How a debt consolidation loan works
Debt consolidation is the process of moving all or a portion of your debt into one consolidated loan. The consolidation loan is then used to clear your existing debt with the other lenders, allowing you to close those accounts.
Streamlining your debt can significantly help to manage your money as you will only have to make one payment each month to one loan provider. Each of your individual loans will also have varying interest rates depending on what types of loan they are. With your debt all in one place you will only have one interest rate to keep track of – which can often be less than what you were paying individually for each loan – potentially lowering your monthly repayments.
Managing your finances by consolidating your loans can also help to improve your credit rating. If you have a bad credit history, this shows creditors that you are taking responsibility for your finances.
Here we have put together a list of the main benefits of a debt consolidation loan.
Debt consolidation loan options
Consolidated loans can either be secured, where an asset – such as your home – is used as security if there are any missed payments, or unsecured, where the lender has no claim to your financial assets if you miss any payments, but can instead take you to court.
In many cases, secured loans allow you to borrow more money with a lower interest rate. You also have a better chance of being approved for a secured loan if you have a low credit rating, but you do have the risk of losing your home if you miss payments. Unsecured loans don’t have these risks but also don’t let you borrow as much and have high-interest amounts.
Remortgaging your home is also another consolidation option that you could consider.
Other loan considerations
Although consolidating your debt might seem like a good idea, it might not be the best option for you. Before considering whether to take out this type of loan, you should make a list of all your current debt and see if it’s more cost effective for you to consolidate it or if the combined interest rate would make this more expensive for you. You should also see if there are any redemption fees if you choose to repay your loan earlier than you originally agreed.
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME IS AT RISK IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR LOAN SECURED ON IT
Why Clever Mortgages?
At Clever Mortgages we can offer you the support and advice required to ensure you get the right mortgage for your first home. We provide access to a comprehensive range of mortgages from across the market. We are also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and adhere to the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) guidelines, so you can be confident that we will treat you with integrity and only recommend products that meet your needs.
A fixed rate mortgage is where your interest rate stays the same for a set time period (usually between 2-10 years). As a result your repayments are exactly the same each month, regardless of what happens to other mortgage rates. These types of mortgages are popular with first time buyers and people looking to budget each month, especially those who have suffered from a poor credit history.
The main downside to a fixed rate mortgage is that if mortgage rates go down you can be paying a higher amount than you would on a variable rate mortgage. However, this can also go in your favour and if interest rates increase you can be paying less than you would on a variable rate.
Every lender will have their own standard variable rate (SVR), which is considered their basic mortgage. This interest rate goes up and down, usually in line with the Bank of England’s interest rates but the lender is free to raise this at any time.
This means that your monthly payments can go up or down depending on what the interest rate is at a given time. Some months you could be paying more whilst other months you could be paying much less.
A discount mortgage is when a reduction is applied to the lenders Standard Variable Rate (SVR) for a certain length of time (typically 2-3 years). Discount mortgages are attractive as they can allow you to pay slightly less than the bank's standard rate. However as the SVR can still fluctuate they are not ideal for people who are looking to stick to a strict long term budget.
A tracker mortgage is basically a type of variable rate mortgage. What makes them different from other variable rate mortgages is that they follow – track – movements of another rate, the most common rate that is tracked is the Bank of England Base Rate.
A capped mortgage is the same as a variable rate mortgage; however the interest rate can never rise above a set “cap”. These mortgages can work well for people who can budget for different mortgage repayments each month but want the reassurance that their payments will never go above a certain amount.
Offset mortgages are linked to a savings account as well as your current account. Your savings will be 'offset' against the value of your mortgage, and you'll only pay interest on your mortgage balance minus your savings balance. These types of mortgages work well for higher earners or people who have a good amount in savings that they want to use towards paying their mortgage.