Get the Facts Before Considering Loans for Debt Consolidation
When you have a tough problem you’re trying to solve, or something you think you may need, you may suddenly become aware of the advertising that’s targeted toward people in your circumstances. If you’ve got debt that’s spiraling out of control, you may start noticing ads promoting loans for debt consolidation. If you’re considering loans for debt consolidation, it’s important to have some basic information first and also to be aware of other debt consolidation options that don’t require you to borrow money.
Types of Loans for Debt Consolidation
All loans for debt consolidation work on the principle of borrowing money from one source to pay off your debts to multiple existing creditors. Within this general approach, there are several types of loans that may be available. For example:
- Persons with multiple relatively small debts may try to obtain a new high-limit credit card and use that card to pay off the other debts.
- Some banks and credit unions offer loans for debt consolidation.
- Some debt consolidation companies offer loans.
- Persons who own their home may try to obtain a home equity loan in order to pay off unsecured debts.
Problems with Loans for Debt Consolidation
Loans for debt consolidation come with costs and risks that consumers should be aware of before signing on the dotted line:
- Consumers typically turn to consolidation loans when they’re having significant debt problems. They’re vulnerable and perhaps even desperate. It’s no surprise then that consolidation loans often carry hefty interest rates.
- Homeowners may be able to avoid the steepest interest rates by taking out a home equity loan, but this “solution” brings with it the potential risk of foreclosure if the equity loan isn’t paid on time.
- Taking a loan to pay down your current credit card balances leaves open the risk that you’ll then run those cards back up again, leaving you with more total debt than you had at the start. It’s like trying to get out of a hole by digging deeper.
The ACCC Alternative to Loans for Debt Consolidation
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit organization that provides consumers help with credit problems. A national leader in consumer credit counseling for more than 22 years, ACCC offers a program for unsecured debt consolidation that does not require you to borrow more money.
How does debt consolidation work with ACCC? In short, we work out an arrangement with your creditors that enables you to make a consolidated payment to ACCC each month, with ACCC then making the monthly payments to your creditors. Because creditors are sometimes willing to reduce interest rates for program participants, you may end up with a lower total monthly payment and a shorter pay-off period.
During your time in the program, all or most of your participating credit accounts will be closed to further spending, so that you can make genuine progress in reducing your debts. The program also includes a financial counseling component, to help you get on a path to a debt-free future. For people who are serious about wanting to get out of debt, ACCC’s debt management program is an effective alternative to loans for debt consolidation.