You have that “American Dream" - the 2.5 kids, the puppy dog, the white picket fence, and the big back yard. But don’t forget the two cars, the impending 2.5 college educations, the kids’ clothes, toys, and schooling, along with clothes, vacations, furniture, Christmases, Hanukahs, and every other expense on your credit-card statement.
The reality of the cost of living in America, or anywhere in the Western world, can be a hard pill to swallow, especially if you don’t have the cash flow to help that pill go down.
What’s the easiest solution then for most Americans?
Go into debt. (That’s how the American Dream can quickly transform into the American Nightmare. )
If you’re in this situation, stop beating on yourself.
Kicking yourself while you’re down for things you’ve done in the past is no way to solve your problems in the future. Instead, consider ways that you can constructively and positively get rid of your debt.
No - one way is not to open up another credit card and transfer your debt there. That only means higher interest payments for you down the road.
No, the best way in many cases for you to solve your debt problem is to take advantage of what’s probably right under your feet as you read this.
Close. What’s under your carpet?
An old hardwood floor?
OK, now you’re getting colder as well as silly.
Let me help you with a huge clue — you’ve been paying a monthly mortgage on it for the last x amount of years.
taht's right, you've got it — your house!
Use the equity that you’ve built up in your home to your advantage. That’s where a home equity line of credit or a home equity loan comes in, to help you consolidate your debts.
A home equity line of credit is like loan that works like your credit cards. You take out a lump sum of credit, based on your equity, to pay off your debts and then you pay off what you owe monthly or just pay the interest.
Obviously, however, for someone who’s had problems with credit cards in the past, the line of credit might not be the best.
Instead, there’s the basic home equity loan. Home equity loans act like lump sums that you can use to pay off your debt in one fell swoop.
With home equity loans, you agree to take out a loan for the set amount of money that you need, say, to pay off the total amount of your credit card debt. That loan is in essence taken out on your house!
Of course, that’s not your money. You need to make payments every month for the term of the loan, like you would for your regular mortgage or for your car loan.
So what’s the benefit of that if you still have to pay a regular monthly amount?
Well, chances are, those monthly payments have less interest attached to them, so your total monthly payments would be less than they would be on your typical plastic cards - and in many cases it does work out to be considerably less!
Plus, instead of having to send out two, three or even ten checks to all of the credit card companies that you owe money to, you only need to send out one check to the loan bank.
Duncan Roberts is a seasoned Debt Consolidation guru - having had to do it so many times himself already. You can learn more Debt Consolidation Tips and Tricks at Debt Consolidation .