Consolidated Credit or Debt Management?
Consolidated credit, debt consolidation, debt management – you've likely seen all of these terms and more while reading about merging all of your bills into one simple monthly payment. Sometimes these terms have different meanings, but other times they're used interchangeably. And depending on the context, these terms can indeed have similar meanings.
So when you're looking for a debt management program to help you get back on your feet, the muddy terminology can be confusing. All you want to know is, "Which of these methods is better for me to consolidate my bills?"
When Consolidated Credit and Debt Management are Different
Often consolidated credit means getting a loan to pay off your bills. Most people get these loans when their unsecured debts are mounting and they can't keep up with their bills. They use these loans to consolidate credit card debt and other kinds of bills so that they can make only one monthly payment.
The danger of borrowing more money to pay off old loans, however, is that you can start charging again on the credit cards that are now paid in full. This means more debt that could make an escalating credit problem even worse. This defeats the purpose of getting a loan to consolidate your credit.
By the time you're considering getting a loan for consolidated credit, bill collectors are usually calling, and your credit scores are too low to secure a loan at a reasonable interest rate. So when you finally pay off the credit consolidation loan, you've probably spent more money on the principal and interest than if you had paid the original balances separately.
So in this case, debt management and consolidated credit are not the same. While your intent of borrowing money to manage the debt is well-meaning, this is like applying a small bandage to a growing wound. Going deeper into debt to pay off debt is never a good strategy for managing money. The key is changing spending habits and learning how to use credit wisely.
When Consolidated Credit and Debt Management are Similar
Consolidated credit and debt management work together when you use a consolidated debt program that does not incur more debt. These debt management programs are available through nonprofit credit counseling agencies like American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC). A trained, certified credit counselor assesses your financial situation, helps you establish a workable budget to pay off your bills and cover basic living expenses, and works with your creditors to develop a consolidation plan.
In these debt management programs you do not need to borrow money to pay off the balances. In most cases your monthly payments and interest rates are lower, and you can become debt free faster. You can complete a consolidated credit debt management program within five years, depending on how much money you owe.
So if you're saying, "I'm ready to consolidate my debt," think of ACCC first. We have more than 22 years of experience helping thousands of satisfied customers reach their goals of financial freedom. Call us or request an online chat session today to find out how we can assist you with your consolidated credit needs.