Pine Advisors has launched the newest website. The debt consolidation and personal loan powerhouse that has been flooding the market with loan offers at unrealistic and low interest rates. The results have not been good. Pine Advisors, based out of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is connected to Colony Associates, Alamo Associates, White Mountain Partners, and Golden State Partners. All of these websites have been racking up consumer complaints.
Debt pile-up is a strain on your financial health, and it can ruin your life in the long run. Many people have clearly defined financial goals, but their progress is hampered by debt. Credit cards are the most common sources of debt, since you keep using them daily without realizing whether you’d be able to pay off the balances.
However, things have changed and more and more people are getting concerned about debt elimination. Two effective ways to attain debt relief include balance transfer and debt consolidation. These have become popular in the past decade, but many people get confused between the two techniques. Let’s explore the difference between them.
Difference Between Balance Transfer and Debt Consolidation
Balance transfer and debt consolidation are not too different from each other. In fact, balance transfer is a type of debt consolidation. Only applicable to credit card debt, balance transfer allows you to move balances from multiple credit card accounts onto a single balance transfer card with a zero or reduced introductory APR rate. One the other hand, debt consolidation online loan is a broader concept that involves obtaining a loan to pay off previous debt. Unlike balance transfer, this method is not just confined to credit card debt, but it also applies to most types of debts that aren’t tied to any assets.
More About Balance Transfer and Debt Consolidation
When considering the balance transfer option, it is sensible to do the necessary calculations prior before applying for it. First of all, add up all the accumulated debt on all your credit cards. Keep in mind that you’ll have a limited timeframe under low APR to repay your debt, after which the APR will increase to a higher rate.
Make sure you find out the duration of the low-APR window as well as the increased APR that will be charged after that. Then, compare the low introductory APR with your current APR rates. Determine how much of your debt can you pay off during the low-APR window.
Also, ask yourself whether you’d be able to pay the high interest on the debt that remains unpaid and whether it is even feasible to pay such as high APR? Don’t forget to add the balance transfer fee to the costs before choosing a going ahead with it.
If you happen to compare balance transfer with other options such as a cash advance or a personal loan, you will have to do the math for each of these financial options to choose the one that’s best for you in the long-term. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the zero or low introductory APR holds for the transferred balances only. You will have to pay the standard APR on any new charges you make on your credit card.
When it comes to debt consolidation, the idea is to pay off your credit card debt using the funds from a loan. You have two loan options to choose from, namely secured loans and unsecured loans. A secured loan is one that requires collateral, such a house, vehicle, or retirement fund, while an unsecured loan doesn’t require an asset backing. The latter typically involves a high-interest rate than the former unless you have an exceptionally good credit history.
The most common type of secured debt consolidation loan is a home equity loan. You can get a much lower interest rate on it compared to an unsecured loan if there is a significant difference between your collateral home value and the amount you can borrow through a home equity loan. Moreover, the interest payable on a home equity loan is often tax-deductible.
While these benefits are undeniable, experts don’t recommend converting your unsecured credit card debt into a secured debt. The interest rate may be significantly reduced, but you risk losing your property in case of a default.
Besides, the debt consolidation arena has been subject to numerous frauds in the past decade. Before you disclose any of your detailed financial information to a debt consolidation lender, be sure to find out every bit about them. An authentic organization won’t demand any financial information when discussing its financial services.
Most importantly, check out the certifications and accreditations to see whether they’re even licensed to offer services in your state. The local consumer protection agency and your state attorney general should help you research credit counseling agencies and choose the right debt consolidation lender.
Which Is Better Among Balance Transfer and Debt Consolidation?
There’s no straightforward answer to which option is better for you. Balance transfer can be ideal for someone in a particular situation, but it may not be feasible for another option, depending on the circumstances.
Suppose you took a student loan and have 3 different credit cards with balances payable. You’ve been trying your best to pay off all balances, but have been able to repay balances for 2 out of 3 credit cards, leaving you with unmanageable late payments. The ideal option, in this case, is to obtain a debt consolidation loan that could consolidate all your debt into a single monthly payment, making it easy to pay off the credit card debt.
If you’re confident that you’ll be able to repay the debt, you may consider a secured loan that comes with a significantly low APR rate.
If the main barrier to repayment is a high interest-rate, such as the case in which you have a large amount of debt, e.g. $20,000 on a single high APR card, a balance transfer card is a better option. Find a balance transfer option that offers a 0% introductory APR and a low fee. This provides you with a great opportunity to quickly pay off your debt interest-free. But don’t forget to ask what APR will be applicable after the 0% APR grace period.
Now that you know the difference between balance transfer and debt consolidation, follow the guidelines shared above to make the right decision for your financial situation.
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