When you leave college with a collection of credit card debts and student loans to repay, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of payments you must make in a month. If you want to simplify your life by putting all your debts together in one monthly payment, you may consider a debt-consolidation loan. These loans generally let you manage your debt at a lower interest rate over a set period.
Compile a list of all of your creditors, the credit account numbers and your balance on each account. You may also find it helpful to note the interest rate on each debt.
Contact your bank or an alternate financial institution and ask about debt-consolidation loan options. Inquire about average interest rates and loan periods offered before formally applying for the loan.
Run some sample calculations using the average loan options provided by the bank. Compare the amount of money you would repay over the life of a consolidation loan to the amount you would currently repay creditors. If you are considering credit card debt in these calculations, your statements include this information every month.
Visit your bank if you decide a debt-consolidation loan is a good option. You need to formally apply for the loan, provide a list of your debts and income and give the bank permission to run a credit check.
Wait for your loan results. If you're approved, your bank pays off the debts on your behalf with the loan and begins to bill you on a monthly basis.
Contact multiple banks about debt-consolidation loans. Compare the terms offered by each financial institution to ensure you receive the best loan possible.
Opt for a loan with a higher monthly payment amount if you can afford it. The sooner you repay the consolidated debt, the less you pay in interest over the life of the loan.
When your debt-consolidation loan includes revolving credit accounts, such as credit cards, you need to use the accounts responsibly going forward. Avoid running up new debts. If you doubt your ability to spend wisely, consider canceling a portion of your revolving credit. While the account closures negatively affect your credit report for a while, the accumulation of additional debt causes larger problems.
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