First off, you may be asking yourself what exactly is a debt consolidation loan? A debt consolidation loan pays off your existing debts by combining them into one loan with a new interest rate with the goal being to reduce the total interest rate on your outstanding obligations. How do you know if this is the best option for you? How much debt do you need before you should consider debt consolidation? Consider the following pros and cons.
Pros of Debt Consolidation
Obviously, debt consolidation loans are most helpful for those with multiple debts. Do you owe at least $10,000? Are you receiving frequent calls from collection agencies? Are you having difficulty making payments or cannot negotiate a lower interest rate? Do any of your accounts have high interest rates or high monthly payments? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, please consider what a debt consolidation loan can do for you.
The easiest benefit to see is the convenience of going from multiple creditors to one. When you consolidate your debt into one monthly payment, it becomes less stressful and much easier to stay organized. You no longer have to deal with paying one creditor the first week of the month, two creditors the second week of the month and so on.
Lower Interest Rate
Gather up your bills from all of your creditors and figure out just how much you are paying in interest every much. Chances are the number will surprise you. When you consolidate your debt into one monthly payment, you are only going to pay interest on one loan and often at a lower rate than the cumulative interest of your previous loans.
Lower Monthly Payments
If you do consolidate your debt into one monthly payment there is a solid chance you will have a lower monthly payout, especially if you receive a lower interest rate.
Cons of Debt Consolidation
Potential of More Debt
This is not a direct effect of debt consolidation but in theory by consolidating your debt, you will be freeing up money each month. It is important that this “extra money” is either saved or put toward existing debt instead of additional debt.
More Spent in the Long Run
While your interest rate and monthly rate may both be lowered by consolidating your debt, your pay back period may be extended and in turn the total amount that you pay in interest may turn out to be greater. But again, you can always pay down your debt each month to ensure this is not the case.
Debt Consolidation isn’t right for everyone. Make sure you consider the pros and cons of debt consolidation so you can make an educated choice.
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