The Benefits of Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation makes paying your bills easier by merging all of your unsecured balances into one monthly payment. You can keep better track of your expenses, which helps you better manage your budget, and you are less likely to miss a payment. For those suffering from a financial setback, debt consolidation may also reduce the interest rates from each creditor and the overall time to pay the balances in full.
The Different Methods of Debt Consolidation
When most people think of debt consolidation, they think of transferring their balances onto one credit card, getting a second mortgage, or opening a home equity line of credit. All of these can be risky, especially when you owe a lot of money and you're barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck. If you transfer your balances to one credit card but keep the other credit cards, you can be tempted to use them and sink deeper into debt. If you choose a second mortgage or home equity line of credit to consolidate debt, you're at risk of losing your home if you cannot make the monthly payments, because your home is used as collateral.
There's a better way to consolidate your debt. Talk to a credit counseling agency that can assess your situation and help you develop a solid debt management plan where you can become debt free and financially secure. You can breathe easier, because with these plans, you're paying off credit cards without incurring additional debt.
How to Get Started with Debt Consolidation
To begin the process of debt consolidation, contact a credit counseling company that specializes in debt management services. Then schedule an appointment to talk about your circumstances. Usually you'll have the option to speak with your counselor by phone, online, or by appointment.
Before your appointment, gather all of your unsecured debt statements. This includes any money you owe on credit or department store cards, personal loans, collection agencies, and credit lines. Your counselor at the debt consolidation company needs this information evaluate your situation and to develop a debt management plan.
During your appointment, the credit counselor will talk to you about your current financial situation and its causes, and set up a workable budget to manage your money. Then the counselor develops a debt consolidation plan with your creditors. These plans typically reduce account fees, such as finance charges and late or over-limit fees. In addition, your monthly payment will often be lower than the total of the separate monthly credit payments that you currently owe.
Contact ACCC to Create Your Debt Consolidation Plan
Are you ready to develop a solid debt consolidation plan? Then turn to American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC). Founded in 1991, we understand financial hardships and have helped thousands of clients become debt free. As one of the top consolidated credit counseling agencies in the country, we are dedicated to helping anyone regain control of their finances, regardless of their ability to pay. In some hardship cases, fees may be waived. Our certified counselors will work with you until your problems are resolved.
In addition to debt consolidation, we have a wide range of services to meet your financial needs. Here are a few examples:
- Reverse mortgage and housing counseling
- Free education on a variety of topics, ranging from identity theft to student loans
- Pre-bankruptcy counseling and post-bankruptcy debtor education