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Is a Debt Consolidation Loan the Best Way to Get Out of Debt?

Adam Tijerina

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A typical scenario for someone who is interested in consolidating their credit cards is someone who has spent foolishly and developed financially poor habits and wants someone to bail them out. And when you search online, you will find tons of ads and offers promising that they can help you consolidate your debt and save anywhere from 40-60% and lower your interest rates. Make sure you do your research before you sign on the dotted line. This article will provide tips on how to find the best ways to consolidate your credit card debt.

Before you start to think about combining all your bills into one payment, you need to commit to cut back on your spending which got you there in the first place.

You are going to have to develop good financial habits.

Your first goal should be to save money. By that I mean you should fund your emergency fund. It's hard to pay off your debts when you have to stop those payments to pay for a broken water heater or for a fender bender. You need to have money saved up for life's little emergencies so you can have total focus on paying off your debts.

If you are having trouble saving up 3-6 months in your emergency fund, shoot for at least $1000. That will be enough to cover most problems you may encounter.

Now to consolidate your debts. . .

You can apply for a low interest rate credit card and transfer all your high interest balances to the new lower rate card. The thing to watch out for when using this method is the balance transfer fees. Lately, credit card companies have been increasing these more and more. Look for the longest term possible on the balance transfer offer. You can also negotiate and ask for a longer term.

The more common method is to get a credit card debt consolidation loan. As long as you are current on your payments and have a good credit score, you should be able to easily qualify for a low interest loan. Make sure you shop around.

There are even loans available for people who do not own their homes. This option is safer because you do not risk losing your home if you default on your payments.

After you have all your options together, write them down on a piece of paper and compare them. Choose the best option. You may find that consolidating your credit cards is not the best option. You may find that you are better off paying each credit card on its own by getting your credit card company to lower the APR. If this is the case then you can start implementing a debt snowball to get those bills paid off.

Want to know how others have done it? You can read tips on how to consolidate credit card debt provided by people who have done it and freed themselves from the shackles of debt


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