You’ve probably scoffed at the cheesy adverts on TV telling you how taking out a debt consolidation loan can give you financial freedom. However, if you do have debt, a consolidation loan could actually save you money.
So how does a debt consolidation loan work and how can it be beneficial to the millions of people who are paying high interest credit on credit cards, store cards, and bank overdrafts?
Basically, it is a loan where all your existing debts are lumped together and paid off, leaving you with just one debt and with just one monthly repayment.
Many people look to consolidate their debts as - if it is done properly - you are left with lower interest charges and lower monthly payments. This is because you are looking for a consolidation loan which will reduce the amount of interest you are currently being charged.
And by paying lower interest charges, you’ll also be saving money in the short term as well as having one manageable monthly outgoing as opposed to a myriad of monthly demands. Even this in itself can have a physiological benefit - looking at your bank account and seeing just one payment going out every month instead of a hotchpotch of debt, can give you a better perspective when dealing with your finances (and your budget).
To see if a debt consolidation loan could lower your monthly debt repayments, tot up all your existing debts (such as monies outstanding on your credit cards, overdraft, existing loans, store cards etc). Then also make a note of the total amount you need to repay every month to service these debts.
Get several quotes for a loan that would pay off all your credit and compare the monthly repayments against current monthly repayment. This will give you a good idea as to whether a debt consolidation loan could be right for your circumstances.
If you do decide to go ahead and take out a debt consolidation loan, however, be aware that while it can be the answer to your finance nightmares, if you blindly go ahead and consolidate your debts without firstly understanding how you got into debt in the first place, in the long term, you will find yourself in even more financial difficulty.
So, take a realistic look at how you got into debt (eg are you living beyond your means?) and use the exercise as a never-to-be-repeated-again learning experience. And, most importantly, if you are looking to consolidate your debts, you should realise that a consolidation loan does not clear your debt, it simply moves all debts into a simpler repayment vehicle and it is not an excuse to go out and blow the lot.