Loan Guru: Credit Card Debt Consolidation Loans

By: Kirrhi Kreamer

Debt consolidation is when you take out a loan to pay off several other debts. By consolidating your debts you only have one payment to make. Should your consolidate your debt with a loan?

It depends. You may be able to lower the cost of your debt through a debt consolidation loan. Getting a loan using your home equity or a second mortgage is one way to consolidate your credit card debts..

A home equity loan offers several benefits for consolidating your debt. This option allows you to move all your debt from many lenders to one with a lower interest rate. The credit cards will be paid off in one lump sum, instead of various payments at different times of the month. Additionally, with a home equity loan the interest is tax deductible.

Generally, you will be paying less out of your bank account each month to pay off your debt. Using the equity built in your home lets you deal with creditor efficiently. By having only one payment for your debts, you are better able to keep ahead of your financial burden each month.

Pros of Debt Consolidation

If your credit cards are over the limit with high interest rates and other fees or you have a large amount of high interest installment loans, a debt consolidation loan could be the answer to lowering the interest. This will allow you to roll this high interest debt into one manageable payment.

By having one lower payment instead of several payments, it will be easier to make your payment. Thus, you can avoid the late fees, extra charges and the bad credit that results from payments you can't afford.

When you consolidate your debts you will have just one or two monthly payments, allowing you to better set up a budget. Your peace of mind is better knowing you can pay your bills without all the hassle of collection calls, late fees and high interest rates.

Cons of Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation may not be the answer if the rate on your new loan isn't better than current loan rates.

It can also take longer to pay debts off. When you consolidate debt, you still end up owing the same amount of money. The main difference is usually the length of the term. This could leave you paying more in interest if the term is really long.

Another consequence of a debt consolidation loan is that a loan may be a way to continue to have poor spending habits. If you get a loan to quickly pay of high interests debts, you may be setting yourself up to continue on in the same manner, if you don't learn to budget and think about the long term.

There are drawbacks to equity loans for debt consolidation as well. If you can't make the payments you are at risk of losing your home. You might also be tempted to start spending more or getting more credit cards leading into a pitfall you can't control. This problem could lead to bankruptcy, foreclosure or many other high-risk financial solutions.

Should You Consolidate Debt?

When trying to decide if you should consolidate debt, it depends on your current financial situation. Contact your financial professional to advise you on whether a debt consolidation loan would be a good move.

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