In this debt-ridden society, many people are in severe financial difficulties. While bankruptcy is the last step in a long road of financial pressures for many, others opt for this solution too early, sometimes without considering suitable bankruptcy alternatives.
There are several options available for you if you are in debt and do not wish to declare bankruptcy. The most sought-after option is obtaining a debt consolidation loan and closing all existing credit lines.
Debt consolidation is where you take a new unsecured loan and use the funds to pay off your outstanding debts.
An unsecured debt consolidation loan will help you consolidate all your unsecured debt and avoid bankruptcy. This new money can save you hundreds of dollars per month if you choose to use your loan to pay off existing debt - especially high rate credit cards. Even if you don’t own a home, you could qualify for their debt consolidation loan.
Debt consolidation loans are repayable over a longer term at a relatively low interest rate. This means that the monthly repayments are lower. If the loan is secured on your property then the interest rate and payments may be even lower.
But you must compare the pros and of debt consolidation loans before taking the plunge. There are two options for consolidating debts – either you borrow money to pay off all your debts or seek assistance from a debt consolidation service. The decision on which option will meet your needs has a lot to do with whether you can qualify for qualify for low mortgage rates on debt consolidation loans , and the total amount of debt you need to consolidate.
Borrowing for debt consolidation immediately eliminates multiple debt payments. All debt collection actions eliminated. Most importantly, it won’t impact your credit rating; infact it may help improve your credit rating. Seeking debt consolidation services immediately decreases your monthly payments. It also brings to a stop, and in some cases, eliminates some interest and fees.
By getting this loan and using it to pay off credit cards, you’ll pay much less interest. Once you’ve paid off your credit cards or other debt, you’ll have a fresh start with your finances and can set up a budget within which you can live comfortably without ever having to run up credit card debt again.
Debt consolidation is an excellent tool that can help you manage and decrease your debt when you just can’t seem to do it on your own. There is no way that you can completely fix bad credit without the ability to reduce debt and pay your bills on time. However, once your debt has reached a certain level, this can seem almost impossible to accomplish.
A credit counsellor can provide you with the option of enrolling in a debt management plan, which provides immediate relief and allows repayment of debts without the high fees and negative ramifications of bankruptcy.
How to Get Financial Assistance
While bankruptcy may seem like an attractive, short-term solution to alleviating debt, the process usually hurts people more than it helps. It can take years for your credit to recover from such a maneuver; you may not be able to get financial assistance if and when you need it after filing for bankruptcy. Since this is the case, it can be helpful to be aware of what alternatives exist so that you can avoid bankruptcy but, at the same time, still help yourself get out of debt in a timely manner.
As soon as you feel like you are having financial troubles, create a budget. This will help you to see what income is coming in and how much money is leaving your hand as expenses. Take the time to track your spending and see the patterns that may emerge. Look at your problem areas and see what can be done about such issues. Avoiding bankruptcy may be as simple as adjusting your priorities and being aware of how much money you spend, where and when. Next, organize the way you pay your bills. Individuals who only pay the minimum amount of their bills will not only extend the amount of time that they spend in debt, but they will also have to pay additional fees in the form of interest rates and such. When one bill is paid off, take the amount of money that you would have been spent on that bill and apply it to your next bill, in order to get out of debt with that next bill. Try not to see that money as extra money, since you are still in debt and have additional bills that need to be paid.
Professional help may be the best route if you are not able to gain any relief from creating a budget and tackling your bills in an organized and focused manner. A debt management plan can be created for you by an informed and educated professional. Typically, these plans can last five years - but at the end of these five years you will be debt free, which is a great long-term goal to stay focused on throughout the term of your plan. The counselor that you work with will handle all of the correspondence with your creditors and that can be a big relief in and of itself, since you can stop getting calls and interruptions from debt collectors. Another option is that a debt consolidation loan that may be applicable to your case. If your credit rating is lower, it is likely that you will have to pay higher interest rates for this loan. With this loan, all of your bills are combined and you will make one payment each month, an amount which is typically much lower than the amount that you would have been paying for all of the separate bills and debts separately each month.
You can also look at your personal lifestyle and situation. If you have a large house, you may want to sell it and move to a slightly smaller house. The same can be said if you have a top of the line car - you can get a reliable, but less luxurious car - and you may be able to earn some money from selling the vehicle.
Things To Watch Out For With Services Online
Most of us are swamped with bills like credit cards and auto loans, so we’re turning to debt consolidation services to help us regain control of our finances. And it’s a good idea, since some debt consolidation services can also help you lower your interest rates and monthly payments. But there are some unscrupulous folks out there, and that means you need to watch out for scammers when you’re looking for a Debt Consolidation Service online. Here are three warning signs of a disreputable company:
Large, outrageous fees
Some companies charge $100 just for reviewing your account, often disguised as a "credit analysis." Others offer an "educational program" consisting of mostly free forms, letters and information gathered from Internet websites. The cost for this "education"? It can be as high as $1,500! Be wary of any company that pushes for up-front payment before you receive any type of service or materials.
"Your monthly payment will be half of what you’re currently paying!" "We’ll get your interest rate slashed to zero percent!" "You’ll be paying less in just two weeks!" These types of exaggerated promises are designed to lure you in, and they’re rarely true. No one can work miracles, and they certainly can’t work them in just two weeks. Expect it to take at least a month--and probably longer--before you see the effects of debt consolidation on your finances.
They make first contact
Any company that sends out SPAM, cold calls your home, or sends you junk mail is fishing for a fee. Chances are they only want your money, and once they get it they’ll offer very little in terms of services. Most reputable companies will wait for you to contact them.
You can always double check a Debt Counseling Service with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. You might also consider asking family and friends if they have any experience with the service.
However, your choice has to be based upon your financial situation, as well as fit in with your own belief system and lifestyle.