Evaluating Your Debt Consolidation Options

When you find yourself buried under a mountain of debt, struggling to make your monthly repayments, it can sometimes seem like there will never be an end in sight. In some cases, though, debt consolidation can help you get yourself back on track to becoming debt-free.

How Debt Consolidation Can Help

Debt consolidation can make your life easier by combining all of your monthly payments to various creditors into a single repayment. In many cases, it can also lower the interest rate that you are paying across all of your debts, which can save you a significant amount of money down the track.

When You Should Consider Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation can be a great option for you if you are having difficulty managing multiple payments each month. A single payment is much easier to keep track of and budget for. You’ll need to carefully evaluate the total amount that you will end up paying, though. If a debt consolidation loan will extend your repayment term, you may end up paying more in interest over that longer period of time, even if the per annum rate is lower.

Which Debts to Consolidate

Depending on the type of consolidation loan you choose, you may be able to combine credit card, auto loan, personal loan and even overdue utility bill payments. It is important to note, though, that some loans charge fees for early repayment, so you’ll need to take that into consideration when evaluating your options. The added fees may reduce the amount of money you can save by consolidating, so you may wish to leave those loans separate.

Types of Debt Consolidation

When it comes to debt consolidation, you have a number of options available to you:

  • Personal loans – A personal loan is the most flexible option available to you, as it will allow you to pay off any of your existing debts. However, you’ll typically need to have a strong credit score in order to qualify for a personal loan.
  • Home equity loans – If you have built up equity in your home, you can borrow against that equity to repay your other outstanding debts. However, this type of debt consolidation can be risky. If you are unable to make your repayments, you could lose your home!
  • Balance transfers – Some credit cards will offer you a period of no interest if you transfer balances from other credit cards. Watch out for balance transfer fees, though, as they can reduce the amount you could save in interest.

Where to Obtain Your Debt Consolidation Loan

Take the time to shop around before signing a debt consolidation loan agreement. While you may have the easiest time obtaining a loan from your personal bank, they may not necessarily offer the best rates. There are many private lenders that also offer debt consolidation loans, often at lower rates. Whichever route you choose, be sure to do your homework. Make sure that you fully understand the terms of any loan agreement before signing anything. This will help to protect you from predatory lending practices.


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