If you’ve got debts, you may have considered loan consolidation—taking out a single personal loan to pay down your other debts—as a solution. By combining different debts into one and concentrating on a single monthly payment with a single interest rate, many people find it easier to handle their responsibilities. Much like trying to consolidate a student loan, there are a whole hosts of pros and cons that can factor into your decision. Today, we’re going to look at some of the most commonly cited positives and negatives, as well as how they might sway your decision to consolidate loans.
Off The Bat, It Seems To Makes Sense
When you first hear about debt consolidation, it might sound like a rather attractive idea at first. You can do away with the multiple, annoying, easy to miss payments throughout the month and leave yourself with one payment that’s easy to keep up with. In theory, a superlative idea, but if you stop to think about it some more, there are some instances where it might not be for you.
First off, if the interest rate on your new consolidated loan is going to be higher than what you’re already paying, it might not be the right move. You’ll end up paying more in the long haul, especially if your consolidated debt winds up with a longer term than what it would take you to pay off your cards right now. Even if the interest rate is lower for the consolidated debt, if the term is significantly longer, you’ll be on the hook for a larger amount of money. Be sure to compare the two numbers very carefully and make sure you aren’t rushing to judgment.
Another comparison you’ll need to make is what your monthly payment will be and whether or not you’ll be able to handle it long term. Think about it like this. If you find out your monthly consolidated debt would be equivalent to what you’re paying currently, why bother going through with it when you can just put a bit more toward your current card debt. If it turns out your consolidated loan would be less than what you pay spread out over your cards, then, again, that increased payment term might mean more interest in the long run.
The last thing you’ll want to consider is the fact that you’ll have to make a change in order for the debt consolidation to work in the first place. If you use a consolidated loan to pay down your cards, then run your cards back up, you’ll have dug yourself in twice as deep with little recourse for solving the problem. Only make the move to a debt consolidation loan if you’re certain you can curtail your spending habits in such a way that it makes a difference.
If The Numbers Add Up, Though, Go For It
You may find that, when considering all the variables, it makes sense to go through with the debt consolidation loan. If you’ve been getting pummeled with high interest rates and a loan can help you get both a lower rate and a reduced term, you’ll be saving money and probably inclined to go for it.
Alternatively, if you have so many bills you can’t keep up with them all, then condensing everything into a single payment might also make sense. Again, it depends on your individual situation.
If you believe that the pros outweigh the cons, then by all means, go for it. You’ll have to do some research on your different options, and once again do some comparisons to make sure you’re taking the right course of action.
It may be that a balance transfer is the most straightforward and easy way for you to achieve your goals. In other cases, a personal loan will be the best way to get the low interest rate that you need and reduce the payment term to something that is manageable but also allows you to get your debt paid quickly.
If you’ve got equity built up in your home you’ll have even more options available to you, as you could possibly refinance and use the extra funds to pay down your debt. In some cases, a home equity line of credit or home equity loan might also be beneficial for meeting your needs.
Of course, there are benefits and drawbacks with all of these scenarios and the many more that exist and are available to you. Be sure to continue doing your research to find out what makes sense for your situation.