Debt Consolidation Loans

Written by Ingrid Chen
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Debt is nothing to laugh about. In 2002, over 1.3 million Americans filed for bankruptcy because they were drowning in debt. Now, filing for bankruptcy wipes your credit report clean, but you will have "bankruptcy" written in big red letters on there for six to 10 years. This can exclude you from getting the loans you want, thus keeping you from doing things like buying a home, a car or even stereo equipment.

If you aren't over your head in debt yet, but you are on that track, you need to do some serious readjustment. One of the first steps you might want to take is to evaluate your financial situation. Start keeping track of everything you spend money on and every way you make money. If you note that you buy new clothes every week, you might want to give that up.

Consolidating for Peace of Mind

Many people choose to consolidate their debt. This is when you get a loan to pay off all your current debt, thus resulting in one monthly bill that is lower than all your previous bills combined. You have to be careful with some consolidating agencies, however. If their fee seems too high or they want it up front, move on.

Plenty of agencies advertise that they can wipe your credit history clean or that they can remove some of the negatives on your report. This is untrue. The only way to wipe it clean instantly is to file for bankruptcy, which I just discussed. In order to better your score, you have to pay your bills on time and, if possible, pay more than the minimum due each month.

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