tips-and-advice-about-debt-settlement

Best debt settlement advice to consider prior to enrolling in the program

Debt settlement services are normally offered by a third-party organization who can help you to reduce your debts by negotiating with your creditors or debt collectors. You may also negotiate with the creditors and settle your debts on your own. But it also comes with some risks which may create problems for your finances.

Practically, you should usually avoid negotiating with your creditor to settle your debts less than you owe as settling debts may damage your credit score. That’s not all, you might have to pay some tax on your settled amount. In the end, you may notice that you have paid way more than you saved.

If you still consider a debt settlement program, it’s also important for you to do proper research to avoid debt settlement scams.

The sole purpose of this content is to provide you with tips and suggestion on debt settlement. But before discussing further, I would first like to explain the debt settlement process a bit.

How does debt settlement work?

Debt settlement normally lowers the amount of unsecured debts by negotiating directly with the creditor. On the other hand, it is an opportunity for the creditors to collect their unpaid debts as much as possible.

You can settle your debts best when you’re behind on payments. If you’re still current with your debt payments, there’s no logic behind starting a negotiation with the creditor. If the creditor is still getting the money on time, then why should they  accept a settlement offer?

So, you really need to be behind on your monthly debt payments for at least 3 months, if you want to initiate a successful debt settlement process.

Once the process begins, you have the option to make two basic types of settlement plans. In both cases, you will make the offer to your creditor to settle your debts on a lesser amount than you owe. But if you look closely, the payment strategy is quite different. Let’s have a look at the plans:

  1. A single lump sum payment – You can negotiate with the creditors and try to get them to agree for accepting a lump sum payment and settle the account. The amount is usually less than the total debt you owe to the creditors.
  2. A monthly payment plan – You may negotiate with the creditor and arrange a payment plan (usually 4 payments) which will give you several months to repay the debts.

The first option is normally more successful than the second one. Most of the creditors like to get the money as a lump sum payment, rather than getting it on small installments, on a defaulted debt. Typically, the creditors will agree to accept payments under a monthly payment plan if it really make sense to break the total payments over a short time .

You can get help from debt settlement companies, also called “debt relief” or “debt adjusting” companies. The companies will provide you with a debt settlement program to get you out of unsecured debts once and for all. They will get an authorization from you to contact your creditors on your behalf. After contacting, they will start negotiating with the creditors and make a better repayment plan.

Debt settlement companies will usually  charge you a fee, often a percentage of the amount saved by them on your debts.

Now let’s move onto the next stage. Here we will discuss some tips you should consider before settling your debts.

Best debt settlement advice to consider prior to taking help of settlement

1. Be proactive, stop waiting

Don’t wait for reaching out to your creditor until your account has been charged off. A charge off account means you are more than six months behind on your payments. A charged-off account is known to the creditors as an account which has less prospect of getting repaid again. But don’t forget, being charged off doesn’t mean that you no longer owe the debt.

You should contact your creditors quickly and initiate debt settlement. Stop waiting and plan a good settlement offer that the creditor can’t refuse.

If you contact your creditors soon with a positive approach, most of the them would agree to agree with the settlement offer. If you take too much time to ask them, there’s a probability that they might sell off your account to some third party collection agency for a lower value, and that’ll be considered as a loss. So, in this situation, creditors or lenders may do anything to avoid such a loss. So, chances are there that your settlement offer might be accepted sooner than you think.

2. Enroll in a settlement program together if you aren’t single

If you have a spouse or a partner, go and sign up for a debt settlement program together! It is the best debt settlement advice I can give you to maximize your savings. But, you must first consider these things:

  • Which one of you is just an authorized user on these accounts?
  • How much debt do you have alone?
  • How much debt is in your spouse’s name?
  • How much debt do you have in both of your names?
  • Does it make sense to settle both of your debts, or only one of yours is OK?

If you and your spouse have $60,000 in credit card debt but $45,000 of it is in your spouse’s name, it would be wise for you to maintain your payments instead of settling your debts.

This way, one of you will be able to maintain your good credit. So, if a situation comes where you need a better credit, before re-emerging from the effect of debt settlement, you’ll have a good credit record with you.

