You've probably heard that debt consolidation can help you get control of your money and reduce your overall debt. And you probably know that you can finance it yourself, without using a professional debt consolidation company. But is that the right move for you? That depends on your personal situation, but, in most cases, it's a smart choice if:
You have equity in your home.
If you're a home owner, and you have some equity – the value of your home minus the amount you still owe – you can get a Home Equity Loan to pay off your debts and consolidate them into one loan. Home Equity Loans are relatively inexpensive. The interest rates tend to be low, they're easy to obtain, and in many cases the interest you pay through the year is tax deductible. One caution, however: Since your home is collateral on the loan, you should only choose this option if you're absolutely certain you'll be able to make the monthly payments.
You can get approved for a low-interest credit card.
Another option for financing your consolidation yourself is obtaining a low-interest credit card, preferably one with low fees. You can transfer your other balances to this one card so that you only have one monthly bill to pay. In general, this is best if you can find a card that's offering a low introductory rate – such as zero percent interest for the first six months, and then a low fixed rate after that. It will also need to have a limit high enough that you can transfer all your balances over to it.
You can get another low-interest loan.
There are other possibilities for a low-interest loan, too, including a secured loan (with a high-value item, such as a car or boat, for collateral), a personal loan or a loan from a family member or friend. If you have access to this type of loan, you can use the money from the loan for debt consolidation.
There are different ways to obtain debt consolidation financing, based on your personal circumstances. If you can find a low-cost loan or line of credit, you can make this consolidation work by lowering your interest rate and bundling all your debt into one account.