Bill after bill rolls in each month, and you might be having trouble trying to get all the bills paid on time. What can you do to make it easier on you, yet still be responsible to get all the bills paid? Consider debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is taking one’s outstanding bills and moving them to one account to have only one bill each month. Many have found that with debt consolidation, they are able to get out of debt much faster than to keep paying high interest on credit cards.
There are many benefit to consolidating your debt. Some of the advantages to consolidating your debt may be:
ñ Only one bill to pay each month. No stressing out over which bill to pay due to lack of funds.
ñ Elimination or reduction of late payment fees if you have a hard time paying the bills on time.
ñ Interest rates are often reduced. Many times the interest rates will be reduced by 50% or more.
ñ No more debt collection calls if you are receiving them now.
ñ Improves your credit score.
ñ On the road to becoming debt free faster. Since your interest rate will be lower, you can afford to make more than the minimum payment on the account, and become debt free years faster than you could if you just paid the accounts each month directly to the creditor.
So what should you do if you want to consolidate your debt? Well first you have to know what your debt is. The main thing people do not realize is that they should start first by looking at their credit report. Many do not realize it, but under federal law, a consumer can receive a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus(TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian). It is a wise idea to order one from all three bureaus so you can compare each one to each other. Once you have obtained your copy, look it over and make sure that there are not any errors on it. There is no reason for you to be paying someone else’s debt. If you do not find any errors, you are able to move on to the next step. Should you find errors, contact the bureau that you received the credit report from and dispute any charge or charges that are not yours. Keep in mind that you can not just call and state there was a mistake on your report. You will need evidence to back this up, such as bills or receipts or other documentation.
Next you will have to figure up all your bills that you would like to consolidate. If you are able to consolidate them all, then this step will be pretty easy. However, if you are only able to consolidate a few, it is best to pick the ones that have the highest interest in order to save the most. The easiest way to do this is make a list of all bills with the interest rate that you are currently paying on them and the minimum that is usually due with them.
The third step is finding a place to consolidate your bills. There are many options that are available. You can ask the bank that you bank at, or you may be able to find some good deals online. Do your research first. Do not take the first offer that you get. Make sure that the company that you will be working with is reputable and has never scammed anyone before.
Once you have found a place that is reputable and you would like to work with them to help you consolidate your debt, you can apply for a loan. Make sure before you apply that you meet all the requirements. Some lenders will not offer any loan to someone who has a low credit score, while others may not lend if there is a bankruptcy listed on the credit report. Research first to find out what they require before filling out any papers.
If you have been accepted for a loan, use that money as soon as you receive it to pay off your debts. If your debts are too large to cover, then go with the debts that have the highest interest rate on them and work your way down. The longer you sit on the money, the easier it is to spend, so it is wise to send payment for the bills you have as soon as you can.
Consolidating your debt can make you reach your goal of being debt free even faster. Interest rates should be lower, and with only one monthly payment, it will be easier to pay with less stress. Debt consolidation is a great idea for those that want to get ahead in life and out of debt.
*The above content is for informational purpose only. It does not constitute professional financial advice. If you have more questions, please reach out to a financial advisor for more information.