Consolidating your debt can be the start of your financial freedom. It is a long process and it doesn’t always yield the quick results you deserve, but it is certainly a step up from having to file for bankruptcy. There are plenty of things you need to know about this process before you get started. Use this article full of carefully compiled tips to help you reach your goals!
If you are interested in debt consolation, see if there is a Consumer Credit Counseling Office located near you. They are often able to help at minimal risk to your credit. In addition, working with someone local is always beneficial because if something happens and you need help, your local authorities can work to resolve the matter.
Consider a bill consolidation service to help with your monthly debt. When you seek to consolidate debt, paying monthly bills to individual companies can create confusion and missed payments. Use a consolidation service that will pay these providers for you. You supply them with one lump sum each month and they will quickly dole it out for you automatically.
Try paying your debt off with a credit card. Apply for a credit card with no interests and use it to make payments to your creditors. Pay the minimum amount on your credit card once a month. This is a good way to buy more time to pay your debt off.
Get a debt consolidation company’s TOS (terms of service) in writing before making any decisions. It should have information about their fees and how long you will have to use their services. They should also outline what the benefits of using their company are. If you cannot get anything in writing, steer away from the company.
Understand the company’s rates and fees and know what type of rates are reasonable. A set-up fee in excess of a $100 should be cause for concern, for example. Similarly, a monthly fee higher than $50 is unreasonable. Call around to several different companies before settling on any one in particular.
If you are considering seeking a debt consolidation loan from a financial institution such as a bank or credit union, spend sufficient time shopping around and assessing what is available. You may be surprised by the wide ranges of interest rates and terms you are offered. By doing your research, you will be sure to get the very best deal.
It might be possible to withdraw money from a retirement fund or 401k to pay down high interest debt. You should only use your 401K if you’re absolutely certain you can replace the funds. You must pay penalty and tax if you can’t.
When you are consolidating debt, you must try to renegotiate with your creditors. Whether you are choosing to try and do this yourself first or have enlisted the help of a debt consolidation company, renegotiation is key to saving you a lot of money when paying off your debt.
If you are choosing a debt consolidation company, it’s important that you check them out for legitimacy. Ultimately, not only are you going to check with the Better Business Bureau, but you also want to see what your state’s consumer protection agency has to say about them. You want to play safe when it comes to debt consolidation so that you don’t find yourself in an even worse situation.
Be sure your first talk with a credit counselor or debt consolidation agent happens for free. They should be able to do a preliminary analysis of who you owe, how the company can help you, and what options are available. If you cannot get a simple introductory session, look elsewhere.
It is important that you do some math before you decide if debt consolidation is for you. You need to understand if the total interest you are paying now is higher or lower than what you are offered on your consolidation loan. Figure out what all of your debts are, calculate the percent of the overall debt each one makes up, and then multiply their interest rate by that percent. Then, add all of the numbers together and see if it is less than what you are being offered.
When consolidating your debt, it is extremely important to find a reputable, respected debt consolidation company. Before hiring a debt consolidation company, consider how long the company has been in business, the company’s perceived reputation and the amount of money that the company charges in fees. Shop around to find a debt consolidation company that meets your needs.
Remember that filing for bankruptcy normally still allows you to keep your home. If you take on a line of credit which is secured by your home, you will lose it if you are unable to pay off your debt. Keep this in mind as you choose your path to financial freedom.
If you have an equity line of credit which is secured by your home, consider taking out the equity you have to help you pay off your other debts before getting a consolidation loan. If you have enough to get rid of smaller debts, you will end up paying less each month, leaving more to put down on your larger debts.
While engaging in a debt consolidation means a smaller bill in the short term, remember that it also means your payments will drag on for much longer. Can you afford that if something were to happen in the future? Some people find that paying off one of their smaller debts works better for them. Consider your options.
Before taking out any loan, see if you have the equity available or credit needed to tackle some of the outstanding debt you owe. When your home is paid for with a secured line of credit, you can withdraw its equity and use it on debts.
It is important that you know exactly what you’re up against financially. Debt consolidation in any form is often overlooked as a way to get out of debt. Instead of letting your finances drift off, get the help you need. Follow the simple advice discussed in this article to be on your way to a brighter financial future.