CanLaw Guide to the Law on Bill Collections for the Layperson

What you need to know about consolidating your debt, credit cards and payments

Consolidate Using a

Debt Consolidation Loan

Be Debt Free Sooner

Pay Down Debt and Improve Cash Flow

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What is Debt consolidation?

 

Use a debt consolidation loan to repay your debts to several or all of your existing creditors.

You are then left with only one outstanding loan.

Your consolidation loan may also save you money in interest charges since the new loan interest rates will be lower than your old loans.

Your monthly payment will be substantially less than the total of your old loan payments.

This is especially attractive when you have high interest credit card debt. Sometimes it seems that some credit card companies charge higher interest than the loan sharks.

Usually the new lender will pay off your old debt directly for their own protection. The only monthly payment you will have to make will be to them.

They frequently will ask you to cancel your credit cards so you do not run them up again.

Shop around before you choose a consolidation loan since the terms and  interest rates offered by competing financial institutions will vary. Get the best deal you can before you sign.

Eligible debts

 

Debt consolidation is suitable for credit card debts, public utilities or other consumer loans.

However, not all debts, such as a mortgage, can be combined into a consolidation loan

Who qualifies?

 

In order to qualify for a consolidation loan, you will need an acceptable credit rating and sufficient income to manage the monthly consolidation payment, in addition to paying for their regular monthly bills and expenses.

How much does it cost?

 

It does not cost anything to apply for a consolidation loan . However, a fee may be charged to open your file.

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Other Ways to Consolidate Your Debt

Home Equity to Consolidate Debts

Refinance Your Home or Get a Second Mortgage

Home equity is what’s left when you subtract what you owe on your house from what it’s worth.

Depending on how much equity you have in your home, you might be able to borrow against it and use the cash you get to pay off debt.

If you refinance your home to do this, you could face some stiff fees so consider the cost carefully

Line of Credit or Bank Overdraft to Consolidate Debts

 

You may be able to use your line of credit or bank account overdraft to consolidate your debts into one monthly payment.

Debt Consolidation Using Credit Card

You could use a low interest credit card to pay off other debts, but most people would not have enough credit to truly consolidate all their debts

Credit cards can be a trap because after you make a payment, unless you’re maxed out, you can use your credit card again. You never get anywhere but deeper in debt. Low interest credit cards are no exception.

Debt Management Program

Caution Debt Management Program is just another name for credit counselling programs.

A Debt Management Program (DMP) is a way of consolidating your unsecured debts without borrowing more money. It  combines your debt and is managed by a credit counselling firm.

You make one monthly payment that fits your budget. Beware of hidden fees. So called non profit credit counselling companies are NOT free. You pay directly or through hidden fees.

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This is not legal advice, it is information