Debt can become a crippling weight on the shoulders of honest borrowers, so much so that eventually a deal is needed to clear the debt. Bankruptcy should always be the last resort, and before that stage, debtors can choose whether debt consolidation or debt settlement is the right course of action.
Deciding which of them is the right option has a lot to do with specific circumstances, and whether the entire debt can be covered by a single consolidation loan, or if only a percentage of the debt can be handled.
Choosing debt consolidation may be more expensive in the short term, but unlike debt settlement programs, they do not have a detrimental effect on credit records.
So, which is the best one to choose? Which can be of the greater benefit? Understanding the difference can help in making the right decision.
The Consolidation Option
When choosing whether debt consolidation or debt settlement is the right option, it is important to look at the advantages and the mechanics of the two options. There are definite benefits to both, but depending on the financial situation, one can be more suitable than the other.
When it comes to choosing debt consolidation, it is important to note that this means all debts are repaid in full. It does not involve agreeing any reduction in debt, and therefore no savings are made. Basically, a consolidation loan is secured to repay all of the debts in one go. And with the right loan terms, the monthly obligation becomes more affordable.
Basically, if 5 loan balances add up to $50,000, with their interest rates varying from 9% to 15%, and combined monthly repayments of $800, consolidation sees the balance replaced by a single loan of $50,000, with one interest rate and a longer loan term, ensuring repayments fall to perhaps $400. Debt settlement programs provide a very different solution.
The Debt Settlement Option
Whether opting for debt consolidation or debt settlement, the purpose is the basically same – the weight of debt is lifted, and hopefully for good. But while debt consolidation has its advantages, in some situations debt settlement is the best option, not least because only a fraction of the debt needs to be repaid.
The essence of settlement is the negotiation that takes place prior to it. This is where the savings are secured, with required payments sometimes falling to just 30% of the actual debt figure. Choosing consolidation loans means that 100% of the debt is repaid, so effectively no savings are made at all.
Central to any debt settlement program is the introduction of a strict financial regime, which effectively controls what is done with the limited finances available. And while bankruptcy sees the credit affected for 10 years, the settlement affects credit options for just 2 years.
Choosing The Right Option
So, which is the best option, debt consolidation or debt settlement? The answer is often a simple matter of mathematics. For example, calculating the amount of excess income by taking your total expenditure from your total income, is essential in any loan application – and choosing debt consolidation is much like choosing simple loan.
But in choosing a debt settlement program, it is important to note that a professional settlement negotiator is needed to hammer out a good settlement deal. These will charge a fee.
Also, the deal is dependent on the ability to make a lump sum settlement payment, so if the deal is to pay 40% of a $100,000 debt, $40,000 needs to be available to pay immediately.