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Here are the top things you need to know before you consolidate your debt: But here’s the deal: Debt consolidation promises one thing but delivers another.
That’s why dishonest companies that promote too-good-to-be-true debt-relief programs continue to rank as the top consumer complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission.
Debt settlement is a scam, and any debt relief company that charges you before they actually settle or reduce your debt is in violation of the Federal Trade Commission. When you consolidate your debts or work with a debt settlement company, you’ll only treat the symptoms of your money problems and never get to the core of why you have issues in the first place.
You don’t need to consolidate your bills—you need to pay them off.
But let’s be honest: Your interest rate isn’t the main problem. This specifically applies to consolidating debt through credit card balance transfers.
The enticingly low interest rate is usually an introductory promotion and applies for a certain period of time only. Be on guard for “special” low-interest deals before or after the holidays.
In almost every case, you’ll have lower payments because the term of your loan is prolonged. You are only restructuring your debt, not eliminating it.
You don’t need debt rearrangement—you need debt reformation.
Get the facts before you consolidate your debt or work with a settlement company.Debt settlement companies also charge a fee for their "service." Often, the fee is anywhere from 15–20% of your debt.