Should you respond to Saxton Associates or Credit 9 and trust them with your debt consolidation process?
If you have been thinking about it and you just received a “too good to be true” loan offer in the mail from Saxton Associates or Credit 9 – follow your instincts. Do you really think you qualify for a 3.99% interest rate? Do you really think that reservation code is especially for you?
Credit card consolidation can help you in a number of ways to eventually pay off your entire debt. It can provide you with many benefits, such as reduced overall interest rate, lower monthly payments and simplified payments.
Credit card consolidation combines all of your credit card balances into one grand total. Thus, you have to make one payment each month rather than multiple payments. The right credit card consolidation option payment entails smaller interest expenses, which, in turn, makes debt repayment much easier.
Here are the 5 best credit card consolidation options that you can consider to pay off your credit card balances:
Working with a non-profit credit counseling firm is one of the best means of credit card consolidation. These firms first analyze your unique financial scenario and then suggest a plan that will help you to overcome your financial problems. Non-profit credit counseling firms can serve you in a number of ways. They can help you with budgeting, spending habits, debt management and money management.
However, before committing yourself to any credit counseling firm, you must do your research to ensure that it is a reputable organization.
The credit counseling firm will negotiate with your creditors so that you gain concessions to help you pay off debt. All of your credit card balances will be combined into a single amount so that you have to make a single monthly payment. You will make the payment to the credit counseling firm, which will then pay your creditors. Credit counseling firms negotiate with creditors to lower your interest rate, reduce the debt amount, waive fees or gain any other concession.
You may have to pay fees for some credit counseling services. You may also have to agree to certain terms, such as not applying for a new line of credit or using the credit cards that you currently hold.
Personal Loan for Credit Card Consolidation
Personal loans are another means of credit card consolidation. You can take out a personal loan to pay off all your credit card balances. When all your credit card balances are settled, you will need to make only one monthly payment to the creditor that extended the personal loan. This will simplify payments and save you time and effort. A good choice of personal loan may also imply a reduced interest rate.
If you have good credit, your chances of getting lower interest rates on a personal loan may increase. The advantage of personal loans is that many different kinds are available to borrowers. Each one of them has their specific terms and conditions. You can select a personal loan with terms and conditions that can help you with debt management. There are also lenders that submit funds directly to credit card companies to minimize the chance that the loan amount will be used for any other purpose. A prequalification option is also available with many lenders. You can take advantage of this to search for options without bringing down your credit score. This might be a good credit card consolidation option for you.
The biggest drawback to personal loans is that you will have to meet the lender’s criteria in order to qualify. If you have a low credit score, then you may not be able to get an interest rate that is substantially lower than your credit cards. You will also have to watch out for origination fees, which add to the cost of paying back debt. You may have to pay hundreds of dollars as origination fees with some lenders.
Balance Transfer Credit Card for Credit Card Consolidation
With the help of a balance transfer credit card, you can transfer all of your credit card balances into your new account. Most balance transfer credit cards carry a zero percent introductory APR that extends into several months. This zero APR time frame can give you the opportunity to pay back your credit card debt without incurring any interest. Debt payment will be much easier without accumulating interest, making this a viable credit card consolidation option.
However, to take full advantage of balance transfer credit cards, you must pay back the entire debt within the zero APR time period. Otherwise, you will have to pay interest on the balance transfers and the plan will backfire.
One key point to look out for is the balance transfer fee. Some cards impose balance transfer fees that increase the burden of debt payment. You cannot transfer an amount greater than your credit limit.
Take Help from Friends and Family for Credit Card Consolidation
You can also think about getting money from your friends or family members if that is possible. However, before obtaining funds this way, make sure that you work out the details of repayment terms so that there is no dispute later on about payments.
The biggest advantage of this credit card consolidation method is that you do not have to meet the eligibility criteria to qualify, as is the case with financial firms. The interest rate may also be likely lower.
One major drawback is that it can possibly strain your relationship if you fail to pay back on time.
