Saturday, March 17, 2007
Debt Consolidation Can Either Help or Hurt You
Being in money trouble is seldom planned; it frequently happens because of unemployment or sickness or disease. Sometimes consumers accumulate massive bills because of carelessness or because they just do not appreciate how charge cards work. What do you do if you're in financial trouble? Debt consolidation is frequently touted as the answer to financial problems, but a survey suggests that two thirds of people who receive debt consolidation loans find themselves right back where they started - owing more money than they can repay.
How do debtors find more debt using the tool that's supposed to repair it?
The main cause of renewed debt is the inability of consumers to stop spending after turning to a loan to combine their financial obligations. Many, if not most, people with debt trouble only quit spending when they run out of credit. When the cards are full, you cannot spend any longer. Tapped out credit cards make a fairly effective deterrent against spending, but they also come with penalties and fees for exceeding the credit limit. When you take out a new loan and use it to eliminate all of the other ones, your credit cards are now unencumbered - you owe nothing.
Consumers frequently succumb to the temptation to start using their credit cards again once the outstanding balances are gone. The suggestion that the debt is gone after obtaining a consolidation loan is fraudulent; the debt has been moved to a different place. If you begin spending once again, you will not only end up in money trouble, but you will be in more trouble than you were before, as your ability to accrue debt has actually improved. It would seem that few people adjust their spending habits; the majority of people simply resort to their old ways. Smart consumers know that they can't spend like crazy after obtaining a debt consolidation loan, as the objective is to eliminate the debt.
Experienced credit counseling is a good step towards clearing up those financial problems. A financial professional can point out the potential pitfalls of seeking more debt so that you might repair your finances. Credit counseling agencies can help you learn to pay off your bills instead of allowing them to grow again. Consumers need to understand the prospective obstacles and be ready for the difficulties that accompany solving money problems. While it may not be a quick answer, repaying several credit card balances or debts into one affordable payment via consolidation can be a great way to become financially independent.