Myth: Debt consolidation saves interest, and you have one smaller payment. Truth: Debt consolidation is dangerous because you treat only the symptom.
Debt consolidation is nothing more than a "con" because you think you've done something about the debt problem. The debt is still there, as are the habits that caused it - you just moved it! You can't borrow your way out of debt. You can't get out of a hole by digging out the bottom. True debt help is not quick or easy.
Debt consolidation seems appealing because there is a lower interest rate on some of the debt and a lower payment. However, in almost every case, I find that the lower payment exists not because the rate is actually lower but because the term is extended. If you stay in debt longer, you get a lower payment, but if you stay in debt longer, you pay the lender more, which is why they are in the debt consolidation business.
The Real Way to Get Out of Debt
The answer is not the interest rate; the answer is a Total Money Makeover. The way you get out of debt is by changing your habits. You need to commit to getting on a written game plan and sticking to it. Get an extra job and start paying off the debt. Live on less than you make. It is not rocket science, but it is emotional, which is why most people need help getting through it.
Debt is not the problem; it is the symptom. Debt is the symptom of overspending and undersaving.