Do you have a lot of debt from multiple sources? If so, then you might be considering a debt consolidation loan as a means of saving money on your debt repayment. After all, a debt consolidation loan allows you to pay back the total balance of your loans in one convenient monthly payment and with one flat interest rate. Before you start applying for debt consolidation loans, however, there are some things you need to know.
The Importance of Credit and Debt-to-Income
First and foremost, understand the factors that lenders take into consideration when determining whether or not you're approved for a debt consolidation loan. Your credit score is extremely important here, but so is your debt-to-income ratio. The more debt you have in comparison to your income, the less likely you are to be approved because you'll be considered a higher risk.
Most Consolidation Loans Are Based on Home Equity
More than likely, you've heard debt consolidation commercials on the radio or have seen them on TV. What a lot of these commercials don't make clear is that what they mean by a debt consolidation loan is really a home equity loan. Therefore, if you don't own a home or you own a home but don't have much equity in it, you're probably not going to be eligible for their version of a debt consolidation loan.
You May Be Approved for a Personal Loan
Fortunately, even if you don't own a home or don't have lots of equity in your home, you still have options when it comes to debt consolidation. For instance, some lenders offer consolidation loans in the form of personal loans. These don't require home equity, but they do tend to have higher interest rates, so you'll want to make sure you do your calculations carefully and ensure it's something that you can afford.
There Are Often Viable Alternatives
Finally, even if you can't take out a debt consolidation loan, understand that you can still consolidate your debt in other ways. For instance, if you have a retirement plan, such as a 401k, you might be able to borrow against that at a low interest rate as a means of paying off your current debts and saving money. The other nice thing about borrowing against your retirement fund is that it doesn't require a credit check, so this is a great option for those who have poor credit. Click here for information about debt consolidation.