Is consolidating debt bad
Before you do, let's take a look at the pros and cons of each option.
With a credit card consolidation loan, you work with a lender to combine all of your unsecured debt into one monthly payment.
Debt consolidation is a third-party payment system. Agencies range in quality so make sure you shop around. Most debt consolidation plans are structured the same way. They ensure member agencies pass rigorous standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation or another approved third party, and that their counselors pass a comprehensive certification program. Financial institutions don't give preferential treatment to any one organization, nonprofit or otherwise.
However, if you just happen to have accounts with creditors that don't offer any concessions, that benefit is reduced. Look for a nonprofit credit counseling organization that belongs to either the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA).
If you have enough cash left over after subtracting expenses from income, consolidation will be presented along with other options. How do you know if a debt management plan will work in your favor?
When a counselor is knowledgeable and compassionate, these sessions can be enlightening and motivating. If he or she acts bored, judgmental or pushy, request a different counselor. First, the bulk of your balances should be in unsecured debts, such as credit and charge cards, personal loans and, sometimes, collection accounts.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans with overwhelming credit card debt, you may have looked into a credit card consolidation loan to tackle your debt.
And while a consolidation loan for credit cards can be a good option when you have a lot of bills to pay off, there are plenty of alternatives to consider. Review your current financial picture and goals with a financial advisor or specialist certified credit counselor to determine the best plan for your needs.
Remember, you’ll need to not only put together a budget, but stick to it as well.Arnold Graf, a certified financial planner with NEBSCO Financial Services, says debt consolidation may be a good idea for people who have sufficient equity in property and are credit worthy, but adds “usually people that consolidate are close to bankruptcy and are trying to push their debt further out as long as they can.” Consolidating debts is basically just buying time, he says, adding that “you have to consider whether you are willing to pay less now but for a longer period of time.” Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says, “Debt consolidation is always a good idea on paper.You are presumably taking higher interest credit card debt and rolling it into a lower interest loan [so] instead of paying many different debts each month you are paying one.” However, she said “in practice, unless you are a very disciplined person debt consolidation isn’t going to work.” “We see the most well-meaning people trying to be financially savvy and roll all their bills into a debt consolidation loan,” says Cunningham, but come the next year they are back to running up debt on a credit card that they rolled into the loan while still having to paying the debt consolidation payments.Another mistake, she says, is consolidating credit card debt from multiple cards into another card.People are often attracted to deals claiming “no interest” the first year.