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How To Get The Most From Consumer Debt Consolidation

Jan 21, 2008
Consumer debt consolidation can take two main forms. Firstly, and the one most people think of, involves taking out a loan to consolidate all your existing debts, thereby reducing the overall cost of your monthly repayments. This is because the debt is secured on property and also is for a higher amount than the other smaller debts of which it is comprised. For this reason the interest rate of the larger loan will be smaller.

The other form of consumer debt consolidation is a debt management program, which may be a simple management strategy for dealing with your existing debt, or it can take the form of an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) which has the added advantage of reducing the total debt by up to seventy percent, sometimes even a little more.

IVAs were set up by the United Kingdom government as a way of dealing with personal insolvency without resorting to bankruptcy, which is still seen as a drastic step and which remains stigmatic to many. Consumer debt consolidation of the IVA type is a kinder way of dealing with personal debt.

Of the two main forms of consumer debt consolidation, an IVA is actually the most beneficial in the long term. It does not carry the risk of a secured loan, and it provides a means of structuring personal debt so that an end to financial problems may actually be achieved. A loan may provide relief for a while - even for a couple of years - but then the borrower usually finds that he or she is back to square one after just a little while.

Consumer debt programmes are dealt with by experienced Insolvency Practitioners, and these people are far more highly qualified than the person who sells you a loan. The insolvency practitioner will look at your income and outgoings then work out what you can afford to pay to your creditors each month. He or she will then approach all of your creditors and negotiate on your behalf, and this is where the massive reduction in your overall debt occurs. Up to seventy percent will be wiped out at this stage.

Following this process you will then have a relatively small monthly payment to make, and at this stage your interest will be frozen as well. Other penalty fees including late payment charges and similar costs will also be voided. From this moment on your creditors will not be allowed to contact you in any way. They will not be allowed to take any further court action against you. An IVA is legally binding, and if you get any further contact from your creditors after the IVA has been put into effect, then you may take them to court for breach of the terms of the IVA. This helps to relieve the tension and stress caused by debt.

Assuming all goes well you will be debt free in five years. This compares with three years to discharge a personal bankruptcy. To get the most from your consumer debt consolidation through an IVA will not take any more effort than paying the instalments on a new loan, and will have a beneficial effect sooner.
About the Author
Gordon Goodfellow runs consumer websites which add value. His consumer debt consolidation web site offers a wide range of services and options to those with debt. His associate site offers debt consolidation advice in the United States.
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