Is Debt consolidation the right solution for you?

Today’s post is a guest post by David Brown,  a financial writer with Oak view law group

Have you been hit by the money bug? Are you suffocating under the burden of multiple debts? Well, debt consolidation can be one of your options. However, you need to know certain things before you decide to consolidate your debt. Read on to know more:

How can debt consolidation help me?

  • If you have a poor monthly income right now then debt consolidation provides you the option of making lower installments over a longer period of time. It might certainly suit your current financial condition
  • If you have several loans right now then you might be facing a tough time calculating interest rates. With debt consolidation you take a single loan to pay off all your debts. So you can manage your finances in a more organized manner.
  • You need not handle calls from the collection agency. The debt consolidation company does that for you.

What are the shortcomings of debt consolidation?

  • In most cases debt consolidation loans are secured loans. This means that you have to pledge some asset (your car or your home) as collateral for the loan. So you risk losing your assets in case you fail to pay back the loan. You should be confident about health, job and other unpredictable issues which can cause financial trouble. To be eligible for unsecured consolidation loans you must have a pretty good credit rating. Even if you manage to get a unsecured consolidation loan with a poor rating, it will probably not be big enough to pay all your debts.
  • Many people wrongly assume that all consolidation loans have low interest rates. However it’s a different story altogether. In most cases the payment is lower because of the extended term and not the interest rate. Secured consolidation loans sometimes have a low interest. But it can still cost you if you are taking a long term loan, say for 30 years. In such cases you have to pay interest for a long period of time and over the years the interest might grow even bigger than the original debt amount. Depending on your present debt, the interest rates for these consolidation loans can be more than those on the pre-existing debt. That is what makes debt consolidation a profitable business for your lenders.



How to Save When You’re in Debt

This is a guest post from Fred from Credit Card Finder. Fred helps people to compare and choose the best credit card online.

If you’re in debt with credit cards, or personal loans and a mortgage you may be feeling a little nervous when you think about your lack of savings – but does it make sense to direct funds towards a savings account when the interest earned there will be overshadowed by the interest you are paying on your debt. There are ways to save when you are in debt, and there are financial products which can help specifically with this situation. So here are five years you can save, even if you have debt.

1 Consolidate credit cards to one balance transfer card

Try and avoid using equity or a line of credit on your home loan to pay off your credit card debt because you are in fact just stretching out your credit card debt for another 30 years, when you can target it now and get it out of the way for good. Instead, find a balance transfer card with a low interest rate which will allow you to transfer all of your credit cards to be charged one low rate. In this way you have your debt under control, you have a manageable monthly repayment and you have a payment plan which will help you get rid of your credit card debt.

2 In debt to 9%

Many financial planners and advisors will use the 9% rule – if you have debt which is charging you interest of more than 9%, you should direct as much of your income as you can towards paying down that debt. (more…)


Wednesday Links – February 24, 2010

Links ImageWhile I haven’t been doing a good job of writing lately, I’ve been doing tons of reading.  Thus I thought it might be time to start doing a weekly links post, so here’s the inaugural post:

  • Miranda Marquit writes about FDIC coverage.  Interesting questions about what isn’t covered, which might surprise you.
  • FreeFromBroke discusses the CARD act.   This of course would have been a much better piece of legislation if the companies in question weren’t given a 9 month window to undermine all the changes.
  • A great article about couponing in Canadian Finance Blog.  I have tried so many times to become a “couponer.”  I feel like I”m leaving a ton of money on the table.  That $1 coupon is worth more than a dollar of cash!
  • I thought I’d go ahead and mention an article I did on bank accounts and credit scores.  I actually didn’t know a lot of this information before I did the research.  Summary:  Bank accounts don’t affect credit scores, but lenders have access to other scores that bank accounts do affect.
  • Weakonomics discusses inflation and the stock market.  While I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m not worried about inflation, I do agree that the stock market is a good hedge against inflation.