fbpx
Is Debt Consolidation Right for You?

December 14, 2020

When you have multiple outstanding debt sources, it can be a challenge to know what the best strategy is for improving your overall financial picture. What debt should you pay off first? Is there a way to simplify the process? Are there options to save money?

One potential strategy to regain control of your financial landscape is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is the process of combining multiple debts into a single payment under one lender. Instead of making multiple payments to several different lenders, a new lender pays off all of your debts and then issues you a single loan to cover those costs. Not to be confused with debt settlement, debt consolidation is often a favorable option for people looking to take control of their debt.

When debt consolidation makes sense

When you can get a better interest rate

One of the chief reasons people choose to consolidate their debts is to save on interest costs. If you have several high-interest forms of debt, you may be able to get a lower overall interest rate by combining these debts together under a new loan. Often, you can get these better interest rates if your credit score has improved or if the interest rates on borrowing money have gone down.

When you can get more favorable repayment terms

While saving on interest costs is almost always the primary reason for consolidating debt, there are times when it’s a smart move to lock in more favorable repayment terms. If you are struggling to keep up with your payments, you may be able to consolidate your debt to a lower monthly payment. Generally, this means spending more money in the long run, but it’s a far better solution than defaulting on your loans and potentially ruining your credit.

When debt consolidation doesn’t make sense

When you have prepayment penalties

When you take out a debt consolidation loan, your new lender pays off all of your existing debt. The lender then issues you a new loan for the total of all the debt that was paid off. If your outstanding loans have prepayment penalties (where you’re charged extra for paying them off early), you’ll need to cover those costs with the new loan, which could erase the potential savings from a lower interest rate.

When the fees outweigh the benefits
Taking out a new loan to consolidate your debt isn’t free. You’ll need to pay origination fees and any other fees the new lender requires. If the savings from your lower interest rate doesn’t outweigh the cost of the new loan, you’re not saving any money, and all you’ll be gaining is the convenience of a single payment. Make sure before you choose to move forward with debt consolidation that you take the time to crunch the numbers and ensure you’re getting the outcome you want.

What to look for in a debt consolidation lender

  • Low fees – As mentioned, if the cost of getting a consolidated loan is too high, you’ll erase all the potential savings. Shop for a lender with affordable fees that fit your financial goals.
  • Protections – Look to see if the lender has any programs in place to help out if you lose your job or have problems making payments. More specifically, make sure you’re not consolidating loans that have better protections for loans that don’t.
  • Track Record – Take the time to research the lender and look at reviews. You don’t want to consolidate your loans for a little bit of savings and end up working with a company with a bad reputation. There’s value in a good working relationship, even with your lenders.

The Bottom Line

If you can save significantly or get more favorable repayment terms with a consolidated loan, debt consolidation could be a smart financial move. It’s important you take your time, properly crunch the numbers, and make sure the potential new lender delivers what you’re looking for. If everything checks out, debt consolidation may be the right move for you and a worthwhile boost to your overall financial health.

Related Articles

When to Use Credit vs. Debit

When to Use Credit vs. Debit

When should you use a credit card, and when should you use a debit card? If you’re just starting out on your financial journey, or if you’re afraid of getting into trouble racking up debt, you may be afraid of using a credit card to finance everyday expenses. On the...

3 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

3 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

For many people, your credit score is something you don't think about on a daily basis unless you see it mentioned in a commercial, or maybe if a friend brings it up. However, when it comes time to make a major financial move like buying a car, purchasing your first...

Learn     News     Help Center

Beanstox Inc. (“Beanstox”) is an SEC registered investment adviser and has arranged for brokerage services to be provided by DriveWealth LLC., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC. DriveWealth is not affiliated with Beanstox.

Investments in securities: Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value
Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and risk tolerance levels and Beanstox’s charges and expenses. The information provided herein is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute personalized investment advice, recommendations or solicitations to hold, buy or sell any investment or security of any kind. Beanstox’s internet-based advisory services are designed to assist clients in achieving investment goals. They are not intended to provide comprehensive tax advice or financial planning with respect to every aspect of a client's financial situation and do not incorporate specific investments that clients hold elsewhere. For more details, see our Form ADV Part 2A and Part 3 CRS and other disclosures.

All images and return figures shown are for illustrative purposes only and are not actual customer or model returns. Actual returns will vary greatly and depend on personal and market conditions. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, Inc. Apple, the Apple logo, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S.

Our site uses cookies and other similar technologies so that we can remember you and understand how you and other visitors use our site. Please see Beanstox Privacy Policy for more information.

© 2021 Beanstox Inc.