A consolidation loan may also be kind to your credit score down the road.“If the principal is paid down faster [than it would have been without the loan], the balance is paid off sooner, which helps to boost your credit score,” says Freeman.There are several ways consumers can lump debts into a single payment.One is to consolidate all their credit card payments onto one new credit card – which can be a good idea if the card charges little or no interest for a period of time – or utilize an existing credit card's balance transfer feature (especially if it's offering a special promotion on the transaction).Even so, the interest rates are still typically less than the rates on credit cards. “Typically, the loan has to be paid off in three to five years,” says Harrine Freeman, CEO and owner of H. Freeman Enterprises, a credit repair and credit-counseling service in Bethesda, Md., and author of “How to Get Out of Debt.” These types of loans don’t erase the debt; they simply transfer all your debts to a different lender or type of loan.(In circumstances where you need actual debt relief or don't qualify for loans, it may be best to look into a debt settlement rather than, or in conjunction with, a debt consolidation.Theoretically, debt consolidation is any use of one form of financing to pay off other debts.However, there are specific instruments called debt consolidation loans, offered by creditors as part of a plan to borrowers who have difficulty managing the number or size of their outstanding debts.
Even if the monthly payment stays the same, you can still come out ahead by streamlining your loans.
Home equity loans or home equity lines of credit are another form of consolidation sought by some people, as the interest on this type of loan is deductible for borrowers taxpayers who itemize their deductions.
There are also several consolidation options available from the federal government for those with student loans.
According to Jarvis, if you decide one day to stop paying your federal student loans, after 270 days the loan will default, at which point the government will start garnishing your wages, seizing tax refunds, and intercepting government benefits (like social security) without a court order.
The government may also sue if they think it will give them access to your assets.