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debt consolidation

With a debt consolidation loan, you pay off several old debts with one loan. Typically, borrowers use one large loan with a mid to low interest rate to pay off several smaller loans with higher interest rates. But if you’re not careful, you could find yourself in even more debt instead. You have to use a debt consolidation loan in the right way to get the most out of it.

Understand Why You Went Into Debt In The First Place

Why are you in debt? Do you have a spending problem? Do you lack a budget which makes you spend more money than you earn every month? Are you using your credit cards to facilitate a large or lavish lifestyle that is above typical means? Are you missing a fully-funded emergency fund, forcing you to reach for the credit cards at every little bump in the road?

These are some of the most popular reasons that we are in debt with credit cards and other consumer loans. The problem is that a debt consolidation loan will not help you unless you fix these underlying issues first. If you do not fix these issues by starting a budget, saving for an emergency fund, and the like you could find yourself back in debt after a debt consolidation loan if you are not careful. Then, all of your hard work will have been for nothing.

Think Before You Get a Credit Card Consolidation Loan

Debt Consolidation Loans

Are you paying off your debt with a debt consolidation loan? Or, are you simply shuffling it around? You have to be honest with yourself about why you took out a debt consolidation loan in the first place if you want to be successful with it and not go back into debt.

Make a vow not to touch your credit cards again after borrowing money with a debt consolidation loan. Cut up your credit cards. Freeze them in a cup of water in your kitchen freezer. Set up a budget and an emergency fund to ensure that you do not go back into debt.

Focus On Your One Debt

Debt Consolidation Loans

One of the best things about a debt consolidation loan is that it allows you to focus on only one debt. The loan lets you pay off high interest rate credit cards and have only one loan to focus your energy and attention on. Now you can strive to pay off your debt consolidation loan as fast as possible. Do you need to take a second job? Can you squeeze savings out of your family’s budget and apply it to your single loan?

Now is the time to take advantage of having only one payment, one loan, a lower interest rate, and other benefits. There are few problems that cannot be solved with an intense and singular focus. That’s the beauty of a debt consolidation loan. It provides you with the ability to have that focus on that one loan, and you should see improvements in your credit report as a result. If you have bad credit, be extra careful to make your payments on time, every time. Debt consolidation loans for people with below-average credit typically come with higher interest rates (if they’re available at all), making it especially important that you keep up with payments.

Photo Credit: debtconsolidation, © iStock/Courtney Keating, © iStock/Grufnar

Hank Coleman
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