Help You Get Out Of Debt
Bill consolidation loans can lower rates and help you pay of your debt faster. However, you want to be sure that you factor in the cost of fees, find low rates, and pick a short term loan. These tips will ensure that you don’t end up spending more by consolidating.
Depending on the type of loan you choose, fees can vary from thousands to nothing. Refinancing a home mortgage and using the equity to pay off bills is appealing to many. But the thousands that it costs to refinance should be considered, especially if you aren’t getting a better rate on your mortgage.
Home equity loans and lines of credit can be used with little or no fees. Their rates are higher, but for smaller amounts they can still be cheaper. Personal loans are also an option since they still beat high interest credit cards.
Make Rates Pay
Before consolidating your bills, make sure that your loan rate will be lower that what you are currently paying. This might mean that you don’t consolidate all your loans. For example, student loans often have the lowest rates possible, better than a mortgage rate.
If you can only consolidate part of your debt, pay off the accounts with the highest interest rates for the greatest savings.
Go Short – On Terms
Choosing shorter terms on your loan will save you money on interest costs. While smaller payments are tempting, the long term interest payments can easily be more than what you pay now. Credit card payments are set to pay off your balance in five years. So if you can financially handle your current payments, pick a five term loan.
Shopping online for a loan can also help you save money in interest and loan costs. Many financing companies offer more competitive rates online than in their conventional offices. Request quotes from several lenders and look at their terms. Even a difference as little as an eighth of a percent can financially make a big difference.
Close Paid Accounts
To protect your credit score, make sure to close accounts once they are paid off. This reduction in your available credit will set you up for better rates when you do choose to open a new account, such as a mortgage.
Finding The Best Companies
Bill consolidation companies handle payments for your accounts and lower your rates. They can also negotiate waivers for late payment fees. Before signing up with a company, you will want to compare rates and terms. You also need to monitor your payment statements to be sure there are not errors.
Bill consolidation companies, also known as debt management plans or DMP, eliminate your short term debt within five years. They also lower your interest rates with creditors, who set predetermined rates. All companies will get you the same low rate. In some cases, creditor will also agree to waive any late payment or other fees if you are working with a DMP.
You pay the bill consolidation company one payment, which includes their fee. They then pay the accounts you have agreed to consolidate. Interest rates from some debts, including student loans or mortgages, cannot be reduced and do not make sense to hand over.
Fees are based on each account handled. Monthly fees are the most common practice, but some companies charged large upfront fees. Since many clients drop out of the plan before completion, monthly fees are the better option.
Some creditors will report to the credit reporting agency your use of a DMP. This may temporarily prevent you from opening new accounts. But after several months of regular payments, your credit may be in good enough standing to qualify to open credit card accounts. After a year, you may also be able to apply for a mortgage.
The best bill consolidation companies solely handle debt management. Companies that offer other services, such as debt negotiation or bankruptcy, don’t always provide the best service.
When you investigate companies, ask when your accounts will be paid off. Reputable companies will give you a different date for each account since they know what the current rates are. All the need to know from you are your account balances and creditors’ names.
As with any purchase, you also want to compare fees. By requesting quotes from several companies, you will quickly find out what is reasonable.
Paperwork mix-ups, defunct business, or poor service can all result in missed or late payments on your credit history. To protect yourself from a lower credit score, continue to monitor your bill statements. At the first sign of a problem, call your creditor and bill consolidation company to resolve the issue. This preventative approach can save you hundreds in fees and higher interest rates.
Debt Management Programs
A debt consolidation company takes the hassle out of managing your debt. They handle your monthly payments, negotiations with your creditors, and repayment strategy for a small fee. Through reduced rates on your bills, debt management companies can save you years on debt payments. But before you sign up with a bill consolidation company, make sure they are skilled and have reasonable rates.
Signs Of A Good Bill Consolidation Company
Bill consolidation companies work to get you out of debt. A good debt management company will have already established relationships with creditors, so they will know what the standard rate reduction will be. All debt management companies will get you the same interest rate reduction on credit card accounts.
With experience, bill consolidation companies can give you specific dates on when your accounts will be paid off. They don’t even need your account number to tell you want month and year each account will be debt free.
Professional debt managers will also be open about their fees. Companies will either charge you an upfront fee that is partially refundable at the end of the program or a small monthly fee while you are in the program.
Evaluating Debt Management Programs
When comparing debt management programs, look for details. You want a program that can give you specifics about pay off dates and fees. Also evaluate how fast of a response you get to your questions.
Fees are a cost to consider. Upfront fees can be cheaper, especially if you get a partial refund at the end. However, many people leave the program before they are completely out of debt, losing out on services and the refund. A pay as you go system offers you the most flexibility.
Besides outrageous fees, also watch out for companies that try to get you to consolidate all your bills. For student loans and mortgages, debt management companies cannot get you a better rate. But if they handle the account for you, they will charge you an additional fee.
Be wary of companies that ask for your sensitive financial information, such as account or social security numbers. These companies are either scammers or inexperienced.