When you’re drowning in a sea of insuperable debt and don’t know how to shake loose, it can be tempting to seek out a professional consolidator or financial expert who can take all of your debt woes away. Unfortunately, hiring such a professional costs money and you may not even get the end result that you are looking to achieve by using their services. Believe it or not, debt consolidation can be done on your own, saving you money, time and hassle. No matter how much debt you have, one or more of these methods are sure to work for you and can be advantageous to saving money you can put into long-term funds or savings accounts.
1. Take Out a Debt Consolidation Loan
A debt consolidation loan is specifically used to roll all of your debts into one, making payment more manageable. The loans are offered by major banks or debt consolidation firms. You should be cautious when using debt consolidation companies to take out one of these loans. The loans often include additional fees and higher interest rates, making the loan costly and nearly impossible to pay off in full. It is best to get your loan from a reputable bank as opposed to going straight to a debt consolidation company. With a bank, you can compare rates and choose the option that fits your budget with the security of knowing you’re going through a trusted financial institution.
2. Credit Card Balance Transfer
If most of your debt has accumulated on multiple credit cards, you should consider transferring this amount to a card that has a low interest rate. Credit cards are notorious for having high interest rates, sometimes totaling 20 percent or more. If you are able to roll your debts from a high interest card onto a low interest one, you’ll be lowering your monthly payments drastically and saving on annoying interest fees.
3. Taking Out a Home Equity Line of Credit or Loan
It is possible to borrow against your home’s equity by either taking out a loan or utilizing a home equity line of credit. You can then use this loan to pay off any of your debts, enabling yourself to catch-up financially. The home equity loan is a close-ended fund that you repay over the course of time. The line of credit is more open-ended and similar to taking out a credit card, but the money is being borrowed against your property. The benefit to these credit lines and loans is that they have more affordable interest rates and higher borrowing limits than other loans. The drawback to using this method is that you’re securing your debts into the equity of your house.
4. Borrow on Your Life Insurance
Unfortunately, there comes a time in some people’s lives when it comes down to filing for bankruptcy or borrowing on important plans they’ve put money into for years. You can borrow your life insurance in the form of a cash value loan. You will not be required to make monthly payments when borrowing life insurance unless the amount you take out is more than what was originally in the policy. If you have a loan that goes unpaid, the amount will be deducted from your death benefit.
5. Borrow from Your Retirement
The golden years may be decades away and even though it’s nice to have a retirement fund to fall back on when you get older, entering into retirement with insurmountable debt can be an enormous burden. Retirement savings accounts and 401K plans can all be borrowed from to pay off credit cards and other debt problems. When taking money out of your 401K, keep in mind that both a federal and state tax are deducted from the amount. This only happens when you pull money out of the plan before you hit retirement age.
Debt affects more than 45 percent of Americans and it’s staggering to find out that the average American in debt owes a little over $15,000 in credit cards, student loans or personal loans. While borrowing money and taking out loans isn’t always desirable, it is often necessary to dig yourself out of the hole that has been created and start having money to save up for more important things.