Oftentimes, in this hard economy, many consumers in Pennsylvania and across the nation are struggling to make ends meet, desperate for help, and considering methods such as "loan consolidation." They have either lost their jobs, had their hours reduced, or perhaps had a medical crisis. As a result, many of these consumers rely on credit cards more and more, and coupled with high interest rates that come with most cards, many of them now find themselves buried in debt.
The good news is, there is a variety of options available to consumers like you who need debt relief from their debts -- either from credit cards or unsecured debts like utilities, department store charges, student loans, or medical expenses. One popular option is debt consolidation, or a debt management plan (DMP). This option involves combining, or "consolidating," multiple debts into one, more structured, and more manageable payment made to a credit counseling agency to be distributed to individual creditors. Yet another option is debt settlement, where you are hoping to settle or negotiate with creditors for substantially less than the actual debt amount.
Depending on the type of debt that they have, some consumers also consider personal loans, which generally involves combining high-interest credit card debts into one, lower interest loan. These days, these debt relief methods have become popular alternatives to bankruptcy -- which can have a devastating and longer lasting impact to personal credit. To find out how much you can potentially save with debt relief, request a free debt relief estimate and savings analysis , at no obligation to you. Start now.
Personal Loan Consolidation
Many consumers, depending on their debt situation, might try to get a personal loan to help pay off multiple, high-interest credit card debts. As noted earlier, a debt consolidation personal loan typically involves combining your high-interest credit card and unsecured debts into one, lower interest loan. A debt consolidation loan involves taking unsecured debt and paying it off with funds that come by way of a "secured" loan, or a loan where you would have to put up collateral, like your home or other asset.
Keep in mind that unlike debt consolidation or credit counseling, a personal loan involves paying off your debts with a new loan. This scenario may present a potential risk for consumers who are most likely not disciplined enough to stop using their credit cards. Many consumers who get a debt consolidation loan generally end up using their credit cards again, and accumulate new, high-interest credit card debts to deal with on top of their loan. In this case, a debt consolidation loan has generally made their debt situation go from bad to worse.
Understanding Consolidation or Credit Counseling
The term "debt consolidation" has come to represent a range of debt relief options, but what it typically involves is combining or consolidating credit card and unsecured debts into one, more affordable, and more manageable monthly payment made to a credit counseling agency.
When you enroll in a debt consolidation program, you go through a one-on-one consultation with a credit counselor who will review your finances, income, and total debt amounts. Once they have a clear picture of your financial situation, they will typically develop a strategy that can hopefully lead to a more lenient and more affordable payment plan for you. This strategy generally involves submitting proposals (on your behalf) to creditors asking for reduced interest rates, or the waiving or elimination of any late fees or penalties.
Creditors that agree to extend these proposals are placed into the debt management plan. As mentioned earlier, the goal of debt consolidation is -- with a single, more structured, and more affordable payment plan, you can typically direct more of your payment towards paying off the principal of your loans rather than just the interest -- and eventually, reduce your debts sooner than if you continued making the monthly payments on your credit card debts at higher interest rates.
Compare Your Debt Relief Options
In comparing a personal loan with debt consolidation, a personal loan may be a smart move for disciplined consumers, however, debt consolidation through credit counseling does provide a way to consolidate high-interest debts into a single, more affordable payment plan, and may be a preferred way to pay off your debts on a set schedule.
The bottom line is, if you are overwhelmed with credit card and unsecured debts, there is help available. If you are determined to reduce or eliminate your debts, take the next step and find out what your debt relief options are. Request a free debt relief analysis and savings estimate in minutes. Start by answering a few, simple questions here.