Millions of Americans are racked with debt. Credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans are the biggest culprits for placing individuals in a financial stranglehold. These individuals often want quick solutions to make their debt troubles disappear. In trying to alleviate their debt woes, they often take a bad situation and make it much worse by turning to the wrong financial products.
Here are a few of the financial products that may be more trouble than they are worth.
1. Taking out a home equity line of credit.
Mortgage brokers and lenders often advise clients to take out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to pay off all of their outstanding debts. It’s a tempting offer because it enables an individual to eliminate 7 or 8 different debts and just pay one. Sounds good, right? Wrong! The problem is that people are pledging their greatest financial asset to get rid of unsecured debts. Creditors have no recourse in collecting an unsecured debt. They cannot take your house or car for defaulting on a credit card. They can however take your home for defaulting on a home equity line of credit.
2. Taking out a debt consolidation loan.
Let me start by saying that not all debt consolidation loans are bad. Some individuals are actually able to use these loans to alleviate their debt woes. Others however get more than they bargained for with debt consolidation loans. These loans often carry higher interest rates than existing debts and charge fees for their loan products. 70% of borrowers that take out a debt consolidation loan end up with the exact same debt problems two years later. Debt consolidation loans are a temporary remedy and not the cure they are promised to be.
3. Transferring all of your debts to your credit cards.
It’s a popular move today to transfer all of your debts to a zero rate or low interest rate credit card. This makes perfect sense in theory because you are taking higher interest rate debt and reducing the payments. In reality however, you are giving your credit card company control of your financial future. Credit card companies are famous for jacking up interest rates on customers for no reason whatsoever. Your credit card company may use your balance transfers as an excuse to increase your interest rate a few months later. There are horror stories of zero percent rate cards jumping to 15 percent in a few months.
The best solution to getting out of debt is sending in extra principal payments to reduce your balances. Keep doing this and you will be out of debt in no time!