Are you overwhelmed by your credit cards? If you feel like you cannot keep up, one effective way to ease the stress is to consider credit consolidation. There are several strategies to accomplish credit consolidation, and there are many benefits that arise from the choice of credit consolidation.
First, what does credit consolidation mean? Credit consolidation can take many forms, and means different things to different financial advisors, so we will go through each one in turn. One form of credit consolidation is to take out a personal loan and use the proceeds to pay down your existing credit cards. Another form of credit consolidation is to do a balance transfer; this involves applying for a new credit card which will allow you to transfer all the balances from your existing cards onto this one new card. Both of these means of credit consolidation involve opening an additional unsecured credit account.
Another way to pursue credit consolidation, available for homeowners, is to look into borrowing against your home equity. One way to do this is to take out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), which is a credit line against the equity in your home. You would then use the proceeds of this new loan to pay down all of your credit cards. Another way to take advantage of the equity appreciation in your home for credit consolidation is to refinance your existing mortgage. As part of this refinance, you would use some of the proceeds to pay off your existing credit cards. This type of refinance credit consolidation is often called a debt consolidation refinance ? you are consolidating both your old mortgage and your existing credit cards into one new mortgage.
Now that you understand what the different forms of credit consolidation are, it is important to understand the benefits of credit consolidation.
?Lower Interest Rate: Perhaps the most significant benefit that results from Credit Consolidation is that the new account that you are opening will carry a lower interest rate than the rates on the credit cards that you are paying off. This means that it will cost you less over time to pay off your debt. If your credit is strong enough, you may even qualify for a 0% balance transfer, which means that you will not have to pay interest charges on your debt for a set period of time. Moreover, a secured loan (e.g. mortgage refinance, HELOC, etc.) will generally have a lower interest rate than your existing credit cards.
?Faster Repayment Period: Along with saving money over the long term by lowering your interest rate, you will also more than likely be offered a lower monthly payment. This may be very attractive given your current financial situation. However, if you are able to maintain your present monthly payment amount after doing a Credit Consolidation, you will be able to pay off the new balance much more quickly than you would have with the old credit cards.
?Ease of One Bill: Another very important benefit that comes with choosing to undertake Credit Consolidation is the simplicity of having one monthly bill that comes with the new account that you have opened. With multiple credit cards you are receiving multiple bills, more than likely with different payment due dates throughout the month. Not only is this difficult to keep track of, it also increases the likelihood that you will miss a payment and end up paying late fees and incurring higher interest rates. It is easy to see how one monthly bill can lower your stress level considerably!
These are just some of the reasons credit consolidation can make sense. Most importantly, be sure to know what your own goals and priorities are, and then select the form of credit consolidation that best fits your own needs.
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