What is the point of consolidating debt and when should you do it? What are some of the options for consolidating debt? At some point in their financial lives, many people ask these questions. If you have been pondering these thoughts, read on.
Consolidating debt means different things to different people. To a young couple or family thinking about buying a home consolidating debt may be necessary to lessen their debt to income ratio. For a single person tired of writing ten or twenty checks each month consolidating debt may be a way of making his/her financial life more convenient and organized. A family with college age children may consolidate debt in order to fund a college education. Older people on the verge of retirement may be considering debt consolidation as a way of simplifying their lives and adjusting to a change in income. All of these scenarios are sound reasons for investigating debt consolidation and all require different approaches for said consolidation.
What types of debt consolidation might be used by the people in each of the previous situations?
A couple on the verge of their first home purchase may find that the amount they owe on their credit cards each month takes up too large a portion of their monthly income. Sometimes lending institutions will not approve a home loan for a buyer who does not have a certain amount of unobligated income. In order to free up a little income the couple may choose to consolidate their debt. To accomplish this all of the current bills would be paid off via a lower interest, longer term loan. Because the loan is not costing them as much in interest and is being paid off over a longer period of time the monthly payment would be smaller. Thus, the proportion of debt to income would be lower.
When a person is just tired of writing a great number of checks each month and concerned that one month a payment due might get overlooked, he/she may choose to do a simple debt consolidation for the purpose of bringing all of his/her bills under one roof. If the person has good credit this is easily achieved. Sometimes if the debt is refinanced at a lower interest rate not only will the person end up with a more convenient payment he/she will also have a lower payment.
A family which owns its own home may tap the equity in that home to pay for a childs college education. In order to do this the home must have accumulated sufficient value to cover the cost of the mortgage, the cost of the refinancing, the cost of the bills to be rolled over and still generate enough cash to pay for the childs schooling. Given the rate at which home values have appreciated in recent years having this much equity is not unreasonable. However, homeowners should not make their homes piggybanks for any type of expense that comes up. Constant cashing out of a homes equity is expensive and perhaps even dangerous over the long run.
Persons nearing retirement age may choose to consolidate debts in order to make life less complicated as well as to make living less expensive. This type of debt consolidation is also done by accessing the equity in ones home. If the mortgage is long standing and the couple has maintained good to excellent credit it may be that the house can be refinanced at a significantly better interest rate while also generating cash to pay off a substantial number of bills. Thus, as the couple enters their retirement years they have a lower house payment and fewer bills to pay.
The above examples illustrate just a few ways that debt consolidation may enhance the lifestyles of modern consumers.
Christopher M. Luck has an extensive background in working exclusively with debt consolidation companies and for the first time ever, is now offering his free debt consolidation secrets to the public. If you are at all interested in Christopher's advice, tips, or secrets, you can visit his debt blog