What your creditors don’t want you to know about debt consolidation loans.
Debt consolidation allows you to combine all your loans into one. Essentially, it can give you a way to reduce your interest rates and fees, thereby giving you a way to get yourself out of debt. If you choose to consolidate your debt, you’ll have one loan repayment to worry about rather than several. A debt consolidation loan offers reduced interest and fees, but it’s important to also consider refinancing costs and early payout fees from your existing loans to see if the cost of consolidating is more than the money you’ll save.
- Borrow from $2,000
- 100% online
100% confidential application
Harmoney Debt Consolidation Loan
Apply today to consolidate your debt within minutes with an unsecured loan for up to $70,000.
- Max. loan amount: $70,000
- Loan term: Up to 60 months
- Turnaround time: Approval within minutes, 99% of approved online applications funded in 24 hours
- Fees: Establishment fee of $200 for loans from $2,000-5,000, and $450 for loans from $5,000-70,000.
- No early repayment fees
- Personalised interest rate based on your circumstances
Compare these personal loans for debt consolidation
How can a debt consolidation loan work for me?
Debt consolidation refers to the process of combining multiple loans into a single one. People normally take this road to minimise their ongoing expenditure and make their credit more manageable. For example, if you owe $2,000 on your credit card, $2,000 on a store card and $6,000 on a personal loan, you could look for a debt consolidation loan of $10,000. As well as leaving you with a single repayment, you no longer have to deal with different interest rates and multiple fees, so it can also lead to savings in this way. There are two types of debt consolidation: good credit debt consolidation and bad credit debt consolidation. The former involves you taking out an unsecured personal loan or balance transfer credit card to consolidate multiple credit accounts; while the latter may involve you taking out a debt agreement, which is a form of bankruptcy.
When should I think about debt consolidation?
While debt consolidation is a good option for some, it may not be right for everyone. So, when should you be considering debt consolidation?
- If you have trouble keeping up with monthly repayments. In this case, debt consolidation can reduce the number of repayments and simplify the management of your debt. This is especially true if your cards you are nearing their credit limit or you have already reached the limit.
- If you have a low-interest credit card with available credit. A balance transfer credit card might be an option to consider. These cards let you pay 0% p.a. for a set period for balances transferred. A debt consolidation loan could be considered for higher credit card debt or if you want to consolidate a range of different credit types.
- If you have equity in your home. In this scenario, the interest rate your home loan attracts is considerably lower than that of a personal loan or credit card, so debt consolidation may be a viable option for you to consider.
- If you have bad credit and a large amount of debt. You can consider a debt consolidation loan in order to take back control of your finances. There are some loan companies that specialise in bad credit debt consolidation loans; although keep in mind some of these might be debt agreements which are a form of bankruptcy.
What debt can I consolidate?
It is possible to consolidate a variety of debt using one of these loans. Common types of debt that are consolidated include the following:
- Personal loans. This is a common type of debt to consolidate. You can take out a debt consolidation loan to consolidate two or more separate personal loans; a personal loan and another type of credit; or even refinance a personal loan to one with a lower rate and/or fees.
- Credit cards. If you have a large outstanding balance due on your credit card, you can consider taking out a personal loan to pay it off. This is often an option when you want to consolidate your credit card with another debt or you aren’t a candidate for a balance transfer.
- Store/charge cards. Balances can easily increase on store and charge cards, as they do on credit cards, making them another type of debt people choose to consolidate.
- Other credit accounts. Depending on the loan you take out, you may also be able to consolidate other types of debt. This can include private loans, debts to utility companies (eg electricity, phone, Sky).. Look into what the credit provider will allow you to consolidate.
What options do I have for debt consolidation?
When you choose to consolidate your debt you have three basic options to choose from, which are outlined below:
- Pay off your credit card debt when a balance transfer isn’t an option If you have multiple credit cards, you can consider transferring balances from high interest cards to a different card that attracts a lower interest rate. If you aren’t eligible for one of these cards or can’t transfer the balance within the promotional period, you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan. You have longer to pay off the debt (up to seven years) and can usually fix your rate, so you know how much your repayments will be each month.
- Refinance or pay out your current personal loan You can use a personal loan to pay off existing debt, but since this is an unsecured line of credit you might want to look for a competitive fixed interest rate. You need to have a good credit rating to be approved for a personal loan.
- Rolling debts into your home equity A home equity loan is a secured line of credit that uses the equity in your house as collateral. Getting a home equity consolidation loan can make sense if it considerably relieves your debt , or it leads to savings in the form of lower interest rates and costs. Keep in mind that while the interest rate for these loans are often quite low, the fees can be considerable and you are also risking your home should you default on repayments. Make sure you compare your debt consolidation loan options to find the best one for you.
How can I work out what my best option is?
If you plan on paying off your debts ahead of time and save in the form of interest paid, debt consolidation can be a good idea, but how do you work out if it is a good option for you? One way is a debt consolidation calculator. These calculators put the tools in your hands to work out what debt consolidation option is the best avenue for you to go down. Simply input the amount you want to consolidate, the frequency of your repayments and the applicable interest rate and the calculator will show you how much you will need to pay each month.