3. Don’t make an unrealistic offer

If your creditor is ready to accept your offer and allowing you to settle your debts through monthly payments, you must set the payments at a level where you can afford it financially.

When you start negotiating with the creditors, try not to set a debt settlement plan that is unrealistic.

Most of the time, debtors, who offered a big amount as monthly payments, are able to make only the first payment and then miss rest of the payments. As a result, they fail to carry on with the debt settlement payment plan. In such cases, the account may be referred to a collection agency.

4. Consider the estimated time of the debt settlement program

Some people might think that settling debts may take just a phone call to the creditor and a couple of months to complete the process. But this is not the truth. Negotiating with the creditors may take time. The creditor must accept the settlement offer and agree with the terms you are adding with the offer. Sometimes the creditor may also give a counter offer.

In the end, you and your creditor should find a common ground to agree with each other.

But, taking too much time to settle your debt may also increase the chances of a third party involvement.

Why? It is because while you’re negotiating for debt settlement, you’re already behind on your payments for at least 3 months. If you take more time, your creditors may become restless and transfer the account for collection. You might be sued if you are delinquent for 12 to 18 months. So as soon as you are ready to eliminate your debts through a debt settlement program, you should always check the approximate duration of it.

5. Rebuild your credit with proper planning

Debt settlement may harm your credit score almost as bad as bankruptcy. The exact impact on your credit score may vary depending on the other information on your credit report. But, if you have a FICO score more than 700, your credit score may get a blow between 140 to 160 points.

You need to stop your debt payments for 3 months (at least) if you want to join in a debt settlement program. Once you settle your debts, it’ll be reflected in your credit report as “paid settled”. You need to stop your debt payments for 3 months (at least) if you want to join in a debt settlement program. Once you settle your debts, it’ll be reflected in your credit report as “paid settled”.

In this situation, you need to stay calm and focused on rebuilding your credit score. There are some good ways to do the same:

  1. Check your credit report – Check your credit report on a regular basis from your 3 major bureaus. Dispute errors if you find any and try to remove bad items asap.
  2. Catch up on your delinquent payments – After settling your few accounts, try to keep up with your other credit accounts and make the  missed payments.
  3. Pay Your bills on time – If you are getting any new loan or credit cards, make sure to pay the bills on time and in full.
  4. Don’t close old credit card accounts – After settling your credit cards, do not close the accounts. Old credit accounts have a long payment history; use them to rebuild your credit.
  5. Maintain good financial habits – Track your spending and prepare a suitable budget to allocate your money in different categories. Avoid excessive shopping and use cash rather than a card. Increase your retirement fund 401(k) whenever you have money in your wallet.
how-to-settle-debt-and-save-your-credit

Can you settle debt and save credit? Here’s how to do that!

Debt settlement always carries the risk factor that your credit score will get hurt.

Not lying to you, but that’s really a serious issue. Debt settlement is definitely a good way to pay off debts, but it always comes with the side effect of lowering the credit score.

And, the truth is, there’s no such way you can save your credit, by doing settlement.

Credit score is a very tricky numeric value, that’s based on several conditions, formulae, and factors. And, the score is heavily dependent on how well you are performing with your debt payments.

Well, here’s the thing with debt settlement. You are paying an amount quite lower than the original amount you owe on the debt account. Which means, you are satisfying yourself but not the creditor!

Therefore, it’s pretty justified for the creditor to report the debt as settled, rather than listing it as ‘paid in full’.

This is where your score gets ruined.
An account, not paid off in full, is a red sign on your credit report and it looks really bad. It is, however, never revealed how a bad credit report results in a bad credit score, but isn’t it quite obvious?!?!

Therefore, we should be focused primarily on getting debt accounts rightfully recorded in credit reports, after you have done debt settlement.

Here’s how you should,

Settle debts without hurting credit score:

  • Be smart and make the first few approaches to the creditor on your own, and discuss these important things:

Tell the creditor, how badly you care about your debts! Say, that you really want to pay them off in full, but due to this family and social obligations (use teeth cracking words), you just can’t!

