Debt Consolidation: Know Your Options Before Choosing
A debt consolidation program is a way to manage debt that has become out of control. The decision to consolidate debt isn’t easy to make, but it is one option for individuals who may have multiple loans resulting in a difficult debt situation.
What does it mean to consolidate debt?
Although sometimes used interchangeably, a debt consolidation program and a debt management program are two different approaches to reducing debt. To consolidate debt, you take out a secured loan, often against your home or some other collateral, in order to pay off your unsecured debt. CESI is not a debt consolidator, nor do we typically recommend taking out additional loans in order to pay off debt unless there is no other course of action.
If you choose to enroll in a debt consolidation program, look to a professional debt consolidator for help. Debt consolidation services are available through many reputable companies, but it’s best to get a referral from someone you trust before choosing a debt consolidator.
What do debt consolidation services offer?
When you consolidate debt into a single loan, it not only reduces the number of loans, it also eliminates multiple statements and payment schedules. A debt consolidation program works well for managing several loans with high interest rates. There are many additional advantages debt consolidation services offer:
- Multiple payments with different amounts and due dates replaced by a single convenient payment
- You can often choose a payment date that is convenient for you
- Generally lower interest rates
- Monthly payments could be reduced if the consolidated loan term is longer than the individual loans
It must be remembered, however, that debt consolidation does not do away with debt; it simply moves the liabilities from several small or high ones to a single payment.
Consolidating your debt
You should approach debt consolidation with care. Once you decide that consolidating is best for you, conduct research on the best options available. This can be done through seeking organizations that specifically offer debt consolidation services. Remember that these services are not free; there is a charge involved. However, as a rule, avoid services from organizations that try to persuade you into a program without thoroughly analyzing the state of your finances [Source: http://www.ftc.gov]