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Lifting the Veil on Debt Consolidation UK

You’re sitting there one day, off from work due to the stress of your unsecured debts weighing heavily upon your shoulders. Suddenly, in the background noise from the TV you hear a fantastic deal – consolidate your existing debts into ‘one easy affordable loan’. You think wow, just what I need to get my debts under control and you get the sales blurb.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

Debt consolidation in the UK is not a new phenomena these days. It’s been around a while. Lots of people have taken out debt busting consolidation loans. So why is the amount of debt in the UK still rising so fast? And why are bankruptcies, IVA’s and debt counselling services stretched to their limits and running at all time high figures right now? Well people get sold on the advantages but I’d recommend thinking about the disadvantages too!

Advantages of debt consolidation UK

Well the interest rate normally comes down on the unsecured debt amount borrowed making the monthly payments easier to afford.

Your debts come under control quickly so the annoying telephone calls and letters from irate creditors stops.

Disadvantages of debt consolidation UK (this is the bit they don’t want you to think too hard about)

To get a debt consolidation loan usually requires some form of property. By consolidating the unsecured debts to your home some of the equity has now been lost. So what was once an unsecured debt now forms part of a charge over your property. Every legal advert in the UK selling this type of service will point out in the small print that your home is at risk if you fail to keep up payments on (this now larger) secured loan. So you’ve put more risk onto your property. I regularly meet people who have bought their house maybe 20 years ago for figures like £80,000 on a house worth £110,000 to find that a decade on they have a house worth (say) £180,000 with a new debt consolidated mortgage of £150,000. So they still only have a similar amount of equity in the property but also have a mortgage now nearly double in size!

Another disadvantage is that the term of the borrowing is usually increased. Well sometimes the debt consolidation companies in the UK will sell that as a benefit with a line like ‘you can take longer to pay your debt and allow yourself time to get on top of your borrowing over the coming years’. I find that an odd statement. You have doubled your mortgage in a decade and you have found yourself in debt but suddenly your spending habits will change and you’ll be debt free at some point in the future. What are your thoughts as you read that? Another interesting point arises here. Because the term is often longer, you will possibly end up paying much more of your hard earned money for that unsecured borrowing by the time you pay off your new secured lending.

Did the debt consolidation company ask what your lifetime ambitions are? You see, you may have got out of the immediate debt issues but you may just also have signed away the possibility of that early retirement / new car / that holiday to see your family down under too. You see, if the amount you are paying back is higher than you had budgeted for then you may need to work longer to achieve your dreams. Was this discussed with you?

Did you consider at least 6 solutions for getting our of debt trouble before you decided on your debt consolidation loan? Can the company you speak to even name 6 solutions for getting out of debt trouble? If not then you have ignored several other options that may have been more suitable for the financial position you found yourself in. It’s rare indeed to find loan and mortgage brokers that are fully trained in solutions to tackle insolvency and debt issues. They have their offering and will talk about the monthly repayment figures to demonstrate how you could be better off, but is it the best way forward? Well naturally, that depends on your situation.

A final word on debt consolidation in the UK

Now, I do believe that debt consolidation has its place but I also think that there could be more done to understand that there are other options for getting out of debt. Getting the right debt help and advice is essential. Look at the advantages and the disadvantages for each solution you consider for debt resolution and then make a more informed decision.

There are more options for getting out of debt trouble then most people realise, that includes debt consolidation but is not limited to just that course of action.

If you would like to know what the 6 solutions to debt in the UK are then you can get debt help and advice from Ed Pearson at Debt Dr.

This article does not constitute regulated advice. Please remember that any action regarding financial advice should always be taken only after considering the specifics of your own situation.

To find out more about Ed try, http://www.advice4debt.co.uk/debtquiz.htm

Ed Pearson is a Debt Dr offering debt help and advice to individuals and small businesses across the UK.

Whilst you may love the stuff he writes, you should only ever take action once you have considered your own set of financial circumstances with a professional. This article does not constitute financial advice.

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July 18, 2010 - Posted by | Finance | , , , ,

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