Tell with sheer emotion on your tongue that you want to settle your debts, as you really don’t wanna die being indebted! Tell the creditor that you won’t be able to rest in peace in your afterlife, if you don’t pay off your debts!

And, beg the man to make it work for you, or you will only have two choices left, embracing death, or filing bankruptcy and then embracing death!!

See, what the replies are….. If the horn-head agrees, then it’s now time to talk to him about your credit score. “If by any chance he can save it from crashing!!”
Listen to what he’s got to say and offer the proposal of offering some, under the table / in hand cash, to report the account as paid in full!

What if the creditor gets furious at your audacity, and says he can’t settle it??

Then, it’s time to,

  • Take help of a debt settlement company and discuss everything in the free counseling session you will receive from them:

When all your debt campaigns start to fail, the settlement companies are your saviors, I gotta tell you that!

They are experts in dealing settlement cases like nothing you can do on your own. So, after you contact a settlement company, they are going to first offer you a free counseling session.

If a settlement company is not providing you with any such counseling session, or charges a fee in your first approach, then you better not take help from that company.

In that session, they will discuss your debt problems in brief and hear anything important you need to say.
This is your time!
On top of getting your debts settled, you should ask them to take care of your credit score. Tell them that you want the debt account to be reported as ‘paid in full’ once settled.

There’s no reason for them to deny trying if they get a few Benjamins!!! But, see man.. Nothing will fall on your side, if you ain’t ready to spend a little!

Money talks, buddy, money talks! What do you think, the settlement company won’t offer the creditor a little cash to report the debt as ‘paid in full’? They definitely will, only that they won’t tell you.

But, it’s not our concern how they will deal with the creditors. Our job is to see whether or not you are getting a chance to save your credit or increase the credit score!

So, to be practical, these above two steps are the only way you can do a successful debt settlement and not hurt your score much.

Also, I am reminded of another thing.
Settlement companies usually ask you to halt your payments for a few months before they give the creditor a settlement offer. But, halting payments means your credit score will surely fall.

In such a case, you should talk to the advisor appointed by the company that you are concerned about your score and you don’t want to halt payments. See, if you can arrive at a fruitful solution.

Moreover, there’s absolutely no harm in checking out several settlement companies to get your desired services.

But, whatever it is, if you are doing a settlement, then you can expect to see your scores drop. A few points drop should not keep you worried.

And, once you get the debt settled, and it’s gone away for good, you can again focus on rebuilding your credit score, which won’t be that tough!

If however, you are caring too much about your credit score, then I believe settlement is not for you. It’s better you go for debt consolidation, and check out how consolidation can help you with debts, when you want to increase your credit score, altogether!

how-to-become-a-successful-money-manager-in-2019

How to become a successful money manager in 2019

Keeping your money organized is not as much difficult as launching a rocket from your backyard. It doesn’t require professional skills to become a money manager. But it would be a mistake if you spend all  your money from your paycheck as soon as you get one.

So, is there any guaranteed formula to become a successful money manager? I guess not. You need not just to know how to earn money but also how to maintain the flow and how to make it work for you. You should have the full control of all money that enters or leaves your wallet. But there are a few steps that you can follow to get into the process. So, check out these unique  tips that can help you to emerge as a successful money manager in the coming year.

1. Ignore money, focus on goals

Instead of thinking about how to become a successful money manager, you should shift your focus into your life goals. You need to understand that money should be used for fulfilling your goals. So, for that reason, you need to establish your life goals and invest your money to get success.

It’s a wise decision to save for prime life goals like retirement, paying off debts, marriage etc. It also makes sense to earn dollars  for short-term goals like a family tour in Europe or buying a new house.

2. Understand your cash flow

You may need to understand your cash flow if you want to manage your money. You can make a plan to control your finances if you know when you’ll be getting your paycheck. If your income is irregular, make an emergency plan based on worst case scenarios.

Note down your income details such as income sources, or date of your paycheck, and keep the details with you. This way you can plan your spending by considering the date and cash in hand. Once you become aware of your cash flow pattern, you might even prepare a budget plan on your gross income rather than considering your net income.

