If you have enough cash left over after subtracting expenses from income, consolidation will be presented along with other options. How do you know if a debt management plan will work in your favor?
When a counselor is knowledgeable and compassionate, these sessions can be enlightening and motivating. If he or she acts bored, judgmental or pushy, request a different counselor. First, the bulk of your balances should be in unsecured debts, such as credit and charge cards, personal loans and, sometimes, collection accounts.
Mistakes To Avoid If you want or need to consolidate, be aware of the following..
Don't use a home equity loans, says Roberta Lee-Driscoll, a certified financial planner in Honolulu; “if someone has five credit card debts and they consolidate it into a home equity line of credit that is a no-no.” That's because credit card debt is considered unsecured debt, meaning – there is no collateral to back it up.
But interest rates and other terms can vary greatly based on your credit score and other factors. An unsecured personal loan is an installment loan that is not backed by collateral such as a house or car.
Another mistake, she says, is consolidating credit card debt from multiple cards into another card.
People are often attracted to deals claiming “no interest” the first year.
The agency should be organized, send payments and statements on time and offer strong consumer education and support. The payment is usually around 2.5 percent of the total debt, though in hardship situations, there is some wiggle room. Why consolidate bills if you can't pay for basic expenses or if there are better alternatives?
You can stop the plan at any time, and you can also pay more -- and get out of debt faster -- when you have extra funds. You wouldn't, which is the reason consolidation begins with a counseling appointment where your entire financial situation is assessed.