If you have a wallet full of credit cards, you are likely to run into debt if you are not careful. The tendency for extravagant expenditure and paying through one of the many credit cards can be hard to resist. It becomes essential to make the minimum monthly payment towards the cards to build up good credit. But it becomes really difficult to maintain a tab on each card. So, it is recommended that you consolidate all your debts for easy handling. In this article, Handy suggests a few ways to consolidate your debts, enabling you to handle your finance a little easier.
- Assessment of your debt – When you are convinced of consolidating your debt, the first step is to think strategically. You should first make a note of all your debts, be it your credit cards or loans from banks and friends. Further, you can break down these debts into secured and unsecured debt. Secured debts are the loans attached to something you own like a house or car.
Failure on its payment might authorize the lender to seize on what the loan has been given. Unsecured debts are the loans taken on credit cards or student loans. Failure on the payment of these can ruin your credit score. The interest on the next payment may soar high. Once this is done you are in a better position to prioritize your payments. It is in your best interest to consolidate all your unsecured debts.
- Credit card balance transfers – These days, banks offer balance transfers to bring more business. A no-interest payment period on such transfers are on offer. The best way to consolidate your debt is to transfer multiple credit card balances to a single card with a lower interest rate. The drawback of this system is that 0% interest lasts only till the introductory period after which you have to pay off your balances. If you fail to do so, you may have to face high interest debt. The advantage of this system is that when all your debts are on one card, it makes your billing and payments quite easy.
- Home equity loan – When you are running high on credit card debts, it is advisable to borrow against the equity in your home. These loans are close-ended accounts to be repaid over a period of time. These loans generally offer lower interest rates and higher borrowing limits. But there is one major drawback. If you fail in the payments, you may face a foreclosure losing your home.
- Borrow from retirement – When none of the above methods work for you, the last resort would be to borrow from your retirement plans. Think twice before you do so as even though you are allowed to borrow against them, failure on payment will be considered an early withdrawal inviting a penalty and income tax. God forbid, if you lose your jobs you just get sixty days to pay the loan or face early withdrawal penalties. You may also borrow against your life insurance policies.
Consolidating debt is just moving your debts around for an easy payment method. Your debts are still real. So, think before you indulge in any sort of extravagance. With the above tips, Handy is sure that you would be able to consolidate your debts efficiently.