3. Ask your employer for a raise

One of the best ways to become a successful money manager in 2019 is to increase the amount in your paycheck. Talk to your boss, show him the stats about your performance in the organization and all your achievements at work. Then, ask for a raise.

4. Negotiate your bills

Always negotiate all the bills. Starting from your utility bills to your cable bill, medical bills, and many more can be negotiated. You can negotiate bills for the same service you are getting every month. Wait a few months and call the service provider again to try to get a better deal.

5. Get coupon benefits

Coupons can be useful for millions of consumers to save a lot of money. Taking the benefits of the coupons is the best way to save money on purchases and it doesn’t show you as a broke person. Using the coupons wisely is a sign of a good money manager.

6. Check your credit report and score

Get your free credit report from the 3 major credit bureaus. Many credit card companies may provide you your FICO score each month free. You can also enroll yourself for free credit-monitoring services. It’s important to check your credit score periodically. Your credit score is one of the most important factors that’ll determine your financial success. Don’t forget to check your credit report and dispute errors if you find any.

7. Consolidate your debts

Debt is a bad habit that you must avoid. If you want to become a successful money manager,  you must get out of debt completely as soon as possible. Debt is something that won’t allow you to manage your money properly. When you don’t have debts, it’ll be easier for you to master your income and grow your savings.

If you’re tired by paying down your debts, you can consider debt consolidation option. Instead of paying down multiple debts with high interest, you can even take out a loan and pay them off. Make sure the debt consolidation loan, you are taking out, carries  a low-interest rate.

8. Eliminate wastage

Believe it or not – most people waste a great portion from their income. We like spending money on such things that are unnecessary and should be avoided. Sometimes we pay for the services that we don’t require at all. We like spending money on luxuries, buying unwanted stuff, and paying interest on accounts that we use occasionally. All these wastage of money make us poorer. So, listen carefully, stop yourself wasting money, at once!

9. Set up autopay option for savings & bills

Setting up autopay option for your finances may help you save money and time. It’s much easier to schedule a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to your savings account. Also, schedule all your bills so that they automatically deduct from your account every month before the due date.

10. Share your thoughts with your partner about money

If you’re in a serious relationship, you should share your thoughts about money with your partner.  It’s important to carry a similar thinking about finances if both of you want to grow your finances in the coming year. If you really want to become a successful money manager, talk to your spouse, and tell her/him about your financial goals and your future plans. He/she should know and give an opinion about the financial planning you are doing for both of your future.

Most of the time financial infidelity become the sole reason behind a broken relationship. Financial chit chats might turn into intense arguments. However, the more you share your thoughts about money with your spouse, the easier it will get…..

11. Invest time to educate yourself

Are you a bad money manager? Do you want to become a successful money manager now? Most of us might say ‘yes’. But most of us also don’t know that we will not succeed until we overcome the main problem, and that is “financial illiteracy.”

So, what do we do now? We need to educate ourselves on various financial subjects like budgeting, wealth building, money saving, managing debts, investment, real estate, etc. By using our spare time we can learn about those things easily.  Read books or read articles online. You can also attend seminars. You may even ask your parents about it and get suggestions from them. The more financially literate you become, the better you can manage your money.

So, if you follow these steps, there are chances that you’ll emerge as a successful money manager. You can also increase your income by doing part-time job. You can use that money to pay off credit card debt, to save for retirement, or to create a fund for mortgage down payment in 2019. You never know, your additional earning may lead you towards becoming your own boss, and you become a successful entrepreneur till the end of 2019, best of luck for that!

will-you-get-arrested-for-not-paying-the-debt

Will you get arrested for not paying the debt?

Well, many of us in the United States are unaware of the policies which can be used against the people when the debts are not paid on time. In a worse situation, you may be wonder can you go to jail for not paying a debt?

This will not only ruin your career but also stain your reputation. So,? Read this article to know the answers.

Here you will get the answers to your debt riddles and you must also be aware of the states where you can get arrested for not clearing the debts.

  • * Washington
  • * New Jersey
  • * Illinois
  • * Georgia
  • * Ohio
  • * Indiana
  • * Tennessee

So, now you may be wondering if the debt collector asserts the right to sue you. So, have a brief idea about what actions can be taken against the debt collector.

