If you are looking for a means to fix your multiple credit problems, one of the most effective ways to do that is through debt consolidation programs. It literally involves combining your different debt obligations so you can simplify your debt payment process.
There are many debt solutions that will allow you to consolidate everything that you owe so you end up with only one payment every month. Debt management, debt settlement and balance transfers can all give you this one monthly payment. However, none of them is as comprehensive as debt consolidation loans. Any type of debt can be combined through this option – mortgage and even student loans.
As the name suggests this type of debt relief program involves getting a loan that is significant enough in amount to pay off all the other debts that you owe. When you apply for this loan and you get an approval, you want to completely pay off the other debts so you are left with only one debt and one lender to pay every month. You can choose between secured or unsecured loans – depending on your qualifications.
But before you use debt consolidation programs as your debt relief option, you need to ask yourself three questions first.
When is debt consolidation loan a good idea?
Not all financial experts agree that debt consolidation programs that use loans to pay off debt is effective. That is because they think that getting a debt to pay for another debt is just like digging a hole to cover another one. However, there are studies that show how people are more emotionally inclined to erase debt accounts regardless if it causes them to pay more in the long run.
Scott Rick, a marketing professor from the Michigan Ross School of Business, and other professionals conducted experiments and surveys that will help identify how consumers behave when it comes to debt payments. In an article published on their website in 2011, the authors of the study revealed results that showed how consumers focus on lowering the number of debts that they owned. They do not necessarily concentrate on the total amount of debt that they will end up paying off. According to Rick, participants in the experiment would rather eliminate debt accounts even if there is heavy evidence that it will cost them more. The news release about this study is fully explained in the link: http://www.bus.umich.edu/NewsRoom/ArticleDisplay.asp?news_id=23284.
Truth be told, even the most clueless of all consumers will immediately assume that getting a big loan as a debt solution is effective. It seems like the emotional satisfaction of having only one debt to deal with is appealing to consumers. That is true even if it means having the same or a higher amount of debt.
Although it may seem like your emotions lean towards using debt consolidation programs, you still have to identify the signs that it is the right debt solution for you. There are specific hints that will determine if this solution will get you out of debt or not.
You mostly have high interest credit card debts. Since credit cards accumulate the fastest thanks to the interest rate and the finance charges, you can benefit from debt consolidation programs. It addresses the multiple accounts and the high interest immediately – since loans generally have a lower interest than these card accounts.
You have a stable and steady income. One of the requirements to get a loan approval is being able to show that you have the ability to pay back the loan. If you cannot prove that you have a stable and steady income every month, then you will have a hard time finding a lender that will approve your loan.
You can qualify for a low interest rate on the loan. To get a low interest rate on the loan that you are applying for, you need to convince the lender that you are a low risk borrower. That means, the chances of you defaulting on your loan will be low. They do not have to protect themselves by issuing a high interest rate. There are two ways to do this. If you have a good credit score, you can get any unsecured loan. If you do not have a good credit score, having a collateral that will guarantee the loan will suffice.
Ideally, you have to possess all of these signs before you use this debt relief option to solve your debt problems. But if not, you may just have to say no to debt consolidation loans.
What are the pitfalls of consolidating debts through a loan?
The second question that you need to seriously consider when using debt consolidation programs are the pitfalls that can make it fail. Even if all the signs point you towards using it as a debt solution, you may want to ensure that you can implement this program properly so debt freedom is assured.
Here are some of the common pitfalls to using debt consolidation loans.
Feeling like you have paid off your debt. Remember that you just shifted your credit accounts and combined it under one lender. You may have closed off the accounts but the debt that you owe remains the same.
False sense of complacency. Be careful of the convenience that you feel because of the one payment that makes your debt payments easier. It might prompt you to be relaxed and less vigilant when it comes to monitoring your expenses. This should not happen. You still need to control how you spend your money and to make sure that your budget is followed strictly.
Giving in to the temptation to use your credit cards again. Since your credit cards are now completely paid off, you have to battle the temptation to use it once more. You do not want to grow your debt if you still haven’t paid what you currently owe.
Relying on getting another loan to pay off any accumulated debt. Some people, if they give in to the last pitfall, think that they can easily get out by relying on debt consolidation programs once more. This debt solution is best to be used only once. After that, you need to be more careful about how you will manage your money.
Knowing these pitfalls will allow you to ensure that debt consolidation loan is effective in getting you debt freedom. Remember that it takes constant hard work and discipline to complete this program.
Where to get a loan to consolidate your debts?
The last question that you will encounter is where do you usually get the loan to finance debt consolidation programs? You have so many options before you but it is important to know which lender will suit your financial capabilities. Here are some of your choices.
Banks. Obviously, banks are the primary sources of loans. However, it is best to get a loan from a bank that you do not have an account with. Some banks will offer you a good rate just to get you as a client. But do not hesitate to get a quotation from your own bank too. That way, you can compare them.
Credit unions. Another option for consumers are credit unions. These act like banks but you have to be a member before you can have an account with them. This is a great alternative to banks especially when you have a less than favorable credit score and could end up with a high interest on your loan.
Peer to peer lending sites. This is not as old as the two other options but it is gaining popularity in recent years. Instead of being lent money by the company behind website, the lenders are people from the community themselves. This is usually done online so the overhead costs are not too big. That helps influence the low interest rate. Sample peer to peer lending sites are LendingClub.com or Prosper.com.
There are other sources of loans but make sure that you only get from trusted companies. You may end up being scammed out of your money if you are not careful.
Despite the effectiveness of debt consolidation programs, make sure that you learn how to manage your money and debt to keep out of another financial crisis. The debt solution will help pay off your debts but staying out of it is another lesson altogether.