Options To Consolidate Credit Card Debt
Consolidate Credit Card Debt
When managing your existing credit cards seems overwhelming, one effective way to ease both the financial and emotional burden of the cards is to consider the option to consolidate credit card debt. There are several ways to consolidate credit card debt, and there are many benefits that arise from the choice to consolidate credit card debt.
First, what does it mean to consolidate credit card debt? One way to consolidate credit card debt is to take out a new personal loan and use the proceeds to pay down your existing credit cards. Another way to consolidate credit card debt is to perform a balance transfer; this involves applying for a new credit card which will allow you to transfer all the balances from your existing cards onto this one new card.
Both of these methods to consolidate credit card debt involve opening an additional unsecured credit account. Another alternative to consolidate credit card debt is to look into borrowing against your home equity. One way to do this is to take out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), which is credit line against the equity in your home. You would then use the proceeds of this to pay down all of your credit cards. Another way to take advantage of the equity appreciation in your home to consolidate credit card debt is to refinance your existing mortgage. As part of this refinance, you would use some of the proceeds to pay off your existing credit cards. This type of refinance is often called a debt consolidation refinance – you are consolidating both your old mortgage and your existing credit cards into one new mortgage.
Now that you understand how to consolidate credit card debt, it is important to understand the benefits of this strategy.
•Lower Interest Rate: Perhaps the most significant benefit that results when you consolidate credit card debt is that the new account that you are opening will carry a lower interest rate than the rates on the credit cards that you are paying off. This means that it will cost you less over time to pay off your debt. If your credit is strong enough, you may even qualify for a 0% balance transfer, which means that you will not have to pay interest charges on your debt for a set period of time. Moreover, a secured loan (e.g. mortgage refinance, HELOC, etc.) will generally have a lower interest rate than your existing credit cards.
•Faster Repayment Period: Along with saving money over the long term by lowering your interest rate, you will also more than likely be offered a lower monthly payment. This may be very attractive given your current financial situation. However, if you are able to maintain your present monthly payment amount after you consolidate credit card debt, you will be able to pay off the new balance much more quickly than you would have with the old credit cards.
•Ease of One Bill: Another very important benefit that comes with choosing to consolidate credit card debt is the simplicity of having one monthly bill that comes with the new account that you have opened. With multiple credit cards you are receiving multiple bills, more than likely with different payment due dates throughout the month. Not only is this difficult to keep track of, it also increases the likelihood that you will miss a payment and end up paying late fees and incurring higher interest rates. It is easy to see how one monthly bill can lower your stress level considerably!
These are just some of the many attractive reasons to consolidate credit card debt. Be sure to examine all of the financing options available to you before deciding on the right one. You may be eligible for a loan or credit card with very low interest rate relative to what you are paying.