The principle behind Debt consolidation loans is fairly simple – you borrow a large lump sum to repay your creditors and are then left with one creditor and one monthly repayment.
If you find that you are unable to meet your monthly repayments to your creditors, one option is to apply for a debt consolidation loan.
Monthly repayments may be lower than the sum you are currently paying, however, you may continue making repayments for a much longer period.
Before you consider taking out a debt consolidation loan you should consider the following:-
1. As there are sometimes charges and penalties for early completion of a credit agreement always ensure you obtain a settlement figure from your existing lenders rather than a balance. Otherwise you could find you have not borrowed enough to repay your other debts in full.
2. Once you know exactly how much you owe and what the cost of your debt consolidation loan will be, you must take time to work out a realistic income and expenditure figure to establish whether or not you can afford the new payments. Remember to include an amount for contingencies and emergencies. If the sums still do not add up, then perhaps you should consider some form of debt management plan.
Types of loan available
The way in which debt consolidation loans operate varies.
- You may be able to obtain an unsecured loan for this purpose from your bank or building society. The advantage of this is that your home or property are not “secured” against the loan and so will not be in danger should you fail to meet the terms of the agreement. The disadvantage is that the interest rate you pay will generally be higher than a secured loan.
- Several companies offer secured loans at competitive rates. These may reduce your monthly outgoings but remember that your property will be secured against the loan and if you do not pay it, the lender may take proceedings to have your property repossessed.
- Alternatively you may be able to re-mortgage your property to free up some of the equity in your house. The advantage of this is that you will be paying a lower rate of interest, probably the same as your mortgage rate. The disadvantages are that although the interest rate maybe lower you will probably be paying the loan over the same period as your mortgage so overall you will be paying more. Also your home will be at risk should you default on the payments.
Pros of a debt consolidation loan
- May be able to reduce your monthly payments.
- Can take off some of the pressure you may be under from your existing creditors.
- You will have only one creditor to deal with.
Cons of a debt consolidation loan
- Can pay more over a longer period.
- May incur additional costs for setting up the loan.
- If secured, your property may be at risk.
- You will be left with only one creditor – this can make it difficult to negotiate should you have further problems in repaying your loan.
- If the loans you are consolidating have all the interest added at the start you may in effect be paying interest twice. The interest charged for the first loan and the interest charged for the consolidation.
If you are considering a loan to consolidate your debt problems, or would just like more information, contact one of our advisors today for advice on the total spectrum of debt solutions that may be applicable to your situation.
Disclaimer: The material on this website is for general information only and should not be relied upon make important decisions.