may be a good way to deal with your situation, your starting point will need to be identifying a debt management company to assist you. You need to be careful in how you go about this, in order to make sure you end up with a reliable and reputable company that you know you can trust.

The best approach is to apply to a few companies and then compare them. You can find safe companies to apply to by following recommendations that identify organisations with a solid history of having helped many other people like you. Stick to companies like this who have been in business for many years and you should avoid any problems.

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