Why Debt Consolidation Services May Make Your Financial Situtation Much Worse

Source: AP
Source: AP

It's OK; we don't need to get into the reasons behind your debt. Maybe it was college, or a car loan, or child support. Crippling debt is crippling debt is crippling debt. 

What does matter is what you're going to do about it. Unfortunately, there is no single good answer for how to get into the black. The only solution is to find a way to consistently take in more than the combined total of your debt, interest and cost of living expenses.

Read more: 9 Facts About the Student Loan Debt Crisis That Can Make College Awful

Source: Tony Dejak/AP

But there are plenty of people out there preying on folk like you, and you need to be aware of their gimmicks. One such gimmick is debt consolidation.

The premise is simple: Take all your numerous debts from credits and loans and wherever else and combine them into a single lump payment. The net result is a lower monthly payment — often by a considerable amount. Great. Terrific. Wonderful.  

But also, a slippery slope.

Debt consolidation comes with a number of risk factors, the most salient being interest payments. While consolidating might get you a smaller monthly payment today, it could make the life of your loans much, much longer, which in the long run means a lot more interest payments. 

In addition to that, many debt consolidation providers don't come cheap, with companies charging stiff fees or monthly payments of their own for services you could do by yourself.

Even if you do manage to free up some credit with consolidation, you run the risk of making the same mistakes with new cards and expenditures if the underlying problems for going into debt are not addressed.   

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Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

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