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Author Topic: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?  (Read 3484 times)

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Offline aupointillimite

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Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« on: April 11, 2007, 10:55:35 AM »
I have about $10,000 of unsecured debt.  Collateral is bourgeois.

It's mostly a student loan, with a total of a couple grand I owe to a bank, utility companies, a cell phone company, and a couple other places thrown in for good measure... don't ask how I did this.  Let's go with awesomeness.  Yes.  Awesomeness. 

I don't think I'm on the verge of getting sued, but the sheer number of people I owe money to makes it a rather daunting (and impossible) task to pay them back in a timely manner... so, methinks that consolidation is the way to go.

I've been doing research into different companies on the Better Business Bureau to make sure I don't get ripped off... but I don't know anyone who's actually done it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline ademas

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 11:06:28 AM »
What's your interest rate on your student loan?
The rates on those are usually pretty hard to beat.

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 11:09:50 AM »
What's your interest rate on your student loan?
The rates on those are usually pretty hard to beat.

Since it's a federal loan, they're not allowed to change it.  I don't know what it is off the top of my head.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 11:41:52 AM »
Benj,

Interest rate indeed.  That is crucial, and when looking into other unsecured debt, interest is the guiding light also.

I would reccomend very highly that you do some of the things that the Consolidation companies are going to make you do anyway, and that is cut down on your expenses.

 Do you have cable, and if so, is it loaded with extras?
Have you thought of going to DirecTV which is usually cheaper and gives you LOGO TV also?
Do you really need a cell phone and if so, can you survive with a pay as you go account?  I just bought a cell phone for the first time and paid $99 for 400 minutes of airtime and a year signup.
Have you called your credit card accounts and asked if they could reduce your interest rate?
On your heavier loans, can you afford to pay at least one half above the minimum payment, and if so, do it when you can?

If you do some of these things first, you might just lighten your monthly financial stress.  Debt consolidation is not the panacea that it seems to be from the advertising, and many times it will really screw you for up to seven years.  You will be inundated with credit offers just as soon as you sign on to consolidation, but most of the offers don't tell you that they are offering you interest rates that are well above 20 percent which is a danger area due to inability to ever pay them off.

Also, Consolidation stays on your credit reference for years, and will possibly really screw you up in the future.  ie, when attempting to make a large purchase, like a car.

Hell Benj, you are young, and the sooner you get this under control and the sooner you can work your way out of debt, the sooner you will be able to flourish.  I trust you are not close to bandruptcy, but that is also a possibility, and you are young enough to deal with it intelligently.

Remember, when you get that first well paying job, pay yourself FIRST, even though it might only be $50. 

I hope this helps.

Love,
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 11:43:24 AM »
I heartily recommend prostitution.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline ademas

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 11:43:52 AM »
I don't know where you are in the whole process, but this is where I would start:

Run your free credit report.  You get one free every year from each of the big 3 credit reporting agencies.
Pay the extra $6.95 (or whatever it is) to get your FICO score from at least one of these agencies.
https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

Make a list of your creditors w/ amounts owed and the corresponding interest rates.  Place the highest interest rates (not the highest amounts owed) at the top of the list, as those are the priority.

Check out Susie Orman's website, particularly the section on managing debt.  http://www.suzeorman.com/igsbase/igstemplate.cfm?SRC=MD012&SRCN=index&GnavID=84&SnavID=20&TnavID=
(There's also an interesting section there on consolidating Federal Student Loans.)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 11:47:38 AM by ademas »

Offline ademas

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 11:44:30 AM »
and what philly said.

Offline bear60

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2007, 11:49:56 AM »
Benj
Listen to Moffie....he is right on target.  You can do it without a consolidation loan ...........I'll bet.  Thing is ...like Moffie said...look at the interest rate. Without collateral you will be paying a higher rate of interest. The low interest rate on the student loan should be left in place. Its the "stuff" that you dont need that can always be cut....like cut up the credit card and make a budget.  If you dont have the money ...you dont buy it.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline pozinbama

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 11:57:48 AM »
IF you can at all then do it on your own like others have said....Loan Consolidation will stay on your credit for a long time and you will NOT be able to get any new credit while you are under their help.

Offline ademas

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 12:01:16 PM »
I definitely agree with Moffie and Bear, too.
Debt consolidation really is one frying pan to another (at best), and many people soon find themselves in much deeper trouble than where they started.


Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 12:05:14 PM »
Benj, you might consider going to one of the money programs like DA (Debtors Anonymous) where dealing with this kind of problem is very much a shared experience. It will bring you into contact with people who are experienced with all kinds of debting situations.

Finding a solution that works for you will be much easier to accomplish if you talk with others rather than trying to figure it out by yourself.

It's really good that you're looking at this situation BEFORE it becomes really unmanageable.