Can a debt collector sue you?

Yes, a debt collector can take legal action against you. If a creditor takes you to the court over an unpaid debt, you should make it a point to respond, either through an attorney or on your own, to the lawsuit.

Sometimes creditors will take this action to obtain a court judgement against the debtor to collect the unpaid amount. If the debtor doesn’t show up in the court, then the judge can issue an arrest warrant for failing to appear.

So, the debtor could be sent to the prison not for failing to pay the debt but for failing to follow the court order.

What is a Statute of Limitations on debt?

Yes, there is Statute of Limitations (SOL) period within which the creditors or debt collectors can file a lawsuit to recover. The SOL can differ state wise and debt wise with most falling between a 3-6 year range, while some may be as long as 10 years. The length is decided by the state and the type of debt.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the number of years is determined by:

  • 1. State Laws
  • 2. The kind of debt you owe
  • 3. If the state law applicable is mentioned on your credit agreement

How can you avoid going to jail for not paying your debt?

So how can you make sure that you will never go to the wrong side of a jail cell door especially if you have debt?

  • a. Do not ignore debt collectors or warrants. Act strictly against it if possible.
  • b. Make sure you have gone through all the documents you get from bill collectors or the court.
  • c. If you get a summons and complaint, you are probably being sued. This means your presence is highly required in the court.
  • d. It is your duty to respond quickly and promptly to a summons, either denying or admitting to the debt.
  • e. Appear for all the court hearings.

So, avoid getting into any trouble by checking your debt amount and if you are being sued or given a court date, show up!

If you don’t, you may end up losing by default, and have a warrant against your name.

Can the Statute of Limitations on debt affect your credit score?

Yes, your credit score can be affected even if the SOL on a debt is no longer valid. Any debt you owe will appear on your credit report. If you can’t make payments, those debts can stay on your credit reports for as long as 7 years, impacting your credit score negatively. As a result, it can be quite taxing while obtaining a new credit card, home loan, or to take a car on lease, and if isn’t approved, then the interest rates could be high on your future loans.

What kinds of debts can get you arrested?

Yes, there are 2 types of debt for which the failure to pay could imprison a person.

  1. Failure to pay your taxes
  2. Failure to pay child support

If a person is unsuccessful in paying taxes, it can make him/her land in jail. The same thing implies for neglecting child support payments. Failing to do so can be considered contempt of court and can result in imprisonment for up to 6 months. There can also be fines for each violation in addition to the fees taken by attorneys and court costs.

Can you get arrested for unpaid student loans?

No, you won’t be going to jail or be arrested for not paying your student loans.

Failure to pay a student loan, credit card, or hospital bill is considered “civil debts” and you won’t be arrested for not paying your student loans or civil debts.

The department of education suggests several options for borrowers to get back on track with payment if you are lagging behind on paying your student loans.

Always remember that failure to repay student loans could also result in wage garnishment.

How can you escape from this mess?

You can escape being sued by an aggressive debt collector by considering the following:

Be skeptical: Get your facts checked, including whether or not the debt is yours and the amount is correct, by verifying the debt.

Stay on your toes: Do not feel burdened when dealing with debts. Don’t make hasty decisions. Take your time to find out the best way to handle a debt in collections. Don’t make hasty decisions.

Address your rights: Report harassing debt collectors to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I would like to mention that people who are in debt generally have this fear that they may be arrested for not paying their debts within the due time. Well, this is not entirely true. Debt collectors are known to warn debtors about going to jail if the debt is not met on time. Not only are these threats banal, but they also wrongdoing by the debt collector.

In fact, debt collectors assert the right to sue your debt collector for not paying the bills under the Federal rule and the potential state law depending on which state you reside in. To conclude, if you aren’t serious then you can go to jail for debt collections. So, take precautions to avoid that scenario.

how to do the best credit card balance transfer to avoid mistakes

How to do the best credit card balance transfer to avoid mistakes!

