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Consolidating your credit cards

Once you’ve chosen a debt consolidation method, it’s a good idea to keep the total cost as low as possible.

Try not to take the maximum amount of time possible to pay off your new loan, and come up with a plan to One of the easiest ways to consolidate your credit card debts is to call your current card issuers and ask for a better deal.

While you have them on the phone, ask about these three options: The interest rates on these loans tend to be low — or even interest free.

For example, you can use money from your IRA interest-free for 60 days.

If the representative seems unwilling, we recommend asking to speak with a supervisor.

Lenders know the competition is tough, and it’s cheaper for them to keep you than it is to get a new customer to replace you — especially if you’re a low-maintenance borrower who pays her bills on time.

Interest rates do not appear on a credit report; therefore, the interest rates on your credit cards do not affect your credit worthiness or credit scores.

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A tip for Mom and Dad: If your kids ask you for a loan — for debt consolidation or any other purpose – even if you can easily afford the requested amount — take a good, hard look before you agree.However, many times people who desperately want them don't qualify because their credit score is not high enough or they have too much debt.If this is your situation, there are other options below that may work for you.Additionally, if the company managing your payments under your debt consolidation plan fails to make the payments on time, you are responsible, and those late payments may be reflected on your credit reports.Plus, if the company convinces you to close all of your credit card accounts, it may negatively affect your utilization and you have no way to rebuild a rich history by using those cards in the future in a responsible way.From time to time credit card companies offer very low promotional interest rates.Some people use these as an opportunity to consolidate their debts.They also can provide budgeting and financial management training and advice to help you along the road to recovery. , into one single bill that’s paid off with a loan.A better option may be to find a reputable non-profit credit counseling company near you that can enroll you in a debt management plan.They can help you negotiate terms with your creditors and assist you with making sure payments continue to be made on time during any changes made to your payment schedule.

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