Getting a debt consolidation loan to pay off your credit obligations may seem like a good idea but before you pursue that path, you need to lean a couple of things first.

All forms of debt relief in general will require a specific financial situation before you can really say that it is the right option for you to achieve debt freedom. In getting a loan to pay your other debts, there are signs to look out for before you opt for this as your solution. If you have the wrong signs, you may end up having more financial problems than when you started.

So here are the requirements you need to have before opting to take a loan to pay your other debts.

One of them is a steady income. Applying for a debt consolidation loan is the same as any other loan - you need to be approved by the lending institution. If you do cannot provide documents that will support a steady cash flow to fund your loan payments, then you might not be granted one.

The next is a good credit score. While bad credit score will not hamper your application, it will have an effect on your loan’s interest rate. If you have a less satisfactory score, you are considered a high risk borrower and thus you will be given a higher interest rate than someone who has a good score to begin with.

To avoid a high interest rate, you can always use a collateral to get a secured loan. So if you have one, that may be able to get you a good rate on the loan you will take for your debt consolidation plans.

There are two reasons why you want to go into debt consolidation. One of them is to lower your monthly payments. It will not be as significant as a debt settlement but if you have the income to support it, debt consolidation is the best way to help protect your credit score while lowering your payments. The payments will be lowered through the change in interest rate as credit cards are notorious for having high rates. You will also save on service fees and other charges.

It is very important that you compute your current debt and the new payment plan that you will have after the loan. If it ends up being higher than the current, don’t go through with it. That will defeat the purpose of using a loan to get rid of your other debts. Choose the type of loan that you will get so you can be sure you have the best deal in terms of interest rate, monthly payments and terms.

The other reason to opt for debt consolidation loans is to make your payments more manageable. You will literally combine all your payments by taking out one loan to pay off the other debts. That will help you concentrate on one simple payment plan. It makes monitoring and tracking easier to manage.

One pitfall that you have to watch out for is acquiring more debts while you are paying off the new loan. As you clear your credit cards with the loan, for instance, the zero balance can give the false belief that you are not so deep in debt after all. This is not true of course so be sure you keep a tight lid on your spending.

All in all, it boils down to how you will discipline yourself once you are in a debt relief program. Whether that is debt consolidation, debt settlement, credit counseling or bankruptcy, you need to learn your lesson and make sure you do not put yourself in debt once more.

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