Some people may be surprised to learn that a home equity loan is considered a mortgage – they usually consider that to be a loan used to pay for the home itself – but any loan that is secured by residential real estate is considered a mortgage. A cash-out refinance allows you to consolidate all your debt into a single loan and usually offers the best mortgage rates and the longest repayment periods, up to 30 years.
You always make your payments on time, so your credit is good.
» MORE: Follow these 3 steps to pay off debt Two additional ways to consolidate debt are taking out a home equity loan or 401(k) loan.
However, these two options involve risk — to your home or your retirement.
It’s also not the solution if you’re overwhelmed by debt and have no hope of paying it off even with reduced payments.
If your debt load is small — you can pay it off within six months to a year at your current pace — and you’d save only a negligible amount by consolidating, don’t bother.
Third, interest paid on mortgage debt, even from a debt consolidation, is tax-deductible up to certain limits – so that can save you money as well.