Is Debt Consolidation Necessary?

March 22nd, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

With near everyone complaining about credit card bills they can no longer pay and mortgages they never should have taken out in the first place, it was just a matter of time before the debt consolidation industry took hold of the public’s imagination. Most people finally seem to understand that, after 2005 congressional legislation, Chapter 7 bankruptcy no longer promises anything to ordinary consumers beyond increasingly dear attorney fees, and, if recent studies are true, our national obsession with unsecured debt continues unabated. An article in the Wall Street Journal announced that the average household now carries a dozen credit cards among their members with a total balance approaching eighteen thousand dollars. Honestly, if anything, it seems odd that Americans did not turn to the debt consolidation approach sooner. Once debts have reached a size and number that makes their speedy resolution untenable, it just makes good sense to examine whatever alternatives now exist. However, it’s one thing to take a look at debt consolidation and quite another to jump blindly into the first program sold by a glib professional promising the world. Debt consolidation may be a solution, but each of the various programs will contain its own share of dangers. More to the point, they certainly shan’t eliminate lifelong burdens without some degree of discipline on the part of the borrower.

Just because we as a people have finally recognized our problems with debt both secured and unsecured does not mean that we are actively striving to fundamentally eat away at the underlying concern. Debt consolidation is sort of a catch-all phrase for many different approaches toward managing financial burdens, and not all of these consolidation programs should be equally respected. Indeed, some of the shadier options could even be considered actively destructive to the borrowers’ household economics. In this essay, we would like to discuss some of the problems that debt consolidation presents for families. While the notion of consolidation has received a good deal more attention of late, the same cannot be said about the details surrounding the various techniques utilized. Also, we would like to introduce some of the ways that consolidation could be simply avoided through hard work and disciplined budgeting on the part of the borrowers. Remember, even though it’s far less damaging than bankruptcy, all forms of debt consolidation should still be viewed as last ditch efforts to repair mishaps or heal poor purchasing decisions from past years. The debts are not going to be eliminated after all, and it’s important that consumers remember that they are still liable for the sums even once they are consolidated. If debtors continue the same careless shopping sprees and knowingly spend more than they earn, than consolidation will have no effect and, once again, could even worsen the borrowers’ overall financial scenario.

One of the main principles you should take to heart when looking at the debt consolidation process should be this adage: the lower the payment, the longer you’re going to be stuck paying off your debt. The less that you pay every month following a successful debt consolidation, it should be understood, will only increase the amount of money that you will pay at the end of the loan after compound interest continues to expand the overall balance. It’s just common sense, really. Put off paying today what you could pay off tomorrow, and you will inevitably owe exponentially more. Most lenders, of course, will never illustrate that philosophy. Consolidation companies’ income largely comes from just this sort of accumulation of interest payments, and they generally try to appeal to borrowers’ (oft delusional) beliefs that they will immediately quit the spending reflexes of a lifetime and devote themselves to patterns of saving that would allow them to repay their loan that much earlier by paying over the minimums. Don’t be fooled by easy flattery and pie in the sky speeches about a sudden change of habits. Most every consolidation professional will attempt to insist that, all of a sudden, you will pay more than the minimum obligation. Know yourself and your buying habits. If you have not been able to restrain spending in the past, there’s no reason to believe that a sense of responsibility will suddenly come your way absent any effort, and, depending on the program, the sudden availability of open credit accounts could just make things worse.

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