A balance transfer is no joke! It’s a very serious issue, and I firmly believe it needs proper precision to be successful at it.
There are things you need to pay attention to before doing a balance transfer, and to certain things after the transfer is done.
By now you must have already seen and came across many banks that offer balance transfer opportunities at very attractive terms and conditions. But that doesn’t mean they are welcoming you to do so!!
Remember, they are greeting you to do a balance transfer not only because you are in need of it, but also they see high profit if for once you start defaulting on payments after you have transferred your balance.

So, what is a balance transfer after all?

As per the words of finance, a balance transfer or debt transfer refers to handing over debts from one credit account to another.
However, here we will discuss credit card balance transfer, which is the most widely used debt transfer type among consumers and in the current financial market.
Suppose, you have a maxed out credit card. A maxed out credit card means its balance has crossed its credit limit, or is just about to cross.
Hence, you are pressurized to pay off this balance as soon as possible.
But, you see that no matter how many extra payments you make, until and unless you pay it off in full at one blow, your credit portfolio will remain hurt!
And, that’s exactly when a credit card balance transfer will come of great help. By opting for such an aggressive debt relief option, you can transfer your old card’s existing debt to a new card.
Hence, you search on the net for a balance transfer card, and see search results from every bank offering awesome balance transfer facilities!
Sounds lucky and probably seems like a gift from God right?!
Well, the situation is actually pretty complicated than it looks.
Obviously, you will be taking a very good step, as your old card’s balance gets wiped out with a single stroke.
Also, you are getting a good chance to escape paying high-interest amounts, as your new card is either coming with 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) intro period or a rate much lower than your previous card.
But where is the catch? Where is the big deal?

Why do the banks want you to do a balance transfer?

Well, they want you to do so because you start to owe them a good amount of money by doing a balance transfer.
If you have a credit card debt with bank X, then if you pay it off in the traditional way, then only bank X will get the money.
Now, once you transfer it to bank Y, then bank X gets paid, and so does bank Y! Therefore, in the middle of nowhere bank Y gets money from you, that was previously not included in the calculation!
Moreover, many banks charge a balance transfer fee. So, that’s an additional profit they are making.
This is very interesting I must say, how one debt can benefit multiple lenders at the same time, with you transferring the amount from one lender to another.
As an extra note, believe it or not, this is exactly the same way how debt collectors work!
They buy the debt from your original lender at a very low price, and collect from you the original amount (this amount can accrue interests), thereby making a huge profit!
The balance that we carry on our credit cards is pretty high and a big amount for us, but for the banks and the tall financial institutions, they seem like ants.
Not to harm the motivation to pay off debts, but these banks really love to play with our debt amounts.
They will just sit back, make a profit, and see you and me jumping around with our debts, doing a balance transfer, settlement, and what not.
That’s how it works. But, it doesn’t mean you should not execute your credit card balance transfer that you have planned for.
If they can take their share of profit, so can you.

Here’s how to do the best balance transfer to avoid mistakes and utilize the most of it:

a. Choose a balance transfer card that at least offers 6 months of 0% APR introductory period:

This should be your first preference if you plan to transfer your credit card debt.
There are quite a number of credit cards from reputed banks that are specially designed for balance transfer.
If you call your choice of banks and ask them to give you all the details about their available balance transfer credit card products and the specifications they carry, then you will not be dissapointed.
So, it’s your call, and therefore go for a card that offers a minimum of 6 months of 0%APR intro phase. Best, if you can grab those that carry 20 months or 1 and 1/2 years of 0% intro!
The more lengthy is this intro phase, more is the time you have to pay off your debts at no additional interest charges.

b. You may do multiple balance transfers, but make sure you are not holding onto your debt for too long:

I have already said earlier that the banks love to play with us. But, don’t you worry, as so can we play with them.
How, you might ask!
Well, suppose you transfer your old card debt to a new card that has a decent 0% APR time period. We can assume that to be 1 year, for instance.
If you can pay off your credit card debt within this time, then well and good. Else, after 10 or 11 months, you can again take out a new card from a different back and transfer the remaining debt to this card!
But, this can be a dangerous game, if your intentions are not to repay the debt. So, keep your head straight and only do multiple balance transfers, if you can’t pay off the debt at a single ‘go’, ethically!
If you do this for fun, then you will be caught in your own chains and your debt might start to accrue penalty fees, and other balance transfer fees, that many banks charge!

