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Is Debt Consolidation For Me?

By Jeff Dragt

People with large debts always assume they just canít afford to get out from under their debts, so they let them pile up dollar-by-dollar, year-by-year. No one has to live with large debts, there is always a way out. Debt consolidation is for anyone who has debts and cannot currently afford to make their monthly payments. Itís so easy for multiple monthly payments to add up to the point where you just canít do it anymore. So, you put it off for one month, and one month becomes three, three months become six, and before you know it you canít possibly catch up. Debt consolidation can get you out of the debt trap that youíre in. Anyone who has debts that they cannot pay should at least consider debt consolidation before taking more drastic and permanent steps.

Only in very extreme cases is bankruptcy a good idea, most people can handle their debt through consolidation. Bankruptcy will leave a scar on your credit history for a long time, much longer than the seven years that people say it will. Unless a professional advises you that there really is no other way out of your debt, bankruptcy isnít the answer! Debt consolidation is the perfect alternative to bankruptcy because with consolidation you can pay off your debts, and while it isnít instant, it will improve your credit in the long run.

Debt consolidation works by gathering all of your debt, and working with the people you owe money to, to reduce interest and even take a small portion of the principal amount due off the bill. Doing this with each bill will lower your personal debt up to twenty percent, and when you are talking about large amounts of debt twenty percent can be a lot! Twenty percent can mean the difference between doable and bankruptcy. Twenty percent can mean keeping your home or having it foreclosed upon!

The first step after gathering all your debts and reducing them as much as possible is to do an income to debt comparison. This ratio will determine if debt consolidation really will work for you. For instance, if you make fifty thousand dollars a year and only have ten thousand dollars worth of debt, youíll definitely be able to work out arrangements because your debt doesnít greatly outweigh what you can bring in over a couple years time. But, if your income is only twenty five thousand dollars a year and you have a two million dollar debt, it may be difficult to ever get on top of that. Your debt needs to be something that you can realistically expect to pay off within a few years time. A debt consolidation professional can take a look at your specific debt to income ratio and let you know if you are a good candidate, of if you really need to consider bankruptcy as a last resort. Not paying on the debts isnít an option, because bad credit robs you of your buying power, and you need that!

Even if you think that your debt is outrageously high, you should still consult with a debt coordinator. Even if your debts are high now, you should see what a debt consolidation company could do for you as far as reducing interest and debts. Donít be discouraged until a qualified professional (or two!) can tell you that consolidation really isnít an option for you. Donít give up until youíve tried everything, you canít just roll over and taint your credit without being one hundred percent sure itís your only option.

The majority of people do qualify for debt consolidation, which is great! Even though no one wants to pay a bill, many consolidators are able to get all of your debt into one monthly payment. One monthly payment takes the stress out of paying the bill, and also makes it fast and convenient. Your consolidator will work with you and your debt to determine what you can afford and what will make your debt collectors happy. Often, debt needs to be consolidated in two or three parts, to fit within your monthly payment. It would be ideal to do it all at once, but celebrate the fact that you are able to pay on your debts at all!

Debt consolidation isnít easy, but it is the answer for all those bills and collection agencies that are calling you. Once the process is started, debt consolidation is easy, and relatively stress free. Be sure to be honest about what you can afford monthly, so as not to lapse on your consolidation payments. The last thing you want to do is take steps backward after youíve come so far. Each time you make a payment on your debt youíll feel the weight lifting, and youíll be able to sleep better at night knowing you are making a dent in the debt you have.

No one tries to go into debt, but itís easy to fall into a debt trap. Medical issues, financial strain, or job issues are common reasons for debt. Getting into debt isnít fun, and getting out isnít much fun either, but once you are there itís worth the effort. And, living debt free is a lot more fun because youíve regained your buying power. Youíll have a lot more respect for yourself and your ability to follow through, and other companies will be willing to give you a second chance when they realize you have righted your wrongs.

So, who is debt consolidation for? Everyone! Everyone should at least consider consolidating his or her debt. There is no easy way out of monthly payments that cannot be met, but this is the best way to get control back of your life and your finances. Even if you have huge debts, contact a debt consolidation company in your area for a free consultation! Youíll be so glad you did, because youíll gain confidence, respect, and get some much needed guidance to succeed in the future!

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