Not all of us are born with a silver spoon in our mouths. Truthfully, even those who have lots of money aren’t necessarily great at controlling their spending. Whether you are rich or poor, debt consolidation can help you deal with your financial follies. This article will show you how.
If you’re trying to pay down your debt, try borrowing a bit from your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement account. Be careful with this, though. While you’re able to borrow from your retirement plan for low interest, failing to pay it back as you agreed, losing your job, or being unable to pay it all back, the loan will be considered dismemberment. Your taxes and penalties will then be assessed as for why funds were withdrawn early.
Avoid debt elimination arbitrators. These companies love to claim that your debt can be eliminated, though in reality they know that only bankruptcy can result in total elimination. The best these companies can do is reduce the debt you owe. Surprisingly, this is no different than you could do by calling and negotiating with creditors yourself.
Try using a debt consolidation service to pay down your debt. When you look for one, make sure they aren’t charging high fees. You can check with a local consumer protection agency like your local BBB. You may have to make sacrifices via using extra lines of credit and harming your credit rating, but they can help get your debt paid off. They generally require a single monthly payment.
Before going with any specific debt consolidation company, check their records with the Better Business Bureau. There are a lot of sketchy “opportunities” in the debt consolidation business. It’s easy to go down the wrong path if you aren’t careful. The BBB and its reports can help you weed out the bad from the good.
Before choosing a debt consolidation company, ask how the counselors of the company are paid. If the answer is “on a commission basis”, then you may be best to look elsewhere. Someone working for commission will say or do many things that are less of a help for you and more of a help to their overall income.
Check out different debt consolidation companies. While you may think they all do the same thing, that is not true. Each has their own different set of rules, regulations and fees. Before you sign up with any of them, make sure you compare them to find out which is the best for you.
You want a low, fixed rate for your consolidation loan. An adjustable rate loan will leave you guessing on what your payment will be each month. Look for for a loan that gives favorable terms in the long run and will leave you in a better financial state once it is paid off.
Know if you are merely getting an official budget. If you sign up with a debt consolidation plan, you might be set up with a budget, so you know how much you will have to pay each month towards all of your bills. If that’s what you’re expecting, proceed, but know that some other debt consolidation companies offer you a loan instead.
Call your creditors and ask if you can negotiate lower interest. A lot of creditors are going to allow you to pay off 70 percent of your balance all at once. Doing so will not harm your credit score and may actually help it.
Try using cash for your different purchases once you implement debt consolidation strategies. It’s important to now steer clear of spending on credit cards again. This is exactly what got you into this mess in first place! If you pay with cash then you can’t spend more than you have.
Understand that different debt consolidation plan may have differing levels of fees involved. These fees can be rather costly, so ask about them up front before making any decisions. If it appears you are getting hit with a landslide of fees, you may be better off choosing a different option.
What do you plan to do with the extra money you have each month once your payments are reduced? The best bet is to put it into a savings account. You never know when you might break a leg and need the money to pay off your medical bills, instead of going into more debt.
Ask how the debt consolidation agency you are interested in gets its funding. Reliable professionals will explain how they get their funding through contributions from different creditors. If your debt consolidation counselor does not want to give you any details about funding, you should try finding a more reliable professional.
If a creditor does not accept your first offer, ask if you can work together to come up with an offer that is acceptable to both you and your creditor. Many times a creditor will accept a second or third offer because they realize that you are indeed trying to work out a solution.
Another option to consider when consolidating your debt is that of borrowing cash from family. You would only have one debt to pay each month this way. You may also be able to get a lower interest rate than you would from more than one creditor.
You are usually looking at a 3 to 5 year window to becoming debt free when you work with a debt consolidation company. If the counselor you talk to does not mention anything about getting you out of debt in less than five years, find another professional who can offer you a better strategy.
Find a credit counselor or representative at the debt consolidation company that you like and trust. Get their extension, so that when you call, you can talk to the same person every time. This also helps the person you’re speaking to, so that you don’t have to start at the beginning each time you talk.
Regardless of how you ended up in debt, the fact is that you are having trouble paying it off. That is why you found this article on debt consolidation and why you read it in its entirety. Now you just need to put the knowledge you have gained to use to get rid of that debt and free yourself from burden.