If your monthly bill-paying session takes longer and longer each month, and your bills just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger, it may be time to get proactive with a debt consolidation loan. A debt consolidation loan used the right way can get you out from under a mountain of debt and help you get back on your feet financially.
Some financial experts will tell you that the last thing you need when you're already up to your ears in debt is a loan. Debt consolidation - with or without a loan - CAN help you get out of debt, and get back on your feet. It depends on whether you're looking at long or short term costs and profits. When you're deep in debt, what will help is a lower monthly payment - and that is what a good debt consolidation loan will give you.
The lower monthly payment will usually come at the cost of a longer repayment term, though. There are only so many ways to lower the amount that you have to pay each month. You can lower the interest rate, lengthen the term of the loan or lower the amount that you owe. Depending on the interest rate, the amount of the debt and the length of your debt consolidation loan you could conceivably end up paying more in the long run. That's a tradeoff that may be worth it to you if your goal is to be able to meet your monthly bills.
Do your homework before you decide to take out a debt consolidation loan. Sit down and add up the full amount that you owe on your credit cards and other installment payments. That's the amount of the debt consolidation loan you'll need.
Next, set up a budget with your monthly income and expenses that won't be covered by the money you take out in a debt consolidation loan. Include your housing expenses, utility expenses and any other monthly obligation. Subtract your expenses from your income to come up with a 'comfortable' monthly payment for your debt consolidation loan.
Now shop around for the best interest rate. Make use of loan quote web sites with loan repayment calculators to figure out what your monthly payment on a debt consolidation loan of that amount will be. Since the less time you have to pay interest, the less your loan will cost you, opt for the loan with the shortest repayment term that keeps your monthly payment within your 'comfort zone'.