Home Equity Loan for Credit Card Consolidation
Before going any further into the details, you should know that this is the riskiest method since you can possibly lose your home. Thus, you should think about it only if you have exhausted all options and are certain that you have the means of paying back the loan in time.
You can take out a home equity loan with your home as collateral. That is, your home equity serves as a security for the loan. There are two advantages to this. First, you are putting your home equity to use. Second, since this is a secured loan, the interest rate may be lower than your credit cards, which are unsecured loans. The lower interest rate may be a big boon for debt repayment.
The major disadvantage of this credit card consolidation method is that if you are not responsible enough, then you could end up losing your home. Defaulting on repayments will give your creditor the right to press for a foreclosure on your home to regain the amount that you owe.
[QUICK GUIDE] How Much Does Home Warranty Coverage Cost? | Total Home Protection
The average cost of home warranty coverage is between $300 to $600 per year, or $25 to $50 per month (Total Home Protection sits neatly inside this average with plans that range from $500-$599 annually.) Although, you are also required to pay an average of $75 per service call visit. Note, costs may vary based on where you live and the level of coverage you want to place on your home.
As a quick review, the standard fees are as follows:
- Annual Payment: $300 to $600 per year
- Monthly Payment: $25 to $50 per month
- Service Call Fee: $75 per service call visit
Depending on your annual coverage limits, you may also have to pay for repairs that exceed your maximum coverage for a select number of items in your contract. The cost of this will depend on your home warranty coverage company. More on this below:
What is Covered by a Home Warranty Policy?
Home warranty coverage comes in many forms. And home warranty companies offer multiple plans in order to provide their policyholders as much value as possible.
In the case of Total Home Protection (THP), for example, CEO David Seruya describes their coverage plans as follows: “We offer two home warranty plans: Gold Plan and Platinum Plan. Both cover essential home systems and appliances; although the Platinum Plan supplies more extensive services.” THP’s coverage also extends its warranty to cover items despite the item’s age, make, or model, which means that they cover the cost of repair and replacements of all covered items, as long as the damages incurred are a result of natural wear and tear.
Is Home Warranty Coverage Worth the Cost?
To answer this question, let’s discuss the cost of repairs and replacements without home warranty coverage, which we’ve broken down below:
- Cost of Repairs: The cost of repairing damaged items in your home without a home warranty will vary based on the item damaged. As an example, however, the average repair cost of a dishwasher is around $100 to $200. Not so terrible, as a whole. But then, let’s look at the average repair cost of an air conditioner, which can cost up to $160 to $530! Or, the cost of repairing a water heater, which averages at around $200 to $900!
Handling one or two repairs per year for these appliances and home systems might not seem so bad for the short term. However, when you consider the average lifespan of these items—which is around 10-15 years each—you can start to see that there is definite value in having home warranty coverage. Especially for those with older homes or with more items to protect.
- Cost of Replacements: Borrowing from our previous examples: the average replacement cost of a Dishwasher is $300 to $600, replacing a water heater will take another $2,000 to $4,000, and a replacement heating system will cost a whopping $3,000 to $5,000.
Replacements aren’t required as often, of course. And, as mentioned, there are coverage limits that limit the amount of coverage you get per item, per year anyway. However, even when you consider these two factors, the value getting covered is clear when you compare the average cost of a home warranty ($500-$599 if you choose Total Home Protection) and the amount you’ll have to pay to replace one of the bigger ticket items in your home.
Review: Should You Purchase Home Warranty Coverage?
In the end, we’re left with one question: should you purchase home warranty coverage? Unfortunately, only you will be able to truly answer this. The average cost of a home warranty is $300-$600 per year, and that comes with more than $20,000 worth of coverage for your home per year.
Remember that, and then estimate the average cost of repairing or replacing the items in your home based on their average lifespan, and then compare that cost to the annual cost of home warranty coverage.
And, once you’ve got that all figured out, we recommend that you reach out to a home warranty provider like Total Home Protection, who can give you a personal quote on the best plan and the best coverage for you based on your budget and your home. They should be able to address any questions or concerns that you might have as well. And would be more than happy to help you through the process of understanding what exactly you’re signing up for.
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