However, you might be able to use a cash-out refinance to roll your other debts into your mortgage payment, as described below.
What you can't roll into a consolidation loan are ongoing bills and debts - the type where you incur new charges every month, such as gas, electric, cable TV, Internet, phone service, rent and the like.
It's also possible that the interest rate on such a loan won't be lower than what you're already paying - in which case any reduction in your monthly payments would have to come from arranging a longer repayment schedule than you have with your current creditors.
However, these cash advances can also get you into trouble, because they usually reset to a fairly high rate once the no-interest period expires - often 16 to 18 percent.
They also typically charge an up-front fee of several percent of the amount borrowed, so you need to take that into account as well. One of the best, and most popular ways to consolidate your debt is through a home equity loan.
There are some situations though, where a HELOC might be a more attractive option.
A HELOC sets a certain amount you can borrow, called a line of credit, and you can draw upon at any time and in any amounts you wish.
First, there are little or no origination fees with a HELOC.
HELOC also are usually set up as interest-only loans during the "draw" period when you can borrow money before starting to pay it back, often 10 years - which can be helpful if you're experiencing temporary financial problems.
You can also seek to take out a personal, unsecured loan on your own or try to negotiate some sort of arrangement with your creditors. The simplest, and most straightforward way to consolidate your debts is to simply to take out a new loan from your bank or credit union and use that to pay off the various bills you may have.
You're then left with one monthly bill to pay rather than several.
However, if you've fallen behind on any of these and need to get caught up, you may be able to pay off your past due balances with a debt consolidation loan.
You just can't use that loan to continue to pay your new obligations going forward. There are several options, including going to a loan consolidation specialist or, if you're a homeowner with equity in your property, taking out a home equity loan to cover your debts.
There may be other wrinkles involved - for example, some of your creditors may be willing to write off part of your debt in return for an immediate payoff - but the key thing is that you're simplifying your finances by exchanging many smaller debt obligations for a single bill to be paid every month.