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|Consolidate And Live Debt Free
Are your credit cards in charge of your life? Are you living
payday to payday with no end in sight? Making large payments but
not making much of a dent on your principal balance? It may be
time to consolidate and live debt free.
Debt free living opens up so many possibilities for using your
money more wisely. The money once used to make monthly bill
payments can go toward college funds and retirement savings. It
can be used for investments and cash to use on travel and
The first step toward living debt free may be to consolidate
your current indebtedness. There are several methods to
consolidate your bills and each once requires careful
examination before taking the plunge. Before making the first
move to consolidate it is important, however, to be fully aware
of your credit history and current credit (FICO) score. Only
when you know as much about yourself as your creditors do can
you make wise decisions about your finances and begin to live
FICO scores range from 400 to 800. Scores above 720 designate
excellent credit. Scores below 550 are considered sub par. Even
a score below 600 can make it more difficult to consolidate.
Beneath this range will make interest rates and fees higher.
Pull your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies
(Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). Receiving one free credit
report each year is mandated by law. You can purchase your
credit score online for a nominal fee. When requesting these
reports be wary of any sites that ask for billing information
before allowing you to access your free credit report. Make sure
you are not signing up for any monthly updates that will be
charged to your credit card. Remember, the idea is to live debt
free after you consolidate your current bills.
Once you are aware of exactly how much you owe and how you are
viewed by the credit community it is time to look at your
options to consolidate. If you own your own home and it has
accumulated equity you might consider a home equity debt
consolidation loan. If your credit is relatively good you might
consider a debt consolidation loan from a loan company or
consolidating all of your debt onto one loan interest
card. However, if your credit card debt has accumulated to the
point where it has affected your credit, you may need to think
about a debt consolidation loan through a service for people
with damaged credit. Some of these services also offer credit
Debt free consolidation through a home equity loan has the
advantage of being relatively easy to arrange. Any homeowner who
has allowed equity to build in his/her property should find an
ample supply of agents willing to broker a consolidation loan.
All of the home owner's outstanding credit card bills can be
rolled into the mortgage amount as long as the total does not
exceed a certain percentage of the home's value.
Persons with good credit may also apply for a consolidation loan
which will have a lower interest rate and, therefore, a lower
payment than the total payments being made on all the credit
card debt combined.
For those with sub par credit debt consolidation loans may also
be the answer. However, the interest rate will not be as low as
that for consumers with a higher credit score. Still, the
payment may be less than the total of the payments made
In the current culture it is the rare individual who can be
totally debt free htt
people will always have at least a mortgage payment with which
to contend. However, the fewer monthly bills - especially high
interest revolving credit - the better. No matter how you choose
to consolidate and become debt free it is important to eliminate
your previous credit card habits. Cutting up all but one credit
card is highly advisable. Select the credit card with the best
overall package and secure it in a safe place for use in a
pinch. Now you are on your way to a debt free lifestyle.
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