Is debt consolidation right for you?

Your struggles with credit card debt might seem embarrassing, yet you should know that you are hardly the only one in Nashville dealing with such an issue. Indeed, information shared by NerdWallet shows that credit card debt climbed to $931 billion in 2017. Given your contribution to that total, you might be considering a debt consolidation loan. Yet is that really your best course of action? 

As is the case with many potential solutions to problems, it depends. Many companies offer low-, fixed-rate loans or even 0 percent interest credit cards onto which you can transfer the outstanding of all your other cards combined. These tools help to lower your monthly payment into something that is much more manageable. You do need to have strong credit to qualify for these tools, yet if you have a consistent income (and your total debt does not exceed 50 percent of that income), then a debt consolidation card or loan might help get you back on firm financial ground much sooner than you thought to be possible. 

However, if overspending or an overreliance on credit led to your struggles, a change of mindset should accompany any debt consolidation tool. You should first have a plan to avoid accumulating future debts before consolidating your current ones. Consider the amount you owe prior to making this decision, as well. If only a little extra discipline on your part could have your debts paid off in a year or less, debt consolidation might not offer that great of an advantage. If your debts exceed 50 percent of your income, you might want to consider debt relief rather than consolidation. This information is not meant to be legal counsel, but rather good advice in helping deal with your finances. 

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