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What is debt consolidation and is it worth it?

Do you feel like you are living paycheck to paycheck and you are running out of money at the end of each month? Are all of your credit cards maxed out? Are you in a mountain of debt? Many people will tell you that debt consolidation will solve all of your problems, but will it really?

Let’s first start with explaining what debt consolidation is. Debt consolidation is a loan that will combine all of your debt into one monthly payment. In other words, you’re taking out one loan to pay off a bunch of other loans. If you have high consumer debt this may be an option that you would want to consider, but is debt consolidating really worth it?

I’m sure you have heard of Dave Ramsey. Ramsey counsels people who are hurting from the results of financial stresses. He never recommends debt consolidation to his clients. In his opinion, it doesn’t work, and I would have to agree with him.

Debt consolidation is dangerous and can actually cause more harm than good. In most cases, it only treats the symptoms, but it doesn’t solve the problem. When you consolidate your debt into one big loan, you are just trying to fight debt with debt. It doesn’t matter if you are $100,000 dollars in debt between 2 cars and 3 credit cards or if you are $100,000 dollars in debt with one loan. $100,000 dollars is still $100,000 dollars. The only appealing thing about this kind of debt relief is a lower interest rate on parts of the debt.  Sometimes your monthly payment is lower than what you were originally paying. In most cases, the reason that your payment is lower is because the term was extended, not because you owe less money. So if you stay in debt longer, you get a lower payment, but then you end up paying the lender more and in some cases the interest rate could be higher meaning that you will be stuck paying the lender much, much more.

Moral of the story: you can’t fight debt with debt. You can’t consolidate all of your debts into one low monthly payment and assume that it will solve all of your problems. You can’t truly get yourself out of debt until you change your habits. If you find yourself in a financial problem and you are thinking about debt consolidation, please explore other debt relief options. Debt consolidation might work out for some people, but it is not a solution that will work for everyone.  If you are unsure about what your options are and what is right for you, make time to speak to a qualified Attorney.

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