When it comes to personal debt, financial experts from around the world agree on one thing: it is a symptom of a much bigger problem with the individual. Debt can build up slowly over the years until it reaches a point where you are paying off so much debt that your personal income doesnt cover what you have to pay each month and worse, you might have to start taking on more debt to fill the gap between income and expenditure.
Its very easy to get in to debt, with the consumer society we live in we have been led to believe that we can have it all right now and pay for it in manageable bitesize chunks each month. The financial crisis and ongoing recession has proved that the buy now, pay later culture fostered by the credit and retail companies was an unsustainable dream and now many people have great TVs, awesome cars, went on fantastic holidays but have huge debt mountains that have to be dealt with.
Debt consolidation is a great tool for many families to pull themselves out of the miserable debt cycle. The lower rate of interest gives breathing space each month so you can use your income for essential living costs rather than paying off interest on the couches you bought a few years back, it will reduce your stress levels as you wont get new bills every day and you can make that one easy payment each month right after you get paid.
Once youve consolidated your debt though you need to rethink your lifestyle and attitude towards credit. If you havent already, now might be the right time to cut up those credit cards particularly the store cards that have crazy interest rates. A new attitude needs to be adopted of waiting to have the money to buy something rather than having everything now and repaying it later. The consumerist lifestyle also needs to be rethought; do you really need to take a foreign holiday each year? Can the gas guzzling SUV be traded in for something more economical? Is there a cheaper place to buy groceries and apparels?
The danger with debt consolidation is that you dont change your lifestyle and manage your income and expenditure to ensure you dont spend more than you have each month. Debt consolidation is your second chance to get your finances in order there isnt a third chance because if you fail to change your ways after consolidating your debt and continue buying gadgets and going out to restaurants and then paying for it all on credit then you risk losing your home, family and lifestyle.
Its a pretty scary thought so once youve consolidated your debt, change your ways, change your attitudes to money and think of the relief youll have in 5 years when you are finally debt free.