Debt consolidation involves taking high-interest balances on a multitude of credit card bills and combining them into a single balance. It can involve a variety of different options, including debt consolidation loans, transferring balances to a zero percent credit card, or a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Interestingly enough, however, some experts say individuals who take out a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt accumulate similar debt in a two-year period.
The reason for this is simple, accumulating debt is a habit and it is an exceedingly tough habit to break. If your tendency is to overspend, chances are you will continue to do so, even after you've taken out a home equity loan. In addition, if you need debt consolidation, it is likely that you will not qualify for the lowest possible interest rates. Those are reserved for people with the best credit ratings.
Debt Consolidation - What Are The Options?
Having a lot of debt is not uncommon today, and for many, it seems that knowing how to get
out of debt is just about as uncommon, too. If you have a lot of debt and want to find some
relief, there are a number of options that may be available to you.
Still, if you are determined to undergo debt consolidation, there are a few key things you need to know. To begin with, a home equity loan is a fast, simple way to dig yourself out of debt. However, if you have difficulty paying the loan back, you could end up losing your house. In addition, although interest on home equity loans is generally tax deductible, such a tax break could be limited. You may also be tempted to borrow more than you need just because the bank says that you can.
Another possible option is a zero-percent credit card, but you need to be careful about using it. For instance, the zero-percent interest rate may just be an incentive for you to switch cards. At the end of a certain period of time, say 12 months, you'll be back to paying sky-high interest rates. Also, you will only be able to hang onto the low introductory rate as long as you pay your bill on time. If you're late with a single payment, you'll end up paying a much higher interest rate. Additional fees and charges may cause the cost of the credit to soar. In addition, if you end up paying the bare minimum on your credit cards, it will be difficult for you to pay them off any time soon.
What about the conventional debt consolidation loan?
Such a loan can be quite convenient and a real time-saver, enabling you to pay your debt with one single payment each month. You may find that you can get the best rate at a local credit union rather than at a bank. By doing some comparison shopping, you may be able to save quite a bit of money in the long run.