COVID-19: Consolidate Your Debts and Take Control of Your Finances

COVID-19: Consolidate Your Debts and Take Control of Your Finances

COVID-19: Consolidate Your Debts and Take Control of Your Finances

If you’re dealing with multiple debts during COVID-19 or simply want to reorganize multiple bills with varying due dates, debt consolidation may be a way to help get you back on track. 

A debt-consolidation loan brings all your existing debts together into one new debt, helping you to manage your repayments and keep track of your financial goals. It is also a good way to reduce your interest rate and fees since you’re combining all your existing loans and debts into one. 

Paying fees and high-interest rates across multiple cards can be enormously destructive to a person’s financial savings, as well as their mental well-being. Taking out a personal loan to consolidate debt can be a life raft to those sinking in debt. 

What is a Debt-Consolidation Loan?

A debt-consolidation loan brings together all your debts — credit, student loans, store cards, and the like — into a single, lower-interest payment loan. 

Making just one payment on one loan, you can more easily manage your repayment of all debts rolled into the loan. It also works well for those who have multiple credit cards or unsecured loans. 

A debt consolidation loan allows borrowers to use the money from the loan to pay off their debt and pay back the loan in installments over a set term. You can usually choose your own frequency of repayments, but generally, you’ll have just one repayment to make every week or month. 

The interest rate of a personal debt consolidation loan is often lower than your credit card rates, so this can help you get ahead by reducing your cumulative debt and providing you with a clear timeline of when you’ll be debt-free. 

How Many of us Need Help with our Debt?

Debt-consolidation loans are surging as many cash-strapped Australian consumers find themselves with a lot of credit card debt on several different cards with high-interest rates and struggling to keep control of their finances. 

Personal loans to consolidate debt has climbed more than 12 percent last year, according to the Bank of Australia. And those who have been borrowing to consolidate debts are of varying demographics.

According to survey data, debt consolidation was the most common reason Australians took out a personal loan, and the difference isn’t that big across generations. 37.4 percent of boomers borrowed for that reason, while 37.1 percent of millennials and 39.6 percent of Gen X said they were borrowing to consolidate debt.

Recent data shows household debt in Australia has climbed to record levels compared to household income. Consumers are damaging their financial health and having to turn to debt consolidation as a result of poor financial management. 

Not knowing what debt you owe or the interest rate being paid are common errors, along with a lack of understanding about loans and bad habits such as impulse buying. 

Some borrowers make the mistake of keeping money in cash deposits earning next to nothing or they offset their home loan interest rate to save, but still have outstanding credit card debt costing higher interest rates per annum. 

New methods of payment such as “buy now, pay later schemes” have also trapped many consumers into having to make costly repayments for bills not paid on time.

Many people have also been tempted by zero percent balance-transfer credit cards but become trapped by higher interest rates later in the relationship. Even if the consumer does pay the transferred debt off during the interest-free period, the temptation of using the card for new purchases charged at a higher interest can start a whole new cycle of debt accumulation. 

Why you Should Consolidate Your Debt

Making a conscious effort to change spending habits and reorganizing finances can help you to manage your debts. Taking out a loan to consolidate debt can be a good idea for the following reasons:

  • You owe money to a number of different lenders and are trying to pay off multiple debts at the same time. Consolidating your debts into a single loan will give you just the one repayment date and one interest charge, making it easier to manage your repayments and see your debt-free goal date in a concrete timeline. 
  • To lower your interest rate. Taking out a loan to consolidate your debts will provide you with a lower, single interest rate rather than varying interest rates from multiple lenders. It is also typically a simple interest loan rather than the monthly or daily compounded interest rate of credit cards.
  • It provides you with a tangible repayment plan. Having a single loan for multiple debts will allow you to know when all your debts will be paid off. Having multiple dates for repayment can be confusing and make it harder to manage your finances. A new fixed loan term will allow you to know exactly when your debt will be paid. 

Managing Debt for Your Financial Future

Having one debt-consolidation loan can help you with your repayments as well as your financial management. Taking out a personal loan helps you to simplify your budget by rolling all your debts into one. 

Instead of having to make repayments on different credit cards at different interest rates, a debt consolidation loan will provide you with a single debt and single rate. Debt consolidation doesn’t erase your original debt but makes it more manageable to pay it off. This makes repayments easier to track and helps you to improve your credit score and your financial future.

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  • Jason Hearn

    I am in deep trouble......

  • Emily Davenport

    My student loan is killing me

  • Bryan Lloyd

    I can barely survive during this lockdown

  • Antony Coghlan

    Thanks for the help !

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Luke Fitzpatrick

Tech Expert

Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

   

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