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Consolidating debt into mortgage good idea

Three years after Ray left an executive position, he found himself earning a fraction of his former income, while his self-employed wife, Jo Ann, struggled to make up the difference in a faltering economy."We were property-rich and income-poor," says Jo Ann.

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There are also several consolidation options available from the federal government for those with student loans.The couple had refinanced six years before, but when mortgage rates dropped to historic lows in May, they saw an opportunity to eliminate their credit card debt by refinancing their home and rolling $25,000 of credit card debt into the loan.Thanks to an excellent credit rating and an appraisal valuing the house at $345,000 -- four times what they owed on it -- Ray and Jo Ann managed to lock in a 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate of 4.8 percent, two points lower than before.In effect, multiple debts are combined into a single, larger piece of debt, usually with more favorable pay-off terms: a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment or both.Consumers can use debt consolidation as a tool to deal with student loan debt, credit card debt and other types of debt.That's where debt consolidation and other financial options come in.

Consolidate Your Debt Now Debt consolidation is combining several unsecured debts — credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, payday loans, etc. Instead of having to write checks to 5–10 creditors every month, you consolidate bills into one payment, and write one check.

There are several ways consumers can lump debts into a single payment.

One is to consolidate all their credit card payments onto one new credit card – which can be a good idea if the card charges little or no interest for a period of time – or utilize an existing credit card's balance transfer feature (especially if it's offering a special promotion on the transaction).

You will pay significantly more in interest over the life of the homeowner's loan than you would if you chipped away at your credit card debt over a period of three to five years. has her own reasons for advising against rolling debt into home loans.

"The theory of turning higher debt rates (credit cards) into lower ones (mortgage) is a great idea," says White in an e-mail, "but it usually doesn't work because many of the people who end up in this situation have a habit of spending without conscious decision making." Gayle and Jim Mc Weeney are determined to break that habit.

Why do people want to consolidate their credit card debts, student loans, and medical debt all into one payment?