Don’t readily close your old card right after you transfer the balance:

This is a big mistake that many do!
Once they transfer their balance onto a new card, they straightaway close their previous card.
But why?!
Keeping the old card with a zero balance on it is actually very good for your credit portfolio, more so if the card has a pretty old history.
So, there’s absolutely no need in closing the cards if they charge no additional fees to keep them open.

Moreover, before I end, all I will say is, you have many balance transfer credit cards, to choose from, offered by many banks!
You have full freedom to choose the card that you find the best.
But make sure that your main motto always remains to pay off your debts.

Is Debt Consolidation Useful To You

Can debt consolidation be useful to you?

If you are thinking about what is debt consolidation or how does debt consolidation work, you have landed to the right article.

What is debt consolidation?

If you are thinking about what is debt consolidation or how does debt consolidation work, you have landed to the right article. Today, we will discuss various aspects of debt consolidation and also find out how it can be useful to you.

It’s a 3-minute read article. If you’re in debt, I’m sure you can spare 3 minutes from your busy schedule to know if debt consolidation is good for you. So here we go.

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is the process of combining all your unsecured debts into a single monthly payment. There are many ways to consolidate your debt, and that is considered to be beneficial to those whose financial conditions are bad and have multiple high-interest debts to pay off.

How does debt consolidation work?

Dealing with multiple unsecured debts with different due dates is tough. You have to handle so many things – minimum balance, penalties, and late fees. Just when you have paid one bill, another one pops up. Debt consolidation helps you to consolidate your loans into one bill with single due date and a fixed interest rate. The new interest rate is usually lower than what you’re paying right now. So it becomes easier for you to simplify your financial life.

Here’s how debt consolidation works in 6 simple steps in case of a program:

Step 1: You sign-up with a debt consolidation program and list all your unsecured debts.

Step 2: The debt consolidation company evaluates various components of your financial life:

  • Your income
  • Your expenses
  • Your savings
  • Your debts

Step 3: The debt counselors talk with you about your affordability and then negotiate with creditors for a new repayment plan where you have to pay a low-interest rate.

Step 4: The negotiation process continues.

Step 5: Debt counselors and your creditors reach an agreement and finalize a new repayment plan for you.

Step 6: Success! Finally, you consolidate your loans into a single monthly payment plan. You make payments to creditors till all your bills are repaid.

3 Basic ways to consolidate debts

1. Use the balance transfer method

When you have multiple credit card debts to repay, it can be very difficult to make the payments  and move ahead in a positive direction.

One way to resolve this issue is to transfer the balance on your existing credit cards onto another account. For your benefit, a lot of credit card companies promote their low-interest rates between 0% – 5% usually for the first 3 – 18 months. This can be of great help if you can pay off the entire balance within the introductory rate period.

2. Use the debt consolidation program

Enrolling yourself in a debt consolidation program is one option for you to get debt relief. In simple words, it is all about combining all your debts and putting them into one big payment plan.

3. Use the consolidation loan option

When you opt for this option, you can select the amount you need to take out and the repayment term that seems best for you. You can borrow up to a set amount with a personal loan or with a home equity loan. If the loan application is approved, the new loan can be paid off by making monthly payments according to the repayment term.

Why should you consolidate debts?

The prime reason can be it’s always better to have a single monthly payment instead of paying to several accounts.

With this as the focal point of action, consolidation could be a good choice as it can reduce monthly payments and usually secure a lower overall interest rate.

There’s also a catch in the debt consolidation process. You should be aware that along with savings, potential costs are also involved.

These will vary depending on the way you choose to consolidate debt.

You may have to pay lender fees when opting for a new loan like taking out a personal loan or looking to refinance your home loan to consolidate debts. Along with that, government charges and taxes may apply if you use your home loan to consolidate debts.

Likewise, usually, you need to pay balance transfer fees when you opt for balance transfer method and professional fees when enrolling in a consolidation program.

So by now, you must have understood why debt consolidation can be essential for you. Let’s discuss a few more points.

How can debt consolidation be useful to you?

