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When it comes to actually consolidating debt, there's no simple, single scenario that will work for everyone.

For some it can be as easy as borrowing money from family to pay off debt. For others, that could create a family war.

Whether you refinance with a home equity loan or home equity line of credit or transfer balances from one credit card to another depends on your own personal situation.

You can get help -- from credit counselors, debt negotiators or debt settlement specialists, to name a few. But sometimes they just make matters worse.

In this section we'll try to guide you through the maze of the various methods you may have open to consolidate your debt -- what to look for and what to look out for -- along with some savvy suggestions from our experts.

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Winning out

8 ways to consolidate your debts -- Always worried about the debt you're carrying? Consider these eight ways to dig yourself out of that hole.

The dangers of debt consolidation -- Are you tempted to take out one big loan to pay off all those other nagging debts? Before you bundle your bills, check out the pros and cons of these consolidation options.

10 biggest debt consolidation lies -- Much of what is said about the debt consolidation process is untrue. These 10 debt consolidation myths can get you in worse trouble.

Comparing debt consolidation options -- You've decided to consolidate your debts, but which is the best method for you?

Step slowly onto the balance-transfer bandwagon -- With the slow economy, lots of people are looking for ways to lower monthly expenses and free up more cash. Transferring a credit card balance to a card with a lower interest rate can help.

Balance transfer checklist -- A how-to worksheet on transferring credit card balances.

Home equity or refinance: Which is better for you? -- Rates on home equity loans and lines of credit have fallen enough that they are becoming competitive with first mortgages. As long as the prime rate stays low, equity loans may be a better way to convert equity into cash than cash-out refinance loans.

Fixed-rate loan vs. line of credit -- Borrowing money by using the equity you have in your home is a popular, easy and often flexible way to finance those extra things you need in life.

6 tips on borrowing from relatives -- The trouble with borrowing money from family is that family members, and not just the related lender, will be resentful. Here are some ways to make the familial loan process go smoothly.

Tips for choosing a credit counselor -- Not sure how to choose a credit counseling agency or debt management company? These guidelines from can help.

How debt negotiators can crush your credit -- Beware of companies that promise to cut your bills in half by negotiating lower pay-off amounts from creditors.

Pack away your debts with the payment push -- Get rid of debt in record time, saving on fees and interest by using the payment push plan.



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