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You're in debt and don't think you'll ever get out, maybe got some late payments, but are trying to work something out so you don't completely trash your credit.
Studies released by Urban Institute in July 2014 showed that 35 percent of Americans -- roughly one out of three -- are so behind in their finances that they have debt in collections.
Many people become overwhelmed by their debts, but they don't have to be.
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One way to help alleviate some of the strain is to consolidate debt from multiple sources.
Basically, debt consolidation takes debt you have from more than one source, such as multiple credit cards, and combines it into one lump sum.
Chances are that the consolidation loan will require you to take out a second mortgage or a home equity loan.
If you do this to pay off your VISA and Master Card bills, you end up trading in unsecured debt for secured debt.