The holiday season often brings with it credit card or loan debt that carries over well after the gifts have been unwrapped and the decorations put away.
The holiday season is not the only culprit, however. Maybe it’s an unplanned car repair or unexpected medical bills. Whatever the reason debt happens, for some, consolidation is the best option to reduce interest costs and pay off debt quicker.
Before applying for a consolidation loan, be sure to compare the rates, estimated payment versus your current payments and the repayment term. You don’t want to end up paying more each month because of a higher rate or risk being behind in your consolidation loan payments because the payment is too high for your budget. Consolidating can be a great tool to cut down the amount of interest paid and help you pay down debt faster, but it doesn’t fit all situations.
One thing to keep in mind is that your debts with various lenders may be unsecured. When those debts are pooled together to consolidate and add up to a higher number, such as 20k or 25k, your financial institution may request additional collateral to secure your loan. When your debts are spread out, the amounts are smaller and therefore those lenders don’t need collateral. However when put into one large loan amount, the risk is greater for the lender and the additional collateral may be needed.
It’s very important to consolidate to pay off and close those accounts, like credit cards for example, to benefit your financial situation. Having a credit card or two with an available balance can be helpful, but keeping those accounts open can be detrimental to your financial health if having that zero balance only encourages you to use the account and start to incur debt again. If it’s too tempting and you know you won’t be able to pay the balance in full if the card is used, be sure to close it once the consolidation loan pays it off.
Have more questions about debt consolidation? Give us a call to meet with one of our loan officers and see if you can start tackling your debt! By the way, today is the start of HFS Federal Credit Union’s “Take Your Pick” Consolidation Loan special, running now through January 31, 2018. Click here for more details on these discounted rates.