Debt Consolidation - What Is It?
Here is a useful guide to what is Debt consolidation.
For some people with credit problems debt consolidation may be an answer.
Debt consolidation is borrowing enough money from one lender to pay off all your debts.
When you consolidate:
- You make only one payment each month, to the new lender.
- You will usually pay out less money each month.
- You usually pay more money in finance charges to consolidate debts.
- You make payments longer.
Debt is a way of life today.
Everybody owes somebody something: products, services or money.
Financial debt (owing money) is a choice you make to defer payment on something you want or need now.
In return for this, you usually pay the person or business (called the "creditor") extra money ("interest").
Debt is not a problem as long as you can repay.
The most important step in conquering debt is controlling spending.
This starts with being a critical consumer and learning to separate real needs and desires from artificial ones.
How much debt is too much depends on your income and what it costs for you to live.
When you see financial problems coming, the first step is to take stock of your financial situation.
Most problems can be remedied with planning and budgeting:
- Make debt reduction your first priority.
- Determine all sources of income.
- Face up to how much you owe.
- Determine which bills are essential and which are avoidable.
- Quit charging and apply extra cash to reducing balances.
- Find ways to generate extra income.
- Cut back on nonessentials.
- Track spending.
- Seek financial counselling.
Call your creditors to see if you can work out some change in monthly payments that will ease the pressure.
If you do decide to consolidate your debts, shop around for the best deal.
Before you choose whom you will get the loan from, find out the following information from each place:
- The charge for the service.
- The annual percentage rate (APR).
- The amount of your monthly payments.
- How long you must make payments.
- What the total amount is that you will pay.
- What happens if you miss a payment.
- What happens if you are late making a payment.
Making only one payment a month may make you think you are better off than you actually are.
You may be tempted to buy something else on credit, and before you know it you could have an even worse problem: too many bills with too little income.