Debt consolidation can be a confusing subject. There are many conflicting views on what a consumer buried in credit card debt should do to get back on their feet. These conflicting views have everything to do with the fact that the best solution is always unique to the individual and if you’re in trouble you should do your homework. What isn’t unique is the problem of credit card abuse. Let us take a look at second mortgage loans, which are becoming very popular avenues many homeowners are taking for consolidating credit card debt.
Of course the best solution is to avoid getting into credit card debt in the first place. Judge John C. Ninfo II chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western district of New York state noted that credit card collectors, “are like the Capital One Vikings. They’ll rape and pillage you anyway they can.” Ninfo explains that most college students leave with $3,000 in credit card debt. This is a great way to begin the spiral of debt. Credit cards have compounding interest and if you only make the minimum payments your debt will compound as well. You may be out of college now, but if you’re credit card debt is out of control you should do something about it, starting with cutting up your credit cards.
The next move you might want to consider is a debt consolidation loan and if you own a house, a home equity loan or second mortgage might be a possibility for this. The interest is much lower and if it’s a fixed mortgage rate, you’ll be able to budget better on a home equity loan, but keep in mind that this is because it is secure loan. With a fixed-rate second mortgage you may have lower payments and possibly tax advantages, but if you default, you’ll lose your house. This is important to keep in mind.
Another option for consolidating your debt or just to lower your payments is mortgage refinancing. If you have a higher rate, now is the time to take advantage of this possibility before the rates climb further. Adjustable rate mortgages may be too risky unless you plan on selling your house in a few years, but you may be able to refinance and cash out to pay off your unsecured debt. You may also be able to refinance so that you have no mortgage insurance and save a bit of money on your monthly mortgage payments. If you do refinance your high rate debt, don’t forget to cut up your credit cards. Start over. Don’t dig your self a deeper hole!