Simply put, debt consolidation involves taking out one larger loan to pay off an existing debt.
Why would anyone want to take out a loan to pay off another loan?
The answer is simple:
A Consolidation loan allows you to make one payment every month, as opposed to making payments to many different parties. You will in effect be putting all your debt into one big pot, and making one monthly repayment, at a lower interest rate.
The loan is paid back at a lower interest rate when the debt is consolidated, because the loan that is taken out is secured against an asset. The asset acts as collateral for the institution lending the money. If you borrow the money and default on your payments, you can be forced to sell the asset to pay back the loan.
Debt consolidation can be a good way to pay off credit card debt. The interest payable on a credit card will be significantly higher than the interest on a consolidation loan. The interest payable on a consolidation loan can be up to 50 percent lower than credit card interest. The same can be said for administration charges on your various monthly expense accounts. Consolidating your debt will lead to savings on these accounts because you will only pay interest and fees on one account.
The institution that you lend the money from will also help you to structure the repayments so that they fit in with your budget. Your monthly income will have an effect on your monthly repayments each month and the total amount you will be allowed to borrow.
Loans can be secured or unsecured. A secured loan involves using your home as collateral for the loan. If you fail to make your monthly payments the bank can force the sale of your home. The advantage of a secured loan is that you will be able to lend a much larger amount than you would in the case of an unsecured loan.
An unsecured loan involves lending money without having to put up any collateral for the loan. While this protects your property from foreclosure the amount you will be able to borrow will be considerably lower. The interest rate will be higher because the bank has no security in the event that you cannot pay back the loan.