Best option for consolidating debt

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With bill consolidation, you make only one monthly payment — a good idea for when you have five, or maybe even 10 separate payments for credit cards, utilities, phone service, etc.If you consolidate all bills into one, the single payment should be at a lower interest rate and reduced monthly payment.

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Although signs show an upturn in the economy, many Americans are deep in debt, and not everyone can work overtime or a second job to pay down that debt.

Any savings could be used to start an emergency fund to help prevent a future financial crisis.

Banks and credit unions are good places to ask about consolidation loans, but online lending sites may be a better place to borrow. Start by listing each of the debts you intend to consolidate — credit card, phone, medical bills, utilities, etc.

You could get a home equity line of credit, a home equity loan or a second mortgage on your home, or refinance your existing mortgage.

Other options include borrowing against a whole life insurance policy and borrowing against you retirement savings.

All payments made during that time will go toward reducing your balance.

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