If you have been having financial difficulties and have a large amount of credit card debt, it can be easy to assume that debt consolidation is a good idea. Through television and radio ads, people are inundated with various debt relief and debt counseling messages.

It can be difficult to tell when the advice is pertinent or when it is an advertisement for temporary relief that will wind up causing more problems in the future.

When is it a good idea to combine credit card debt?

There are a few times when combining credit card debt might be a good idea, and they include:

  • When you will get a lower interest rate
  • When you will get some forbearance, a grace period, or a no-interest window
  • When you have the opportunity to lower your payment

Almost anything that has a benefit comes with a risk. Debt consolidation is no different.

When it is risky to combine debt

  • When you are going into a debt management program
  • When consolidation might increase your interest
  • When consolidation would not lower your payment to a sustainable level
  • When you are still incurring debts, such as when you are undergoing expensive medical treatment

If you consolidate debt at the wrong time, you can wind up putting yourself into a cycle of rising and unsustainable payments. In some cases you may make your debt situation worse. To preserve your credit score and streamline the process of discharging your debt, you need to look for options that keep your costs lower and address all your debts.

What to do

If consolidating your credit cards is not going to get you on a path out of debt, then your best option is to talk to a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy attorneys have the experience you need to discuss all available options, including alternatives to having to file for bankruptcy and representation as well as help during the process.

When you work with a lawyer who focuses on bankruptcy law, you can get clear answers to your questions.

Dealing with debt is not easy, and sometimes bankruptcy is the only way forward. It is not simple to tell when that is the case without first getting legal advice that comes from a trained professional.