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What are the pros and cons of debt consolidation program and loan?

When you are overburdened with debt, you can get relief by consolidating your bills into a lower monthly payment. Bill or debt consolidation enables you to get rid of multiple accounts such as credit card/store card bills, medical bills, internet payday loans, utility bills and several others on which you may have missed payments or you're about to default. However, prior to consolidating your bills, it is essential that you make yourself aware of the pros and cons of debt consolidation.

Pros and cons of consolidation

The pros and cons of consolidating your bills are given below.

Pros

Get reduced interest rates
If you're in a debt consolidation program, the consolidation company you're working with will negotiate with creditors so as to lower your interest rates. So, it'll be comfortable for you to pay back your dues in small monthly repayments.
Single payment vs many
When you enroll in a consolidation program, it enables you to replace several bills with a single monthly payment which you can easily manage. Whereas, when you apply for a consolidation loan, you can pay off your dues with a lump sum payment after which you'll have to repay the loan at a low rate of interest. Anyway, both the options help you to replace several bills with one small repayment per month.

For further details, check out the information on benefits of consolidation.

Cons

It may take longer to get out of debt:
With a consolidation program, you can get debt free within 4-6 years. But when you take out a consolidation loan to repay multiple bills, you remain in debt until and unless you repay this loan. The consolidation loan is usually a long term obligation, so it'll take you quite long to free yourself from such a liability.
Total interest on loan may be quite large:
When you pay off several bills with a large amount of consolidation loan that charges a low rate of interest, your monthly obligations become easily manageable. But the long repayment period of the loan makes you pay much more in total interest over the life of the loan.
High fees for program and loan:
There are consolidation companies and lenders who may charge you a lot of fees for offering their services. You may come across companies which scam consumers by charging fees well beyond the maximum limit set by the state where you reside. To avoid this, compare fees with different companies before you for a consolidation program or loan.
Rate may be raised after balance transfer:
If you have credit card dues, balance transfer is one way of paying them off fast. Here, you transfer your balances into a new credit card having a low introductory rate which reduces your monthly outgoings.

After the introductory period is over, the interest rate on the card will be raised. So, if the introductory period isn't too long and you owe a lot of money, then you won't be able to pay off your bills within the low rate period. Thus, you'll have to repay your balances at a high rate of interest. So, it is better to transfer your balances into a single card only when you're sure that you'll be able to repay bills within the introductory period.

When you're in payment problems, consolidation can provide you with a manageable way to pay off your dues. But you should be aware of the pros and cons just to make sure that consolidation is the right way to pay back your bills and improve your credit situation.