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What Do I Do to Consolidate Bills? Mary

“Dear Steve,

Need help with consolidating bills. What do I have to do in order to start this process?

Mary”

I asked my friend Mike Killian to answer your question for you. I wanted to make sure you got an answer as quickly as possible as I’m a bit backed up at the moment. I’ll be watching the comments on this question and be around to help if you need me.

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Dear Mary,

Consolidating bills is a matter of finding a creditor like LendingClub.com who will loan you money to pay off multiple debts. So the first step is deciding what debts you want to pay off, what the total balance of those debts are, and how much your total monthly payment on those debts are now. Armed with that information you can then attempt to locate a creditor willing to loan you money. Some of the questions you should ask of your self before talking to the money folks are:

  1. What will you use as collateral on the new loan?
  2. Is the new monthly payment less than the total payments you are eliminating?
  3. Is your credit score relatively good in these days of extremely tight credit?

An alternative to debt consolidation is debt negotiation. Unfortunately this process can be very costly to your credit score as well as paying fees to the negotiator and finally the IRS. But it is an option.

Another option (and one I would choose over debt negotiation) is checking into a debt management program through a respected debt or credit counselor. You can look in the yellow pages of a local metropolitan area under debt or credit counselor for such a group. Please make certain to check with the better business bureau on any agency you choose or get a reference from someone you know. Determine from them what their success rate is as well as what fees will be required before committing to any one agency. Don’t allow panic and fear to make a rapid decision.

Sincerely,

Mike

If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask just use the online form. We are happy to help you totally for free.

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About the author

Mike Killian

Mike Killian is founder of Learning Credit and Debt Management. He has been writing and teaching about credit and debt management issues for over 12 years. His articles have been referenced by various members of the media, including MSNBC and The Motley Fool. Mike has also offered debt elimination seminars to businesses and community colleges for many years. He has an MS in counseling and is a nationally certified as a Personal Finance Counselor. Mike can be found at LearnCreditManagement.com/.

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