Consolidating car and student loans

Secured loans tend to have lower interest rates than credit cards, but the big risk is that you could lose your house or car if you can't make the payments. You've probably gotten one of these offers in the mail -- a credit card with a 0 percent introductory rate that lets you transfer balances from other credit cards.That's an option if you're looking to consolidate your credit card debt. If you can't pay off most or all of your debt by the time the introductory rate expires, you'll be back to paying high interest rates again.

Consolidating allows you to lump all of these loans together into a single loan.Even if you are approved for a loan, the interest rate might be similar to what you're paying on your credit cards.The debt consolidation option you choose should help you pay down debt while staying within your budget.Then you make one monthly payment into an account held by the counseling agency, and the counselor pays your creditors.A DMP is not a loan, and Bovee warns that there is "not a lot of wiggle room" in a credit counseling company's plan for you, which typically last up to five years. If you miss one, you could end up back where you started with high interest rates.

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