Keep us posted on how it's going.

Andy Velez

Online Dachshund

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 12:22:04 PM »
Benj I know United Way use to offer debt consolidation...you might check them out. Yes it does go on your credit record but believe me the credit card companies will be pounding on your doors with offers. My best friend Maria went this route bout five years ago and last year she purchased her first home, so it ain't all doom and gloom.

AD

p.s. what Philly said

Offline bear60

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 12:28:47 PM »
Benj... I just wanted to add: penny pinching was a way of life for my parents who lived through the great depression.  Living in a throw away society that indulges the slightest whim is VERY hard to do on a budget.  But you gotta do it.
For instance: is it more cost effective to buy the bread and sandwich makings and take a lunch to work or is it cheaper to buy it in the company cafeteria?  Would you buy bottled water or a Britta filter? Shop at the lower cost box supermarket...or the gourmet all natural expensive one. You get my drift.  
Kurt and I spend too much on food I think... about 150 dollars a week. But he will not eat "bone in" chicken. For example.  And forget the tuna casserole...no way.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline ademas

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 12:46:48 PM »
xtube and the free preview clips on porn sites have also saved me a bundle.

Offline Robert

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 12:53:09 PM »
~~ ahem ~~  what Bear said.  And Tim.

Cut back on some of those extras.  Take your lunch to work.  Take-out  1 night/week. Put the restaurants on the back burner.   Breakfast and dinner at home.  Cut out the Starbucks.  Is the quality of your life all that much better by having a zillion channels to choose from?  Pay off the most expensive (interest-wise) loan first.  Never -- ever -- pay just the minimum.  Add another $50 or $100 to the minimum payment. 

Like Bear, my parents grew up in the depression era where literally, " a penny saved is a penny earned" (B. Franklin).  It works.

rober

ps...your new job/position starts this month, right?  And you're getting a hefty raise, right?  Take that money and put it towards debt reduction.  In no time you'll be up to speed.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 12:57:16 PM by Robert »
..........

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2007, 12:57:13 PM »
xtube and the free preview clips on porn sites have also saved me a bundle.

WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE!!!!!!

X TUBE IS FREE??
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline jack

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2007, 01:13:15 PM »
do not get a loan. slow pay everyone you owe. sit down and tell them your problem and work out a plan to pay everyone off, and stick to it.  Our entire society and government's answer to everything is to borrow more money. Is there something you want? Well you should have it then. Get a loan. Mean people want their hard earned money back and you are broke,get a loan, get so far fucking in debt that your only hope is the government to bail you out.
Get on a budget and pay your fucking bills on time. This is what someone who loves me told me in early in my early 20s and I have done it ever since. Its even important to stay on a budget when you are making so much money you can't spend it all. Cause the hardest cuts to make are those after you have been able to buy anything you want. You must discipline yourself.
All of the savings from being on a budget add up over time and it will blow your mind.
It is difficult because our entire society is aimed at consumption and constantly buying the next new thing, but you will win in the end.

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2007, 01:56:26 PM »
I agree with Jack....don't do debt consolidation loans.   You can do it on your own, kiddo.

hugs,

Alan

(listen at me giving financial advice!   I'm on disability, and so poor I haven't got a 'pit to poss in nor a winder to throw it out of')
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2007, 02:03:44 PM »
Thank you so much for the advice!

I don't have any credit cards... nor have I ever had one, actually... I want to get out of debt to be able to get my name back on bills and stuff.  I'd also like to avoid being sued.  So, I don't owe money to any credit cards, but various utility companies and banks and stuff.

I really don't live extravagantly at all... I hardly go out anymore... I rarely go out to eat, and my only payments consist of rent, the pre-paid cell phone, and utility and cable bills.  I'm also shelling out $100 a month to the IRS for another few months until I pay them off. 
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline bear60

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2007, 05:45:58 PM »
Benj...
It would seem that a good "credit rating" also is helpful in the long run.  This has nothing to do with paying off your current debts....but is affected by all that. 
Suppose you want to buy a car or a house in the future.  ( After making anal babies and getting all married 'n stuff.)  Well, if you have a bad credit rating its harder to get money. So.....to establish good credit ...yes...you do have to have a history of paying off debts in a timely fashion...credit cards...utilities and so on. After taking out a couple of loans and maintaining a zero balance on my credit cards...no I dont use them much.....my credit rating is pretty high. If I were you I would think in terms of how to better your credit rating....also.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Robert

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2007, 09:13:48 PM »
I read someplace one of the most far-reaching inventions of mankind is compound interest.  Try it.  You'll like it.  I guarantee it.

robert
..........

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2007, 09:20:11 PM »
I think Albert Einstein said that. 

Yes, compound interest isn't working out in my favor right now, I don't think.

