Why Debt Consolidation Loans Are Risky

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It happens to almost everyone. They find themselves maxed out on credit with nowhere to turn. There are many option these days, but consumers should beware of debt consolidation loans.

They may provide a short term benefit and limited relief, but the best solution to get out of debt is to not only eliminate current debt, but find and work with someone that will help you to change your spending and credit habits. Sound advice and a realistic plan will allow you to get out of debt, and ensure you don’t face the same situation in the future.

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These type of loans were designed to put all your debts into a single account. They promise resolution for debt problems and credit repair, and the lending company is given authority to negotiate with all your existing creditors making it possible for them to create more damage than solutions.

For example this type of loan for an amount of $30,000, could be used to pay off 3 $10,000 credit cards, or two $5,000 credit cards and one $20,000 student loan, or whatever combination of loans you may have. Although the thought of a single loan with a single company is nice, there are some risks for the consumer which may not be immediately apparent.

Most obviously, without a change in spending and credit habits, the person may soon accumulate more debt on all the credit cards that currently have a zero balance. Now, they not only owe the debt consolidation loan of $35,000, before they know it they have maxed out their credit cards and are once again back to $10,000 balance, making their total debt $45,000.

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Another concern is the interest rate and fees paid for these debt consolidation loans versus credit card and other loans. Student loans are typically at a low interest rate, and the rates offered for a debt consolidation loan may be higher, resulting in more money paid out to the lending company and less savings for the consumer.

If the interest rate on a student loan is 5%, and the interest rate on a debt consolidation loan is 8%, you are paying an additional 3% by consolidating your loan. Also, a debt consolidation loan may offer the same or lower interest rate than a credit card, but it could have hidden annual and processing fees which will ultimately make it more expensive for the consumer.

In order to eliminate debt effectively, borrowers must actually pay a greater amount each month but at the lowest interest rates available. Also, they must change the way they see and use credit, because without a change in spending patterns and behaviors, the amount of money they owe over time will only increase.

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In many of these situations, a debt management plan may be the best answer. A debt management plan will help the consumer pay down existing debt, working with a credit counseling agency who takes the monthly debt payment and negotiates and distributes the payment to the various lenders. Debt management plans are often non-profit agencies, and they negotiate with lenders to get the lowest possible repayment rates and fees. They work on the borrowers behalf, and the borrower is able to make a single monthly payment, and over time eliminate their debt.

Get the debt advice that will be of most value to you today. By following some simple steps, you can avoid getting a debt consolidation loan while starting a debt free life now!

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