How Debt Consolidation Works

Debt consolidation is sort of a catch-all phrase

Debt consolidation is sort of a catch-all phrase for many different approaches toward managing financial burdens, and not all of these consolidation programs should be equally respected. One of the main principles you should take to heart when looking at the debt consolidation process should be this adage: the lower the payment, the longer you’re going to be stuck paying off your debt. The less that you pay every month following a successful debt consolidation, it should be understood, will only increase the amount of money that you will pay at the end of the loan after compound interest continues to expand the overall balance.

At the same time, though we would certainly advise borrowers to do everything they could to pay down their debts regardless of what the minimum payments are fixed at, one also has to make sure that they do not begin a similarly obsessive strategy of earmarking every dollar earned toward repaying past debts. Whatever the lenders’ literature or representatives may say about helping borrowers minimize their debt load with an eye toward eventual debt elimination, their business model explicitly demands a continual revolving debt cycle that forces debtors into a life of servitude, ever subsidizing their financial burdens without actually getting rid of them.

With near everyone complaining about credit card bills they can no longer pay and mortgages they never should have taken out in the first place, it was just a matter of time before the debt consolidation industry took hold of the public’s imagination. It’s one thing to take a look at debt consolidation and quite another to jump blindly into the first program sold by a glib professional promising the world. Debt consolidation may be a solution, but each of the various programs will contain its own share of dangers.
Debt consolidation is sort of a catch-all phrase for many different approaches toward managing financial burdens, and not all of these consolidation programs should be equally respected. In this essay, we would like to discuss some of the problems that debt consolidation presents for families. Remember, even though it’s far less damaging than bankruptcy, all forms of debt consolidation should still be viewed as last ditch efforts to repair mishaps or heal poor purchasing decisions from past years.

One of the main principles you should take to heart when looking at the debt consolidation process should be this adage: the lower the payment, the longer you’re going to be stuck paying off your debt. The less that you pay every month following a successful debt consolidation, it should be understood, will only increase the amount of money that you will pay at the end of the loan after compound interest continues to expand the overall balance.

Consolidation companies’ income largely comes from just this sort of accumulation of interest payments, and they generally try to appeal to borrowers’ (oft delusional) beliefs that they will immediately quit the spending reflexes of a lifetime and devote themselves to patterns of saving that would allow them to repay their loan that much earlier by paying over the minimums.

At the same time, though we would certainly advise borrowers to do everything they could to pay down their debts regardless of what the minimum payments are fixed at, one also has to make sure that they do not begin a similarly obsessive strategy of earmarking every dollar earned toward repaying past debts. Much as you would reasonably hope to devote all available funds toward debt elimination, the smart borrower yet maintains a cash reserve to guard against every bad patch. Real estate values have become so tenuous of late that no home owner who cares about their investment (or, more to the point, their family) should dare risk their precious equity for a quick fix, and debt consolidation in the wrong scenario could actually back fire against the consumer.

Credit card companies and mortgage loan companies depend upon the borrowers’ willingness to sustain payments and extend them for years if not decades. Whatever the lenders’ literature or representatives may say about helping borrowers minimize their debt load with an eye toward eventual debt elimination, their business model explicitly demands a continual revolving debt cycle that forces debtors into a life of servitude, ever subsidizing their financial burdens without actually getting rid of them. We are not necessarily suggesting that you close all cards after consolidation – though, with some programs, that will be necessary – because of the effect that would have towards your credit rating.

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