A Mailbox Full Of Bill

You walk out to your mailbox and open it up, hoping to receive some good news, but instead you pull out bill after bill after bill. But among those bills is an envelope with an offer of loans for debt consolidation. Facing a problem in paying your monthly payments, you might consider debt consolidation one way to help get your finances into a situation that’s more manageable. But should you really consider loans for debt consolidation or should you think about other alternatives to help restore your secure financial footing? A debt consolidation loan can be a lifesaver, but before you sign off on those loan papers, make sure you carefully consider the terms of your lending agreement.

Certainly, if you have decent credit, loans for debt consolidation should be available to you. But be very careful, there may be a number of lenders out there who will offer you loans that look good on the surface, but in the long run turn out to be even more costly to you than paying off the existing debts you already have. Let’s take a look at an example:

Let’s say you have an outstanding debt of $11,000 on a number of loans, and the overall interest rate works out to 14 percent, and you have five years (60 months) left to pay. Your monthly payment would be about $260 per month. But suppose several companies come along and offer you loans for debt consolidation in the full amount that you owe ($11,000) but instead of $260 per month, they offer you a monthly payment of just over $190. Hey, you can save $70 a month, so that may sound like a good deal to you. However, as it turns out, this new loan is actually at a higher interest rate (17 percent) for a longer term — ten years instead of five.

So how much would saving $70 per month cost you in the long run by accepting one of these loans for debt consolidation?

If you stuck with your original loans and managed to keep making your $260 per month payments, you would end up paying back a total of about $15,400 on that $11,000 in loans. If you take the new loan and pay off the $11,000 in debt, your new payments over the ten year period would amount to about $22,900 — or $11,900 in interest!

So you see, upping your interest rate and extending the number of years to pay on your debts may save you some money in the short term, but jumping headfirst into one of these types of loans for debt consolidation will end up costing you a whole lot more in the end. If you’re considering taking out a debt consolidation loan, make sure you look carefully at exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you sign the paperwork. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a bad case of borrower’s remorse.