World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Debt consolidation

Article Id: WHEBN0000268508
Reproduction Date:

Title: Debt consolidation  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Debt, Personal finance, Consumer debt, Pawnbroker, Credit counseling
Collection: Credit, Debt, Insolvency
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Debt consolidation

Debt consolidation is a form of debt refinancing that entails taking out one loan to pay off many others.[1] This commonly refers to a personal finance process of individuals addressing high consumer debt but occasionally refers to a country's fiscal approach to corporate debt or Government debt.[2] The process can secure a lower overall interest rate to the entire debt load and provide the convenience of servicing only one loan.[3]

Contents

  • Overview 1
    • Process 1.1
  • Student loan consolidation 2
    • United States 2.1
    • United Kingdom 2.2
    • Australia 2.3
    • Japan 2.4
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Overview

Debt generally refers to money owed by one party, the debtor, to a second party, the creditor. It is generally subject to repayments of principal and interest.[4] Interest is the fee charged by the creditor to the debtor, generally calculated as a percentage of the principal sum per year known as an interest rate and generally paid periodically at intervals, such as monthly. Debt can be secured with collateral or unsecured.

Although there is variation from country to country and even in regions within country, consumer debt is primarily made up of home loans, credit card debt and car loans. Household debt is the consumer debt of the adults in the household plus the mortgage, if applicable. In many countries, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, student loans can be a significant portion of debt but are usually regulated differently than other debt.[5] The overall debt can reach the point where a debtor is in danger of bankruptcy, insolvency, or other fiscal emergency.[6] Options available to overburdened debtors include credit counseling and personal bankruptcy.

Other consumer options include:

  • debt settlement, where an individual's debt is negotiated to a lesser interest rate or principal with the creditors to lessen the overall burden;
  • debt relief, where part or whole of an individual debt is forgiven; and
  • debt consolidation, where the individual is able to acquit the current debts by taking out a new loan.

Sometimes the solution includes some of each of these tactics.[7]

Process

The bulk of the consumer debt, especially that with a high interest, is repaid by a new loan. Most debt consolidation loans are offered from lending institutions and secured as a second mortgage or home equity line of credit.[7] These require the individual to put up a home as collateral and the loan to be less than the equity available.

The overall lower interest rate is an advantage of the debt consolidation loan offers consumers. Lenders have fixed costs to process payments and repayment can spread out over a larger period. However, such consolidation loans have costs: fees, interest, and "points" where one point equals to one percent of the amount borrowed. In some countries, these loans may provide certain tax advantages.[8] Because they are secured, a lender can attempt to seize property if the borrower goes into default.

Personal loans comprise another form of debt consolidation loan. Individuals can issue debtors a personal loan that satisfies the outstanding debt and creates a new one on their own terms. These loans, often unsecured, are based on the personal relationship rather than collateral.

Student loan consolidation

In the United States, federal student loans are consolidated somewhat differently from in the UK, as federal student loans are guaranteed by the U.S. government.

United States

In a federal student loan consolidation, existing loans are purchased by the Department of Education. Upon consolidation, a fixed interest rate is set based on the then-current interest rate. Reconsolidating does not change that rate. If the student combines loans of different types and rates into one new consolidation loan, a weighted average calculation will establish the appropriate rate based on the then-current interest rates of the different loans being consolidated together.[9]

Federal student loan consolidation is often referred to as refinancing, which is incorrect because the loan rates are not changed, merely locked in. Unlike private sector debt consolidation, student loan consolidation does not incur any fees for the borrower; private companies make money on student loan consolidation by reaping subsidies from the federal government.

United Kingdom

In the UK student loan entitlements are guaranteed, and are recovered using a means-tested system from the students future income. Student Loans in the UK can not be included in Bankruptcy, but do not affect a persons credit rating because the repayments are recovered from the students future salary at source by the employer before any income is paid, similar to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions. Many students however, are struggling with commercial, non student loan debt well after their courses have finished.[10]

Australia

Australia’s student loan system once had 35 years to pay back loans, but it’s currently 15. Those seriously delinquent on student loans face arrest at the border. [5]

Japan

In Japan, an increasing number of student loans are in arrears. This has caused the Asian nation to take harsher steps when it comes to lending determinations. In an effort to prevent future defaults, Japan has begun associating loan approvals to academic performance.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Fontinelle, Amy (November 26, 2014). "Alternatives To Balance Transfers". Investopia. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Global risk insights (December 20, 2014). "China's Interest Rate Cut Not as Reformist As It Seems". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Joan Ryan (14 January 2011). Personal Financial Literacy. Cengage Learning. pp. 292–.  
  4. ^ "Debt Definition". Investopedia. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Rowan, Rachel (June 7, 2013). "Student Loans Around the Globe". Tuition.io - Student Loan. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Lois A. Vitt; E. Craig MacBean; Jürg K. Siegenthaler; Institute for Socio-Financial Studies (30 November 2003). Encyclopedia of Retirement and Finance. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 37–.  
  7. ^ a b Staff writer. "Coping with Debt". FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION. US Government. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Detweiller, Gerri (December 14, 2014). "Congress Extends Tax Break for Troubled Homeowners, But Headaches Aren’t Over". Fox Business News. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Deborah Lucas (August 2010). Costs and Policy Options for Federal Student Loan Programs. DIANE Publishing. pp. 1–.  
  10. ^ "Debt Facts and Figures - Compiled August 2011" (PDF). creditaction.org.uk. August 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 

External links

  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans Information Center of the U.S. Government
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
  • UK Financial Services Authority impartial information about extending your borrowing
  • magazineConsumer ReportsDebt Settlement Advice from
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.