A friend of mine had a tattoo on her forearm that after a while she grew to dislike. She decided to see a tattoo artist and have that artist (evidently a renowned artist) see what could be done with the tattoo. It was decided to cover up the first tattoo with another tattoo that might be more aesthetically appealing. What does this have to do with debt consolidation ?
The artist did his magic, and now a simply line drawing of an amphibian, has morphed in an elaborate colorful collage with an interesting phrase. The replacement is about 300% larger than the original tattoo in terms of surface area. I hope my friend enjoys the “cover up” tattoo. It got me thinking that this seems much like the constant refinancing, and blending of debt (into other debt vehicles) that many folks seem to be doing these days. Still no explanation on this debt consolidation angle?
Covering up debt is not making debt go away. While debt consolidation loans can make it convenient to have most of your debt in one place. If you continue to live the lifestyle that got you into debt in the first place, you really are only making the debt bigger (much like the tattoo).
If you are using a Debt Consolidation loan to get control of your debts, make sure you have a solid plan in place to pay down the debt. Make sure that you are not growing the debt further. Debt Consolidation loans are simply a tool, they are not a cure. As with all tools if you are not using them correctly, you can make one hell of a mess.
It really is a last resort tool as well. You should not be consolidating debt every couple of years.
Debt Consolidation Loans?
Mrs. C8j has pointed out that more than a few advertisements for debt consolidation loans imply that once you get the loan, you are “Out of Debt”, but your debt has not changed it is just all in one place. You are out of debt when it is paid off.
Another good point with the tattoo metaphor, at least my friend went to a professional to get the “touch up” tattoo (and didn’t rely on a friend of a friend who did these for fun). If you are thinking of a consolidation loan, see a professional credit councillor (or a similar financial service).