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Pluses and minuses of credit card debt consolidation

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2019 | Credit Card Debt

Falling behind on credit card debt is a growing problem, especially for “millennials” who use them to pay for living expenses that are not covered by their paychecks. More consumers are using credit card debt consolidation to pay off their unpaid credit card bills. But, this should be carefully considered.

Under this approach, various companies review a person’s credit and, if they are eligible, will give them a consolidation loan to pay off their credit cards. The consumer then repays the company for the loan. Some consolidation companies will also engage in debt settlement and negotiate with credit card companies for a smaller payoff balance. This option is available for consumers who suffer financial problems that do not comply with the credit score requirements guiding debt consolidation.

Consumers also have the option of seeking their own loans to pay off debt. They may negotiate on their own behalf with credit card companies. Consumers with solid credit scores and who are established may seek a personal loan from their bank in addition to a debt consolidation company. Credit card companies let consumers settle debt only if they stopped making payments or can demonstrate financial problems, such as job loss or the death of a spouse or family member. This may be the most promising option for younger consumers who are in college or beginning their careers and carrying debt.

This age group may be more prone to debt because lenders oftentimes give credit cards to them even though they have no credit and small incomes. This debt follows them when they enter the job market. This is further compounded because they must pay their college loans after graduation. Before considering debt relief options, consumers should carefully research lenders. Even large financial institutions may try to take advantage of borrowers. Companies should be rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Companies that charge up-front fees should not be used.