Understanding Your Options for Unsecured Debt Consolidation
Unsecured debt consolidation is a means of combining multiple unsecured debts in a way that makes them simpler to manage. Unsecured debts are personal debts for which there is no physical collateral, such as credit card debts or medical debts. Consumers willing to do a bit of searching and screening will find many reputable debt consolidation companies, and several different approaches to dealing with debt problems.
Approaches to Unsecured Debt Consolidation
Common approaches to unsecured debt consolidation fall into two broad categories:
- Consolidation loans. With this approach to unsecured debt consolidation, you borrow money from your bank or a debt consolidation firm and use that money to pay off your credit bills. Consumers should be cautious toward this approach, because loans for debt consolidation come with significant costs and risks. For example, if you’re in serious debt it may be hard to get favorable terms for a consolidation loan. And if you do get a loan to pay off your charge cards, you’ll face the temptation to run up cards again—in which case you’ll need to pay off the new balances on the cards and also make payments on your consolidation loan.
- Debt management programs. Usually associated with non-profit debt relief agencies, a debt management program is a method of unsecured debt consolidation that doesn’t require the debtor to borrow more money. The consumer makes a monthly payment to the agency, and the agency in turn makes monthly payments to the consumer’s creditors.
Another approach, debt settlement, is sometimes confused with debt consolidation but is really quite different. With a debt settlement solution, a settlement company tries to negotiate with a consumer’s creditors to get them to accept a pay-off amount that’s less than what is actually owed. Creditors can and often do refuse to participate in such settlements, and debt settlement can also be very damaging to the consumer’s credit rating with tax implications as well on the monies forgiven.
Unsecured Debt Consolidation Through ACCC
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a leading nonprofit debt management company. For over 22 years our debt management program has helped individual and families overcome debt problems and achieve lasting financial freedom. Our proven system for unsecured debt consolidation not only simplifies your monthly financial obligations, it also often results in creditors being willing to lower your interest rates and waive outstanding late fees and over-limit fees. This can lower your total monthly payment and shorten the time that it takes you to become completely debt-free.