The burden of unmanageable levels of debt is something that nobody ever wants to face, but far too many people do. Debt consolidation can be a useful solution, provided that it is done in smart, deliberate manner. The piece below offers lots of helpful tips for ensuring that you make the best decisions for you and your family.
Understand the difference between debt consolidation and a home equity loan. Many companies will guise a home equity loan (where you put your home on the line for the debt) as true debt consolidation. That’s not always the wisest move to make, especially if you have a family involved. Know the differences and the risks before making that decision.
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.
Try using a debt consolidation service to pay down your debt. When you look for one, make sure they aren’t charging high fees. You can check with a local consumer protection agency like your local BBB. You may have to make sacrifices via using extra lines of credit and harming your credit rating, but they can help get your debt paid off. They generally require a single monthly payment.
Never scoff at negotiating your debt. While you may wish for all the debt to go away, it will not. Bankruptcy is your only option for a clean wipe, and most people do not want to go that route. If you can reduce your debt by any amount of money through negotiation, do so. Dropping some of the debt is better than nothing.
Communicate with your creditors as much as possible. Let them know you fully intend on paying your debt back and ask if you can negotiate. Creditors know they have more chances of collecting on your debt if they stop charging you for late fees or interests and establish small monthly payments.
Make sure you know how much a debt consolidation company is going to cost you. Have a discussion about their fees. Make sure you know your rights as well. The company cannot charge you any money until they actually do some work first. Discuss the payment schedule with them and move on if you hear anything you do not like from them.
Make sure to discuss your plans for debt consolidation with your spouse before entering into a program. You need to be on the same financial page as your partner in order to truly reduce your debt and improve your financial situation. If you don’t take the time to discuss things, your spouse could end up continuing to rack up debt, hurting your financial situation in the long run.
Extreme amounts of debt plague an unfortunate number of individuals, many of whom feel there is no hope for ever climbing out of the situation. However, when done wisely, debt consolidation offers a way out. Hopefully the information presented above has given you the tools you need to move forward with confidence.