Ways To Consolidate Secured Debt

Secured debt settlement can be a bit of a challenge, since secured debt is harder to negotiate or settle than unsecured debt. Secured debt is debt that has collateral associated with it. In other words, there is a product or an item that secures the debt and that the creditor can take if the borrower does not pay. Both mortgages and car loans are examples of secured debt, as the lender can take the house or the car if things go wrong. A secured lender won't be willing to settle the debt for less than the full amount he could get for selling the collateral (like the house or car) so secured debt settlement is usually only possible in cases where you owe more than the collateral is worth. However, you may still be able to consolidate secured debt.

Understanding Secured Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is not the same as debt settlement. With debt settlement, you pay back an amount that is less than the full total you owe. With consolidation, you usually pay back the entire amount owed. However, with consolidation, you take out one new loan to pay back several other debts. This lets you restructure those debts you are paying off, as ideally your new loan will have a lower interest rate, lower payments, and/or better repayment terms.

To consolidate secured debt, this simply means you must take out a new loan and use the proceeds to pay off all of some or all of your existing secured debt. There are several ways to do this. For example, you could:

  • Take a second mortgage or home equity line of credit on your house and use this money to pay off another secured loan, such as a different mortgage or a car loan
  • Take a balance transfer on your credit cards and have the credit card company put the money in your bank account (please note, though, that is is not the same as taking a cash advance). Balance transfers usually have relatively low introductory rates, and you can use the money to pay off your secured debt. This has the effect of changing a secured debt into an unsecured debt.
  • Take a personal loan through a bank or credit union and use the proceeds from this loan to pay off your existing secured debt. Again, this involves changing secured debt to unsecured debt.

Getting Help

Depending on your situation, there may be other ways to consolidate your secured debt, or you may even be able to negotiate a secured debt settlement of some type. Your best bet is to talk to an experienced attorney who specializes in debt settlement and who can assist you in making the best choice for your financial situation.

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