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Those Considering Debt Consolidation Loans Must Act 'Properly'

Jan 7, 2008
Taking out a debt consolidation loan could be a major step forward in helping many people to get to grips with their money management, new figures suggest.

In research conducted by uSwitch, it was put forward that consumers could save an estimated total of 15 billion pounds in interest repayments by merging their previous debts, whether accrued through credit cards, overdrafts or personal loans, into a single low-rate loan. The price comparison website claimed that by making just a single low-cost repayment on a best-buy debt consolidation loan, the typical British household could be some 605 pounds better off over the course of three years. It was suggested that such a figure may well make the difference for many people between managing to make ends meet or "being pushed into insolvency".

With a total of 93 billon pounds being spent on interest each year - an average of 3,744 pounds per house - a debt consolidation loan may be useful for increasing numbers of people. Indeed, the findings showed that consumers are paying 517 pounds more on their debts than they were 12 months ago. Research from the price comparison website also revealed that the average household is some 4,280 pounds 92p in the red on various cards, loans and overdrafts. Overall, the country's total personal debt stands at 1.39 trillion pounds. Meanwhile, findings from Citizens Advice indicate that the advisory service is now dealing with over 6,600 people every day to address money problems, a rise of 25 per cent from 2006.

Commenting on the figures, Mike Naylor, personal finance expert for uSwitch, said: "Anyone with multiple debts and a poor credit history could be vulnerable to the impact of the credit crunch and should seriously consider consolidation while the option is still available. The base rate reduction is a step in the right direction, but it could be too little too late for people in real financial difficulties."

He added: "With banks tightening their lending belts more every day, people need to keep a close eye on borrowing costs and monthly interest payments because every penny counts. An unsecured loan with a fixed monthly payment and a fixed interest rate may be a safer bet in this climate, but consolidation must be done properly."

The study also showed that three million people have taken out a cheap consolidation loan in order to get to grips with their finances. However, such a loan may be of use to increasing numbers of Britons as some 9.5 million have reached the limit of one form of borrowing during the past six months. Those who do take out a debt consolidation loan were advised to make sure they avoid going back into the red. During 2006, two-thirds of those with such a loan went on to borrow further, racking up an extra 2,300 pounds of debts. Meanwhile, 43 per cent of consolidation loan borrowers claim to get more money then they need to in order to save for a "rainy day".

Applying for a consolidation loan now may be of use to people of all ages as recent figures from the Alliance Trust Research Centre showed that consumers from numerous demographics saw a rise in living costs during November. The study showed that those over the age of 75 and the under-30s are facing inflation rates of 2.6 per cent, despite the official figure standing at 2.1 per cent. In turn such surging costs may cause many Britons to develop problems in managing numerous demands on spending, for which a cheap loan may prove helpful.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for Loan-Arrangers .co.uk where visitors can compare loans online. Then apply for the best secured loans and bad credit loans available.
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