Help consolidating debt
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Some consolidation loans require you to secure the debt against your home.
A word to the wise, though: Debt consolidation loans aren’t for everyone struggling with debt.
This makes the most sense when the personal loan has a lower interest rate than you’ve got across your existing debts.
For individuals with debt on several credit cards, it can make sense to transfer the balances over to the card with the lowest interest rate, creating one payment and lowering interest overall.
Most people do this to reduce the interest rate on their debt, to bring down their monthly payment amount or to reduce the number of companies they owe money to.
Debt consolidation can be a useful strategy in some situations but for many it can involve extra costs, and potentially makes a difficult situation much worse.
Maggie Germano, a certified financial education instructor and financial coach in Washington, D.
C., said this topic comes up “pretty frequently” with her clients.
Determining which method will benefit you the most will involve some homework and some calculations … Debt consolidation can take many forms, including a personal loan, a balance-transfer credit card, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and a debt management plan, among others.
(We’ll get into the details of those options later on.) No matter what strategy suits you best, the idea is the same: Lump together all or most of your debts into a single payment as a way to save money, simplify your finances … For example, if you have multiple high-interest credit card debts and outstanding medical bills, you may want to take out a personal loan to repay those debts.
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“If you’re not absolutely positive that you can pay off your debt in that time frame or if you think you might struggle with building up your debt on credit cards once again, I think getting a new credit card is probably not a good idea,” said Germano.
Debt consolidation loans aren't right for everyone.