Money & Career

Is a debt consolidation loan right for you?

Author: Canadian Living

Money & Career

Is a debt consolidation loan right for you?

Debt is scary, there's no denying it -- but it doesn't have to mean the end of the world. There are options for paying off your debt that don't include declaring bankruptcy.

Consolidating your debt is one option. What consolidation means is taking out a single loan and using it to pay off your multiple debts so that you're left with only one monthly payment to make. Usually the single monthly payment is lower than the sum of previous payments, and set so that you're making progress on paying off the loan principal.

So when should you consider a consolidation loan? Here are four signs you're a good candidate.

1. The minimum is all you ever pay
If you're struggling to make the minimum monthly payments on your debt, then it might be time to consider a consolidation loan. By just paying the minimum, you're barely making a dent into what you owe. Instead, you're mostly paying off the interest -- and that's money you'll never get back. A consolidation loan will give you the opportunity to significantly decrease your debt, rather than just spinning your wheels.

2. You move your debt around
If you're using cash advances to make your minimum payments, not only are you not making progress on your debt, you're actually increasing it.

3. You avoid opening bills
Denying debt doesn't make it go away. If you've stopped opening your bills, then it's time to sit down and reconsider your current financial plan.

4. You get calls from collection agencies
They're going to get their money and in return drive you to distraction, stress you out and make you ill with dread every time the phone rings.

Even if only one of these applies to you, consider it a sign you should look into how a consolidation loan could bring you close to being free of debt. And talking to an expert about consolidating loans can do more than help you with your current problems: The Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada reports than people who use their services end up living a more financially responsible and stable life.

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