As already mentioned, apart from combining your multiple debts into a single monthly payment, here are some more advantages

a. Manage your debts more easily

You can easily manage your payments and in a more convenient way than juggling several kinds of debts. You will have less hassle while dealing with paperwork as you get to receive only one set of statement, and of course, you have the advantage of dealing with a single point of contact. single lender with a

b. Simplify your debt repayment process

Debt consolidation could also make it simple for you to plan your budget since you know the fixed monthly payment you need to make. Instead of managing several separate repayments at various times of the month, you will only have to make a single monthly payment.

c. Save money as you consolidate it

When consolidating your debt on a low-interest rate, you can enjoy huge savings on the monthly payments and cut across hundreds even thousands of dollars from the total interest bill.

d. Save on ongoing fees

You can also save money on late payment penalties and fees when you try to repay debts with the help of consolidation

e. Lowers your interest rates

When your interest rate and monthly repayments are reduced, debt consolidation may help you become debt free sooner.

What are the pitfalls?

More and more people have pertinent questions to ask regarding debt consolidation programs, loans, and types. Is debt consolidation a good idea? Is debt consolidation bad for your credit? To properly get answers to the questions, have a look at its disadvantages as well. It can help you make your decision.

1. It can be misleading

The flaw of debt consolidation is that it can fool you and give rise to unhealthy financial habits. When people think of consolidating debts, they often feel good about themselves and their finances. They think that their interest rates would reduce and that monthly payment would be very easy to manage. By thinking so, many people overspend and incur debt.

Instead of properly planning their budget, the financial situation can be worsened by continual spending.

In the long run, it can only put you in a bad financial condition because of your added credit usage.

2. It can cost you a lot

If you are taking out a home equity loan to consolidate debt, it may seem to be a great idea but if you do not meet with your payments, your house can be taken away. With secured debt, you will always be tensed about what will happen if you are unable to repay the debt. On the other hand, with unsecured debt, such as a credit card, the worst that can happen is your rating and score may get dropped.

3. It doesn’t take you out from debt

Debt consolidation is not an ideal option if you want to fully get rid of debts. Having just one single payment to manage every month, you can think that you can easily get rid of debts. However, you may be tempted to use credit cards again after the previous debts are paid off.

So, it depends on you whether debt consolidation can be beneficial or harmful to you. Think carefully and decide!

4 Factors to check before you consolidate debt

Is debt consolidation good for me? If this question is coming into your mind several times in a day, then here are a few factors you need to check beforehand.

  • 1. Your overall debt amount: How much do you owe in total? Calculate your total outstanding balance for each debt. Add the late fees and fines in your final calculation.
  • 2. Type of debt you have: You can’t consolidate all debts. You have to choose only unsecured debts for debt consolidation.
  • 3. How long you have to pay: The tenure of the program matters a lot. The longer you pay, the more interest you have to pay in total.

  • 4. The new interest rate: How much interest rate do you have to pay after consolidating debts? Calculate that first and figure out if you can pay the new interest rate. Is it more than what you’re paying now? If so, then you shouldn’t consolidate all debts right now.

Can debt consolidation be useful when you have bad credit?

Yes. It can be useful when you consolidate debt with a program. You don’t need a good credit score to qualify for a debt consolidation program. However, in case of a debt consolidation loan, you need to have a good credit score. Otherwise, you would have to pay a high-interest rate on the debt consolidation loan. If you have tangible assets and you can pledge them as security against the loan, then you may qualify for a debt consolidation loan at a low-interest rate.

The third way to consolidate debt is through balance transfer credit cards. In that case also, you can’t qualify for good balance transfer credit cards without a good credit score. So, if you have bad credit, then enroll in a debt consolidation program without any delay. That’s the best way to consolidate debt.

Is online debt consolidation equally useful for you?

Online debt consolidation services make the consolidation process simple and user-friendly. You can enroll in the debt consolidation program within a few clicks. You can get free counseling over the phone, sign all the papers online, and list all your debts in a virtual portal. You can check the status of all your accounts 24*7 after joining the consolidation program. There is no need to go anywhere. You won’t lose any time.