I'd rather have it have nothing to do with me at all, if it could be avoided, personally.  I'm uncomfortable with the idea of investing.  I think I'd be betraying the last tatters of my "socialism in one apartment" philosophy. 
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Robert

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2007, 09:31:32 PM »
hey benjy I'm not talking about stocks or anything as convoluted as that.  Just a simple, old-fashioned savings account.  One checking.  The other savings.  The savings is compound interest. 

I would never, ever, want you to compromise your own brand of "apartmental socialism" You should be proud of that, and rightfully so!

robert
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 11:45:38 PM by Robert »
..........

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2007, 10:08:42 PM »
socialism in one apartment

Hehehe. No NEP in the offing?

I've never done loan consolidation, but back in heady days of yore I flipped the bird to my creditors and simply avoided all personal responsibility by declaring bankruptcy.

It was such a rort. Now of course our dour protestant Federal Fathers in Canberra have amended the bankruptcy laws so one cannot take such an easy way out.

Bastards.

MtD

Offline Dennis

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2007, 10:13:27 PM »
I may be wrong, but I think some of you may be confusing a loan consolidation with credit counseling. 

A consolidation loan is nothing more than a loan where the proceeds of the loan are used to pay off other debt.  This simply
appears on your credit report as another loan.  Most major banks offer debt consolidation loans.  This is a good option if the
interest rate is less than what your currently paying on your outstanding debt.

However, credit counseling as many of you have described can, but not always have a negative effect on your credit.  Usually the credit counseling
agency will first make you hand over any credit cards and cut them up.  They'll contact your creditors and try to negotiate a lower
interest rate.  You make one payment to the agency and they dispurse the funds to all your creditors. 

I was pretty much in the same situation as you a few years ago and looked at both options.  My fico score wasn't good enough to get debt consolidation loan so I looked at credit counseling.  I pretty much decided I could do the same thing these agencies offered to do.

What I did was wrote letters to my creditors explaining my situation and negotiating a lower interest rate as well as a lower monthly
payment.  For any that were sent to a collection agency I added a stipulation that the account would be updated on my credit report as "paid as agreed" rather than "paid collection" or better yet to be removed completely from my report once paid in full.  I also included a budget with my letters.  Probably wouldn't hurt to mention that you're looking into bankruptcy as an option.

For some collection accounts I even disputed a few, even though they were mine.  If the collection agency can't supply proper proof the
debt belongs to you the credit bureau legally has to remove it from you credit report.  I still have the letters I used that I could send you if you'd like to use as a template.  You could also find these letters by doing a google search.

It takes a lot of time to get out of debt and clean up your credit report but it can be done.  Always send your letters via certified mail and don't ever agree to anything over the phone.  Get it in writing?

Peace,
Dennis

Offline budndallastx

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2007, 07:23:36 AM »
Benj -

If you have a Student Loan, you can contact the bank and ask for a "forbearance" which is a deferment on paying the student loan back. You can use this option even if repayment has started.  The bank will usually grant this if you have a good reason such as high debt load, unexpected expenses etc.  You can get a forbearance for up to a year and then have to reapply before the period is up to continue.  The downside is the interest continues to accrue while the loan is dormant.

All the other advice provided is spot on.  You can also approach your creditors and explain the situation and see if you can get a better repayment plan.  The banks want their money back and most will try to work something out with you.  Just be careful you're not going to a higher interest rate in exchange for a longer repayment plan since that's amounting to loan sharking (IMHO).

Tom
Meds since: 11/20/2006
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Offline carousel

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2007, 08:02:57 AM »
Benj

Having invested a lot of money over the years with my dealers, I have been left with a mountain of debts, which I'm trying to sort out at the moment.

Finance Companies advertise these loans as they are the answer to everything, except telling you that you will be paying much higher interest charges.  Your then trapped by the goolies.

With the help of a debt advice agency, I have worked out a budget and prioritised my debts.  For the first time in ages, I have felt that I have some money that is not being frittered on bank and credit card charges.

The hardest part of it was facing up to it. 

Good luck

Offline manchesteruk

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Re: Has anyone ever done loan consolidation?
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2007, 10:29:46 AM »
Debt, icch hate the stuff.  I'm trying to pay off all my student debt at the moment which consists of a £2000 interest free overdraft and about £3000 I borrowed off my parents which they subsequently put on to credit cards.  It's proving hard to shift that debt i've got to say, i'll do it though.  I've got friends who are in much more debt than that it's quite scary seeing the state some of there finances are in to be honest.  I don't even think about my students loans and tutition fees I think that comes to around £18,000 ($35,000)!!! Luckily I only pay those back on a percentage of what I earn which works out as hardly anything at the moment so I don't miss it.
Diagnosed 11/05

"Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

 


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