Debt consolidation or credit counseling for paying your debt off?
Getting out of debt is not an easy matter. The new debt-free life is always the result of persistent and hard work over a person?s payment obligations, spending pattern and debt mentality. The highly developed industry of credit services offers lots of programs to eliminate or at least reduce credit card debt. But in order to benefit from them rather than dig deeper into the hole, one has to thoroughly understand their principles and risks.
Balance transfers: who qualifies?
It can yield great results only if you know the restrictions and meet the requirements. Currently 0% APR balance transfer cards may only be obtained by good and excellent credit consumers and it automatically places them into a rarely used option. Owning a high credit score, you can avail of a 0% balance transfer if the interest rate on your current credit card has jumped and you do not want to see your minimum payments exceed your available income. You?ll also want it if there is no annual fee, no or low transfer charge and low rate on purchases. Applying for a balance transfer, you do not eliminate a bad credit debt situation but only prevent it.
Refinancing and HELOC: is the benefit worth the risk?
Debt consolidation through mortgage refinance and home equity line of credit was once popular, too. But due to the credit crunch and risks associated with tapping into the equity, homeowners find it harder to qualify. Chances are that people with high credit rating and large equity will more easily be approved for the consolidation loan. But there is always the risk of losing your home once you start making late payments on the loan.
Though debt consolidation through 0% balance transfers and home refinance loans are much advertised, you?ll not hear much of them in a debt success story. Most people look for risk-free methods to pay off their balances and that is why they look into the option of credit counseling.
Trust your debt problem to credit counselors
Credit counseling services help debtors work out a plan to pay off significant debt such as cannot be settled with a balance transfer credit card. You cannot expect that they will pay your huge bills or just write them off. What credit counselors can do for you is offer you an individual repayment scheme and negotiate lower interest rates with your bank. But this is the best scenario you could ever have when you?re snowed under unmanageable past due bills.
As your personal debt management program is set up, you enter into the stage of slowly but surely lowering your numbers. Apart from debt relief, credit counseling will also offer you to go through the education program that teaches financial management and right credit card use. It is the best time for readjusting your attitude to credit cards and improving your spending habits.
Happy ex-debtors advise that you should start repairing credit with secured credit cards. Forget about carrying balances on them, no matter how tempting it may be. Use credit cards only for emergencies (car repairs, tuition bill or medical care). If you are looking for precious possessions but not financial stability, you?ll never be able to get out of debt.
Keep it in mind starting a new life free of debt.