For many, the main purpose of a debt consolidation loan is to become debt free as quickly as possible. Debt consolidation allows people to save a few dollars each month while still simultaneously reducing the debt load with each payment. The result is they save money on interest and effort by making only a single payment instead of multitudes each month.
A loan to consolidate debt can backfire by pulling one down into a larger burden of debt instead of completely alleviating it. For example, the loans are almost always advertised as having low interest rates and attractive package perks which stimulates the instant gratification seekers to sign up instantly. So, what happens when someone really doesn’t read the fine print and doesn’t shop beyond the sparkly television commercials? Well, simply put, those people often end up with not very competitive interest rates and worse customer service than they would had they shopped around for the best buy.
Debt Consolidation Loans, while they offer a great premise — multiple bills put into one consolidation loan with one monthly payment at a better interest rate — do have a few negatives as well. One is that people abuse them so instead of paying off their loans, they take out a perpetual consolidation loan which ends up costing more in long-term interest.
Another big downside to debt consolidation loans comes in the form of creating the appearance of everything is under control so the consumer returns to old bad habits of spending too much and accruing debts. Just because there is more disposable income coming back into the home doesn’t mean it should be instantly spent on more consumer debt, yet often times that is exactly what happens. Then, eventually, a new debt management tool is needed to clear up the new charges and the lingering original consolidation loan balance. It becomes a real catch-22.
So, when considering a debt consolidation loan, take care to shop around for the best possible loan program and consider credit counseling to help you become more aware of how personal spending habits can affect the ultimate success of the loan as a spending solution.