What is debt consolidation anyway? Is it a way to miraculously fix all of my financial problems? How can I use it in the smartest way possible? For answers to questions just like these, continue reading this article. It has all of the tips and tricks you’ve been looking for.
Avoid storefront debt consolidation and major banks. Finding the right lender is as easy as searching on the web. Lenders found on the Internet can offer you a more streamlined process and not bog you down in paperwork and red tape. These lenders do not have to wait on a paper process to get these loans done quickly.
Before you make any decisions, study your credit report. The first step in solving your credit problems is understanding the mistakes you made. Checking all three reports regularly can keep you from disastrous financial choices once your debt is consolidated.
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.
Find out whether or not the counselors at a debt consolidation company work on commission. Those that do often have ulterior motives. You may be advised to get a certain type of service that is not necessarily in your best interest. Someone who is not working on a commission is more likely to look at the whole picture and figure out what is best for your needs.
If you have been paying into life insurance, it may help you out. Cash this policy if you want to reduce your expenses. Talk to the insurance agent to see what you could obtain against the policy. You can sometimes borrow a part of what you invested in your policy to pay your debt.
Don’t make any decisions on a whim. Seriously, you’re talking about your personal finances here, something that will affect the quality of your life in many ways. Because of this, real research is needed. Understand what got you here, learn about your options, and fully research the debt consolidation firms you are considering.
A home equity loan or a line of credit is a good option if your home is paid off. You can basically borrow money and use your home as a collateral. Borrow just enough to pay your debt off and make your loan payments on time. You can deduct the interests you pay on your loan from your taxes.
Look for a quality consumer counseling firm that is local to you. This type of office can assist you into combining your accounts in order to better manage debt. This method isn’t as harmful to your credit as other companies which offer similar services.
Pay off your smallest loans first. Then concentrate on large amounts. Using this technique allows you to quickly get some small bills paid off. Then, you can use the money that you had been paying towards those small bills to help pay off larger loans. This technique works well when you are saddled by a lot of small credit card balances.
Do not get involved with a debt counselor that works for a company that pays by commission. This is a red flag as it’s going to alter your situation according to the best interests of the debt counselor and not your best interests. Instead, look for a reputable company that pays their counselors accordingly.
Don’t assume a credit transfer offer will save you money when consolidating debt. Look at the fine print. Often there’s an initial fee that you need to pay (it can be multiple hundreds of dollars), and there’s usually a 12-month or 18-month limit to the offer. At that point the interest rate may increase to higher than it was before. Do the math before you say yes to make sure that the deal works in your favor.
If we have answered your questions, we hope you can go forward and use debt consolidation to fix your problems. If we have not, continue reading articles just like this one to find out all you can. The more you know, the better able you will be to decide if debt consolidation is for you.