Is it better to consolidate credit card debt yourself or seek the services of a debt consolidation company? Learn how to reduce your monthly debt payments.
Advantages of Debt Consolidation
The advantages? Debt consolidation firms argue that borrowing cash at a better interest rate than to pay debts off with your own credit card at a better interest rate can save you money over the long term, or save you money in the short term by helping you better manage your finances. Other advantages include: having fewer late payments, having more affordable monthly payments, and fewer chances that you will be late on a payment.
Disadvantages of Debt Consolidation
Does debt consolidation loans have disadvantages? Consolidation loans come with a variety of disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that the longer you go with high monthly payments, the greater your chance of defaulting. This can be a substantial loss to your credit score, which may affect future purchases. Consolidation loans are typically not meant to last forever because they often have an early pay out penalties.
How to Reduce Monthly Debt Payments
What are the best ways to lower your monthly payments while still paying off your debts?
Get a Debt Consolidation Loan
One of the best options is to get a debt consolidation loan from a debt settlement firm. Debt settlement firms can help
you settle your credit card debt for a fraction of the current amount owed. Because unsecured loans carry variable rates of interest, the amount that they settle for is also variable. It is a balancing act between satisfying the customer and getting enough money settled so as not to default. To do this, many firms will negotiate with creditors on behalf of their customers.
Another option is a bankruptcy process. A bankruptcy can wipe out a large portion of your debt relief potential but it is important to realize that this route is very time consuming and expensive. For most people, a much better way to get debt relief is to use the help of a debt settlement firm in a bankruptcy or debt relief plan rather than file for bankruptcy.
Refinance Your Mortgage
A third option is debt consolidation through a refinance of your mortgage. Many people cannot qualify for a refinance on their own. Banks usually require at least some equity to qualify. Using a refinance can lower your monthly payments but it can also increase your interest rate. It is best to find a mortgage broker to help you find a mortgage that offers the best deal.
You may also be able to lower your payments by working with your creditors. Some lenders offer incentive programs for people who can consolidate their credit card balances into one account. These programs are designed to help those with multiple accounts work with their lenders to lower their interest rates. This allows you to payoff all of your debts at once which will save you a lot of time and money. Most lenders will approve a debt consolidation loan, but they will charge a high interest rate as well.
Debt Management Plan
There are also companies that offer debt management plans to those who are unable or unwilling to consolidate. These plans allow you to transfer balances between several credit cards to a debt consolidation company that will pay them off for you. You can use the savings from the new company to make extra payments and lower your overall debt balance. This can reduce the stress of having to manage several debts but it can take several years to work through all of your accounts.
No matter what option you choose you should know that the best way to settle your current obligations is to contact your credit cards companies and negotiate a settlement. With each creditor you owe money, there is a process that must be followed to settle the account. It is best to hire an attorney so that they can give you the best advice possible. It may cost a little bit of money but the alternative to using debt settlement is bankruptcy and you do not want to ruin your credit rating or end up in jail.