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Other debt such as personal loans and auto loans are also a relatively common occurrence and can also be considered when consolidating your debt.
The following is more in-depth information on the different types of debt you can incur as well as options to consolidate this debt and come up with a debt management plan to achieve lower and more manageable payments.
Once you’ve chosen a debt consolidation method, it’s a good idea to keep the total cost as low as possible.
Try not to take the maximum amount of time possible to pay off your new loan, and come up with a plan to get out of debt in three to five years.
Some of these debt consolidation companies are legitimate; according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, however, others are incredibly risky.
That’s because some may be debt settlement companies that convince you to stop paying your debts and “instead pay into a special account,” the CFPB warns.
If you’ve built up some equity and interest rates seem favorable, it may make sense to refinance your home and use the additional cash you can borrow to pay off more expensive debts.
Or you might be better off taking out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a fixed-rate home equity loan.
The rates are better when the loan is secured, and you’ve been a bank customer for years than when the loan is unsecured and given solely against your good name. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask your bank or credit union to give you a better deal if they want to keep your business.
“The company will then use this money to attempt to negotiate with creditors to reduce the amount of principal you pay off.” If you’re considering this option, try to speak with a nonprofit credit counselor first because debt settlement can put your credit in jeopardy.