Consolidating your Debt

Hello brave one!
You have taken the time to look at your debt. Don't be overwhelmed if you have a lot of different accounts. We can consolidate! Now, a caveat here: this can get complicated. There are many options, and there is no one size fits all approach to debt consolidation. If you have specific questions, post your situation, we will give some feedback. It might even be worth it to talk to a financial adviser.

What is Consolidation?

Consolidation allows you to combine your accounts into one bill, and paying it all as a single loan. There are three categories:

Your general rule of thumb here should be: consolidate ONLY for lower interest. Don't accept a higher interest just to write fewer checks each month. The inconvenience is worth a lower rate.

Credit Card Balance Transfer

If you already have a good credit score, this may be the easiest path for you. Many Credit Cards will allow you to roll over your balance with a low (or even 0%) introductory interest rate. Basically, this means you transfer your high interest balance to a new card and get 6-18 months of lower (or no) interest. This will drastically speed up your getting out of debt. Remember though, just because you have a new card does not mean you can go back to your old spending habits. You are in credit card debt, YOU ARE ON AUSTERITY!

Avoid Debt Settlement

Debt Settlement companies attempt to negotiate a lump-sum payment with all of your creditors that is less than you actually owe. So if you owe $50,000 across 5 accounts, they may be able to get you settled for $40,000. Sounds amazing right? Well...not really. This should be your last resort, and you need to go seek professional help before choosing Debt Settlement. Companies can refuse to deal with a settlement company, making you forced to pay the full amount + fees. Also, debt settlement has a HUGE negative impact on your credit score which can hurt you for years to come.