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Debt Consolidation - What Are The Options?

[Apr 16, 2008.]


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. It will depend on how much debt you have, your credit rating, and how quickly you need to do something about it that will largely determine which course of action may be best for you.

Before you take any other steps, though, you should take a look at your credit report first. You can get one free copy per year from each of the major credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Mistakes can easily find their way onto your credit report so you should look it over carefully to make sure it is correct. A single mistake here can cause you to unnecessarily be put into a higher interest rate, or it could even cause your loan to be rejected. Make sure you follow the necessary steps to correct any errors.

Reconfigure Your Spending Habits

If your debt is not real serious, you may be able to straighten it out simply by tightening your budget. It will also be necessary to pay more down each month toward those bills to reduce the debt, and the amount of interest as quickly as possible. It also means not buying those extras each paycheck until the debt is under control - and the spending, too.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If much of your debt is from credit cards, then you may be able to solve the problem by getting a balance transfer credit card. It should be recognized, though, that it is only half the problem - the other half is spending money you do not have. A balance transfer credit card could let you transfer your existing credit card debt to a new card and give you 0% APR interest for up to 15 months. Watch out for any fees attached to the transfers. Many credit cards do not have these fees - get one that does not have them. After you make the transfer, though, it is important that you destroy that other credit card - for continued control of your debt.

Personal Loans

If your debt is larger than what a credit card can handle, you will need to get a personal loan for your debt consolidation. You can put all your debt onto one loan and get one single payment for all of them. Be careful, though, about stretching out the time too far. Be sure to go online and get a number of quotes from lenders in order to find the best deal.

Home Equity Loan

If you have been living in your home for a while, and have some equity in it, this would be the best way to go. The reason - the lowest interest rate possible - and the longest amount of time to pay it back. This type of loan can also give you a lot of extra cash, too, for other projects at the same time. A possible danger is that you may tend to think that your debts are taken care of after you get a home equity loan, and possibly max out your debt again. Care needs to be taken not to let that happen again.

Debt Consolidation Counseling

For those who may be facing bankruptcy, then you definitely should consider seeing a debt counselor. They can give you the instruction in finances that you may need to show you what is needed to get them under control, or to declare bankruptcy - hopefully that won't be necessary.

More Information:

  • How To Get A Home Equity Loan For Debt Consolidation

    As many people have found out, it is not hard to get into debt. In fact, if you are not careful just about anybody can do it. Getting out of debt, however, is another matter. It takes longer to pay it off than it does to make the debt.


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