Consolidating debt and credit for fresh start
You hear every day that the interest rates are low. It may be time to consider debt consolidation. Although this can be a confusing topic, and if you’re a consumer in a financial frenzy, being overloaded with information may even be more frustrating to you. The following list may help you start the process of consolidating your credit and give you a starting point.
DEFINE YOUR GOALS
A smart first step is for you to define your goals. You need a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and how it will benefit you. In order to make the right debt consolidation choice, or decide if you want to consolidate at all, you want to choose the right way to proceed.
One way to start your consolidation is to view a copy of your credit report. There may be items on your report that you are not aware of or that you have not wanted to face. This can help you focus your efforts. If you’re looking at an item on your report that causes you stress, it may be the one you want to concentrate on.
In this article, we have helped you get started but different consolidation options and their effects on your credit is too complicated to resolve in an article. Many different approaches exist to help you consolidate debt, so you need to do your homework. Only by weighing the pros and cons of each solution can you know the best option for your situation. Think about which of the following goals is most important to you:
• Improving your cash flow: Reducing the size of your monthly payments frees up money you can use in a variety of ways.
• Getting out of debt as fast as possible: Becoming debt free allows you to focus on building wealth, establishing a rainy-day fund or buying a home.
• Protecting your credit: You may need to weigh if it is worth harming your credit in order to get out of debt faster.
• Geting out of debt at lowest total cost: Reducing your overall costs to becoming debt free puts more money in your pocket to use for achieving other financial goals.
• Reduce your debt stress: Stress can come from fear of missing a monthly payment, repeated collection calls, or simply by the uncertainty of having no defined plan in place. Achieving greater peace of mind may be your primary goal.
Many Realtors work with experts who can help you with your credit and debt questions. Call a member of the Warren Area Board of Realtors to find one.
Cunningham is the 2020 president of the Warren Area Board of Realtors.