Debt weighs on our shoulders like a barbell at the gym that is too heavy for us to lift. It feels as though that no matter how hard you push, the weight does not move. Luckily, knowing how to consolidate your debt can make it easier to tackle your bills.
The process of debt consolidation makes the seemingly impossible, possible. We already have enough bills to keep track of, so the more we can reduce this overwhelm the better. This service won’t solve all your financial woes, but it will at least help…in a big way. Below are a few do’s and don’t’s on what to look out for, how to follow through, and determining whether or not it’s right for you.
How to Consolidate Your Debt
Find the Right Lender
Finding the right lender will undeniably take some time and research, but searching online is a great place to start. Any time you come across a company, make sure to check their reviews and score on the Better Business Bureau’s website. You’ll be able to gain an idea if they would be a good fit for you. But, here a few quick things to look out for from an appropriate lender:
- Avoid lenders that pay their employees on a commission. You want to avoid companies that try to sign you up for services you may not need simply because they’ll receive a bigger paycheck.
- Look at interest rates and companies with one application process. Don’t be afraid to shop around; after all, you do want to find the best option for you. Spend some time comparing companies and seeing how long they’ve been in business, seeing if their fees are reasonable and more. Also, lenders you find on the internet can provide you with a more streamlined process instead of waiting for paperwork to clear.
- Stay away from companies promising a quick fix to your problems. Debt can take a while to heal, so any lender that claims they can significantly reduce your payments or get rid of your debt fast should trigger a red flag. Really, anything that says they have quick fix solutions is generally a bad idea.
Talk to Your Credit Card Company
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your credit card company to speak with them about your financial situation and your struggles. Many know they will have an easier time collecting money from you if they allow you to make smaller payments during your tough time. See if you can renegotiate some of your terms and fees until you are able to catch up. They key is to keep them in the loop as much as possible.
Ask Your Lender Several Questions
Of course, prior to starting this entire process, you need to not only know your credit score to gain a full grasp of your situation but also recognizing the root of your problem. Know that consolidation is also not a solution but a temporary fix. Create habits that will discourage debt accumulation moving forward such as paying off credit card bills right away and building your savings. Don’t purchase unnecessary items, and realize where you might be wasting money.
Have you ever had to consolidate your debt? Share your experience with us in the comments below.
Jenn Clark is a writer, PR specialist, entrepreneur, blogger and coffee enthusiast. A lover of laughter, traveling and cheese, she’s written about her life experiences here at suburbanfinance while at the same time growing other young professionals. You can find more of her work at Jennblogs.co.