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The Dangers of Using Your Home to Consolidate Consumer Debt

Mar 15, 2008
If you are drowning in consumer debt, as many American families are these days, then you may be considering a consolidation loan, using your home as security. This will have the benefit of combining all of your loan payments into one payment, and that single payment may be less than the combined payments you currently have. However, there are serious dangers you need to keep in mind before using your home as collateral for such a loan.

The number one danger is pretty cut and dry: you could lose your home! Remember, when your debt is contained in credit card balances, the credit card companies have no claim to your home or any real property. But if you shift that debt to a bank loan secured by your home, then you're in a whole new ball park. You can lose everything.

Although a loan consolidation can reduce your monthly payment, it may actually increase the total amount of money you have to pay back. And you may be paying back your loan for more years than if you just made your credit card payments. Scrutinize any loan offer carefully to make sure it is in your best interest to move forward.

Another danger is the temptation to once again start using your credit cards after the debt has been transferred to a consolidation loan. If you wind up running your credit card debt up again, then you could end up much worse off, with both credit card debt AND a bank loan secured by your home. This will put you dangerously close to losing your home. It is greatly advised that, after transferring credit card debt to a secured loan, you concentrate your funds on paying off the new loan as quickly as possible and avoid creating new debt.

A loan secured by your home cannot be remedied through bankruptcy. In other words, even if you file bankruptcy, you can still lose your home. It is possible that you might be better off pursuing bankruptcy or some other action than consolidating your debt with your home as collateral. You need to be sure that you can handle the payments that will be due on the new loan.

Another caveat to using your home for a consolidation loan is that debt owed to credit card companies can often be negotiated to terms similar to what you might get in a consolidation loan secured by your home. If you can take other steps to ease your burden without risking your home, you should definitely do so.

So...can using your home to secure a consolidation loan for credit card debt be a good option for you and your family? The answer, like many things in life, is that it depends. It depends on how confident you are that you will be able to make your monthly payments on-time on the new loan. And it depends on how comfortable you are risking your home. And it depends on whether or not you have other options that might allow you to get control of your debt without risking your home. So think deeply upon these questions and then move forward with confidence. A better future awaits.
About the Author
ClearOne Debt Relief is a full-service debt management company providing debt settlement services such as credit card debt relief to hundreds of thousands of customers. We help people cut their debt in half, lower their monthly payment, and get out of debt in as little as 24 months.
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