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 simple line drawing of an amphibian has morphed into an elaborate, colourful collage with an interesting phrase. The replacement is about 300% larger than the original tattoo’s 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. In contrast, 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 are only making the debt bigger (much like the tattoo).
If you use a Debt Consolidation loan to get control of your debts, make sure you have a solid plan to pay down the debt. Make sure that you do not grow the debt further. Debt Consolidation loans are simply a tool. They are not a cure. As with all tools, you can make a mess if you are not using them correctly.
It 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 is that 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 considering a consolidation loan, see a professional credit councillor (or a similar financial service).
Remember, there is no such thing as good debt.