Financial Tips | Debt Management

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1/15/09

How to Consolidate Your Debt

A consolidation loans is a loan, generally taken out by college students upon graduation, which is used to pay off various student loans that you have accumulated during your years as a college student. However, a consolidation loan is not restricted only to student loans. In other words, you can take out a consolidation loan for your regular debts (such as credit card debt).

The effect of a consolidation loan is that upon consolidation you have to pay back only one loan (the consolidated loan) instead of the numerous loans that the graduate took out during college or the various debts that you have as a result of credit cards. Make no mistake, the amount of the debt that you owe does not decrease. The only change that occurs is that you now have to make only one payment instead of several. Additionally, because after you consolidate you have to deal with only one company, your loan payments and interest rate are both lower.

Debt consolidation can offer many great benefits, such as a lower monthly student loan and credit card payments, as the case may be, reduced interest rates, the prevention of being assessed late and over-the-limit fees, and faster debt reduction, to name a few. However, there are also some disadvantages that accompany debt consolidation. In regard to consolidation loans for credit cards, you may have a freeze of your credit using privileges, closed credit accounts, and consolidation fees. Knowing how to weigh the positives against the negatives and becoming completely informed (or as well informed as possible) about consolidation are two important factors you need to consider before making a decision as to whether or not you should consolidate your student loans or your credit card debt.

The easiest way to consolidate your loans, whether they are student loans or credit card debts, is by contacting a debt consolidation company. Keep in mind that there are companies that deal exclusively with student loans and there are companies that deal exclusively with credit card debt. Therefore, make sure that you have contacted the correct company for the product that you need.

Once you have chosen a company, you will have to give the company all of your loan information for the loans that you want to consolidate. Basically, the company will either pay off all of your loans and then you pay back that company at a particular interest rate, or the company will talk to all of your creditors and work out a lower monthly payment that is combined with all of your other monthly payments so that a total lump sum payment is calculated that you pay each month.

That is the gist of what you have to do. Keep in mind that the entire process is relatively simple, but it can be tedious. Therefore, be patient and you will be rewarded.

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