Would you like the convenience of making just one monthly payment for all of your credit card debt? Do you have a home which has appreciated greatly over the past few years? Are high interest rates and late fees bogging you down? Does it seem like each paycheck is eaten up by payments on revolving debt? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you may be a candidate for a debt consolidation loan.
Debt consolidation loans are not one size fits all. They are tailored to the needs of the individual situation and answer specific needs. People with excellent credit seek debt consolidation loans and people with sub par credit also apply for them. People who have expensive homes with equity that can be tapped ask for debt consolidation loans as do people who rent their homes. The key to looking for a loan to consolidate debt is assessing your own peculiar circumstance and trying to find the debt consolidation loan that is suitable for your situation.
First, what is the state of your credit?
Even if you are not considering applying for some sort of debt consolidation, it is always good to know how your credit is faring. The law requires that each person should be allowed one free credit report each year. Always avail yourself of this freebie. Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). While you’re at it, purchase your credit score (FICO) for a small nominal fee. Check your report and report any errors to all three agencies. If your FICO is 720 or above you have excellent credit, below 600 and you have fair or, by some standards, even poor credit.
Second, why do you want a debt consolidation loan?
Consumers who are just tired of a stack of bills to be paid every month but otherwise have no credit problems should be able to consolidate their debts quickly and easily. A call to the bank with which they do business should suffice. They should just be sure that the loan is for an amount equal to or less than their current bills and that there are no penalties for paying off any of the bills they plan to roll into the loan.
Home owners with equity built up in their homes who have any sort of credit should be able to use some of the equity from their houses to pay off their high interest debt and roll the balance into their mortgages. There may even be cash left after the new mortgage is financed. However, these people should take care that not to make a habit of using their home’s accrued value in this way. Numerous debt consolidation loans based on a homeowner’s equity will eventually sap the value of the home and possibly even put the home itself in jeopardy.
People with fair or poor credit may have a more difficult time obtaining a debt consolidation loan. They may have to resort to using a sub par debt consolidation service. The interest rates and fees charged by these institutions will undoubtedly be higher than those charged to others with better credit. Still, even a slightly above standard interest debt consolidation loan may relieve some of the person’s debt burden if the term of the loan is longer than the terms of the current indebtedness.
No matter what your credit or the reason you apply for a debt consolidation loan it is important to control your spending once you bills have been consolidated. Consider cutting up all but one of your credit cards. Even the one credit card remaining should be put away in a secure place and used only in case of an emergency or such true financial bind. An important part of debt consolidation is not to put yourself in the same place a second time.