Most people enter a new year with a resolution to get healthier or exercise more. In 2018, AmOne would like you to consider making a 2018 financial resolution as well. Debt consolidation can be a great financial decision and can provide peace of mind as an added benefit – and who couldn’t use a more peaceful mind?
According to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household has $16,425 in credit card debt alone – an amount that has risen 10% since 2013. If the household includes home ownership, you can add another $170,000 in mortgage debt to this amount. And if anyone is attending college or is a college graduate, a staggering $49,000 in student loans might be owed. Ouch!
Don’t let those statistics get you down. There are ways to become debt free and this year is shaping up to be the best time to accomplish that goal. Here’s why you should set a financial resolution this year and learn how to become debt free.
Interest rates are still at historically low levels – but may not stay there for much longer. Currently, the interest rate on mortgage loans is as low as 3.50% and the interest rate on personal loans for people with excellent credit can be as low as 4.29% APR. That means if you have credit card, student loan, or other debt you want to pay off, now could be the best time.
One alternative is obtaining a loan to pay off your debt. While this way to become debt free might not work for everyone, the low interest rates mean that you may be able to consolidate your debts into one loan. Basically, you would be borrowing money to pay off multiple loans (such as one or more credit cards and an existing high interest rate loan, for example). This could result in having one payment to make a month vs paying multiple bills. You don’t necessarily need to risk your home or your automobile in order to secure the loan, either. Unsecured debt consolidation loans can be a great option. Although these loans may have a higher interest rate than their collateral-backed counterparts, you’re not putting your assets at risk.
Another great 2018 financial resolution can be entering a debt management plan with a credit counseling service or finding a reputable company to help you with a debt relief program. These programs are best if you’re are looking to consolidate credit card debt, other unsecured personal loans, or settle medical bills or collection accounts.
Depending on your credit score and credit report, you may be able to obtain a debt consolidation loan or enter a debt management plan with a much lower interest rate that could dramatically lower your monthly payments, helping you become debt free.
If you are not able to get a debt consolidation loan or enter a debt management or debt relief plan, you do still have options. One is to use what’s known as the “snowball” approach to debt. Simply put, make a list of your debts, put them in order from the smallest amount owed to the largest, and pay the minimum due on each. If you have any extra money you can put toward your bills (whatever is left over after setting aside for your savings or retirement), use that extra money to help pay down the smallest loan amount. Once that’s paid off, move onto the next loan on the list. Continue this process until all of your debts are paid in full.
Whichever method you choose, whether it’s taking out a loan for debt consolidation, entering a debt management or debt relief program, or using the snowball method, 2018 looks like it’s the best time to resolve to become debt-free. If you have any questions about how to become debt free and what option might be best for your situation, AmOne’s free matching service is here for you.