When you consolidate your credit card debt, you are getting a new loan, mostly offered by the loan company, you have to repay the new loan like any other loan. If you get a consolidation loan and keep making more purchases with credit, you probably won’t succeed in paying off your debt. If you have problems with credit, consider contacting a credit counselor first.
Consolidation means that your various debts, whether they are credit card accounts or business loan payments, are grouped into a single monthly payment. If you have multiple credit card or loan accounts, consolidation can be a way to simplify or reduce payments. However, a debt consolidation loan does not erase your debt. Besides, you may end up paying more by consolidating one debt into another type of loan.
BEFORE USING A CONSOLIDATION LOAN:
Review your expenses. It is important to understand why you have debt. If you’ve accumulated a lot of debt because you’re spending more than you earn, a debt consolidation loan probably won’t help you get out of debt unless it reduces your expenses or increases your income.
Make a budget. Find out if you can pay off your existing debt by adjusting the way you spend it over time.
Try contacting your creditors to see if they agree to reduce your payments. Some creditors may be willing to accept lower minimum monthly payments, avoid certain fees, lower your interest rate, or change the payment date to better match your income and help you pay off your debt.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING LOAN CONSOLIDATION:
- Debt Consolidation Loan
Banks, credit unions, loan companies, and other lenders like Bugis Credit offer loans for debt consolidation. These loans accumulate many of your debts in one payment. This simplifies the number of payments you have to make. These offers may also include lower interest rates than you currently pay.
- Credit Card Balance Transfers
Many credit card companies offer zero or very low-interest balance transfers, inviting you to consolidate your debts into a single credit card.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
If you fall more than 60 days behind on a payment, the credit card company may increase the interest rate on all of your balances, including the balance you have transferred.
If you use the same credit card to make purchases, you won’t get a grace period for those purchases, and you’ll have to pay interest until you pay off the entire balance (including the transferred balance).
Tip: If you decide to make a credit card balance transfer, avoid using that card for other purchases, at least until you have paid off the transferred balance. This will help you pay off the balance more quickly and avoid paying interest on other purchases.
Many of the low-interest rates offered for debt consolidation loans can be “introductory rates” that only last a certain amount of time. Then, the lender may increase the rate you have to pay.The loan may also include fees or costs that you would not have to pay if you continued to make your other payments.
Tip: If you are considering a debt consolidation loan, compare the loan terms and interest rates to see how much interest and fees you would have to pay in total. This can help you choose the loan that saves you the most money.
- Home Equity Loans
With a home equity loan, you get a home equity loan. If you use it to consolidate debts, you use the loan to pay off existing creditors in full. Then, you have to repay the home equity loan. If you don’t repay the loan, you could lose your home to foreclosure.
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