Debt consolidation has become very popular recently. Many people have had trouble with their finances and have watched their personal debt mount. It’s only logical for those same people to search for ways to reduce that debt and debt consolidation loans are a logical way to do it.
But while debt consolidation programs can work to pull you even with your finances, they’re not always the best long-term solution. In part, that’s because they only attack one side of the problem – they reduce your debt but they do nothing to change the circumstances that led to that debt in the first place. That part is left up to you. And if you don’t do something about it, your debt consolidation plan will fail.
If you’ve fallen on hard times and have made some severe choices with your spending and consuming habits, the chances are a debt consolidation loan could work for you. Of course the math has to work out in your favor, but if it does, a loan can help you get back on your feet.
On the other hand, if you’ve gotten into deep debt because of poor spending habits, and you haven’t done anything to correct those habits and build better ones, a debt consolidation loan is a risky undertaking. It’s risky because you’re much more likely to simply continue the poor spending and incur even more debt. Then one day you’ll wake up with both a consolidation loan payment and other payments and you’ll be in a worse position than when you started.
So if you’re contemplating any kind of debt consolidation plan, first get your spending house in order. Build yourself a budget and practice using it every week and every month. Change your purchasing habits. Don’t allow yourself to make impulse buys; just buy what you truly need. Stop using credit cards and switch to cash or better still to prepaid debit cards. Then, when you’ve been able to transform your habits, go get a consolidation loan.
Finally, remember that debt consolidation is a long-term endeavor. These types of loans are usually repaid over several years so you need to plan accordingly. But if you handle it right, debt consolidation can work for you.