Sometimes debt can’t be avoided. In fact, if you’re sure you can repay your debt, then borrowing money may even be a good idea. You may have your reasons for doing so, such as buying a home, investing, and more. Financially literate individuals know how to manage their finances, including debt. Now, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in a debt management strategy called debt consolidation.
What Is Debt Consolidation?
Debt consolidation is the process of combining one or more debts into a single one. Instead of paying multiple debts for a month, this just consolidates it into one monthly payment. These debts may include credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, medical bills, and more.
With that said, borrowers often use debt consolidation to benefit from better loan terms such as competitive interest rates. Some may even use debt consolidation for bad credit, allowing them to improve their credit score in the long run. However, it’s worth noting that it’s not for everyone. As such, if you wish to find out if it’s the right financial decision for you, here are the pros and cons of debt consolidation:
As mentioned, debt consolidation is a debt management strategy that is used by several debtors for several beneficial reasons. Here are three pros to using debt consolidation:
- Improving Credit
One of the main benefits of debt consolidation is that it can help improve your credit score. It does this by making it easier to make payments on time. Of course, this is assuming you make sure that you pay your loans before their set deadline.
Moreover, especially if you’re a busy person, debt consolidation allows you to avoid missing payments as one payment will cover the rest of your debts.
- Reduce The Money You’ll Lose
The next benefit is that it will help you avoid losing more money in the long run. It’s no news that when you loan money, you’ll have to pay interest as this is how banks profit from you. With that said, when you consolidate your debt, you may benefit from lower interest rates.
This may be the case when having multiple individual loans results in more interest than consolidating your debt. Additionally, if you have a good credit score, your lender may offer you lower interest rates. This is along with the fact that with debt consolidation, rates are competitive and thus possibly lower.
- Manage Your Debt Better
The next benefit is that it allows you to streamline your debt management since you only have to pay once for multiple kinds of debts. Debt consolidation results in fixed payments, fast-tracking the payment of your loans.
On the other hand, it’s important to discern when debt consolidation it’s not for you. Here are three possible disadvantages that may come with it:
- You’ll Risk Not Paying On Time
If you end up not paying on time, you risk setting yourself back even further. By consolidating multiple loans into one significantly large one, missing payments will have a huge implication on your finances. It may also result in more fees. To avoid this, consider automating your monthly payments and communicating with your lender if you realize you might miss the upcoming one.
- This Won’t Address The Root Problem
While it will help debt management easier, it won’t fix the underlying issue of accumulated debt, which may be your spending habits. It’s important to remember that debt consolidation will help with managing things, but it isn’t a solution. In fact, consolidating debt may even encourage you to spend more, which is the wrong way to go, as others have ended up going into deeper debt.
- You May End Up Paying More
Finally, you may end up paying more, especially if your credit score is low. When you consolidate your debt while having a low credit score, the interest rates may be higher than your debts. Furthermore, there may also be fees, such as debt counseling fees, that can add to your expenses.
Borrowing money isn’t always a bad financial decision, especially if you’re prepared to pay the debt promptly and responsibly. Financially literate individuals may not advise you to avoid borrowing money but to learn how to manage it instead. To manage debt well, several strategies are used such as debt consolidation. However, as discussed in this article, it isn’t for everyone, and it’s important to know the extent to which it can aid your debt management.