In an article for Fox Business News from November 2011, Steve Bucci addresses a reader’s question about methods to consolidate $30,000 in credit debt. The desired goal was to achieve a single payment at a lower interest rate, but the reader expressed reluctance to use either a home equity line of credit or a mortgage.
Bucci clearly addressed the major pitfall in successful debt resolution — additional spending — in his reply, and emphasized the absolute necessity to put the credit cards aside. New purchases made on cards with existing balance incur interest charges immediately at the point the card is swiped. The commitment must be no purchases, period.
Repeating amusing, but conventional advice, Bucci suggested submersing the cards in water and freezing them solid if necessary. While that sounds both absurd and extreme, credit cards are a temptation — the temptation of “easy” money, that is in no way easy.
He also pointed out that even debt consolidation programs, while effective, can go wrong if the lower interest rate lulls the debtor into a state of complacency and encourages more spending. That simply refuels the debt cycle and drives the amount to be resolved higher.
Whatever avenue for debt consolidation is selected, the goals of achieving one interest rate, and one payment must be supported by a disciplined approach to money and spending. This may mean choosing a debt consolidation solution that also involves some kind of financial counseling. But, it isn’t so much an issue of the buck stops here, as the spending stops here. That’s the first and most crucial step to debt resolution success.