Collin is a freelance photographer who was forced to take six months off due to an accident with a snake on a photo shoot. As a freelancer he had no leave or other benefits to rely on. During this six-month period, his family’s debt increased considerably, as they only had his wife’s salary to rely on and she worked part-time. Colin defaulted on his car and home repayments, as they needed to draw on their savings to pay for day-to-day expenses. The debt started to pile up and by the time he returned to work they were only just starting to repay what they owed. After six months, Collin owed a total of $254,000; his outgoing repayments stood at $3,500 per month; and he was at risk of losing his home and car. He and his wife’s joint income were not enough to cover it. After working with a debt consolidation company he refinanced all his debts into a single loan and his monthly repayments came down to $2,438, which is a reduction of more than $1,000. Colin and his wife worked on a budget and cut down on their expenses, so they could pay off their debt as quickly as possible.
But I have bad credit, can I still consolidate my debt?
Bad credit can strike at any time. Whether you lose your job or miss a few repayments due to illness, debt consolidation for bad credit borrowers is still possible. If you find your repayments are spiralling out of control, debt consolidation could be for you. With the help of our guide, you can potentially get your finances back on track.
What to consider when consolidating debt
- You can lower your costs and repayments The majority of people who opt for debt consolidation do so in order to benefit from lower costs and if you choose to consolidate your debt you can save as much as 50 per cent on outgoing costs. If you are looking for a debt consolidation mortgage, you can expect to benefit more through a lower interest rate than using credit cards or personal loans.
- No more phone calls from debt collectors If you are falling behind with payments you probably receive a number of pesky phone calls from people chasing you for money. Once you consolidate all your loans, the phone calls will more than likely stop.
- The potential to access extra features A debt consolidation loan can offer features that an unsecured line of credit does not, including fixed interest rates and the ability to lock in repayment amounts.
- You could avoid bankruptcy If you are struggling to make multiple payments and think you might be headed for bankruptcy, consolidating your debt can give you a chance to get back on track.
- You could lose your property to foreclosure If you get a debt consolidation mortgage and fail to make timely payments, you give the lender the right to foreclose on your property. The lender uses your property as collateral towards the amount you borrow; so if you fail to make repayments you stand to lose the property in question.
- Increasing debt There are instances when people who opt for debt consolidation end up increasing their debt. For example, if you consolidate your credit card balances through a debt consolidation mortgage, you may start racking up further debt on your credit cards and increase your problems.
- Work out a debt management plan. If you are in a position where you need to enter a debt agreement with your creditors, it is important you agree to a plan that is manageable. These agreements are informal and can be worked out between you and your credit provider. If you choose to take out a debt consolidation loan, make sure the debt management plan you enter into is the right choice for you.
- Use a budget. Budgeting your debt consolidation repayments ensures they remain manageable over the term of the loan. How much do you need to pay each month to ensure your debt is paid off? Work your loan repayments into your budget before you take out the loan.
- Compare your options. Make sure you take a look at all the options available to you before you apply for a debt consolidation loan. Are you applying for the most competitive option available? Ensure you look at fees as well as rates and any additional features you may have access to, to see if you are getting the best deal for you.
- Make extra repayments. If your loan allows for it, making additional repayments can help see your loan paid off sooner and save interest. Make sure you won’t be charged fees for additional repayments, lump sum payments or early repayment penalties depending on how you plan to repay your loan. If you find you save a considerable amount on interest from consolidating your debt, make sure to put this saving back into your loan.
- Look for ways to cut down on your expenditure. Are there any ways you can cut down on your outgoings? By cutting down your expenditure you will have more money to make additional repayments, the benefits of which are explained above. Ensure you are in a safe position to manage your repayments and pay back your debts.
The good and the not-so-good details of debt consolidation
How can I make debt consolidation work for me?
While taking out a debt consolidation loan can help you reduce the interest you pay and better manage your repayments, it is up to you to make the most of your debt consolidation efforts. The following are some useful tips to help your debt consolidation loan work best for you:
|Gary is in a bit of a situation.|
He is paying off a few debts — two credit cards a car loan and another small personal loan — and he finds that a large portion of his salary is being used each month to pay off his debt.
Gary is at a loss for what to do.
He wonders if there’s a way to cut down the amount he pays in interest each month, thereby allowing him to pay off his debt faster. He works out a budget to see if making additional repayments will make a difference, but the amount he would be able to afford to pay extra would not be paying down enough of his principal loan amount — only what he’s being charged in interest.
Gary is still a little confused.
After looking online he sees that he can apply for a debt consolidation loan with a very competitive rate. He calculates that his new interest rate means he’ll be paying less interest across all of his debt than he currently is, and he’ll be able to better manage his loan with one repayment each month.
Gary’s situation is looking better.
Gary also uses a debt consolidation calculator and sees that he’ll pay off his debt much earlier than if he’d continued with his current repayments, and he’s going to save thousands in interest.
He compares his debt consolidation loan options and after punching the figures into the calculator he applies online.
Gary is now quite happy with his situation.Back to top
Questions you’ve had about debt consolidation but haven’t asked
The debt consolidation road map can be tricky to navigate and you may not get all the answers you need from your bank or financial planner.