Common mistakes made while consolidating debt

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While the road to financial freedom may seem long at times, a firm commitment to living within your means in order to reach long-term goals will pay off in the end.Becoming debt-free and financially secure is possible with a disciplined plan, as long as you avoid some common errors.

But, if your debt isn't included in the billion in student loan debt that may be thrown out due to shoddy paperwork practices, you'll likely have to bite the bullet and pay it off. "Most student loans begin accruing interest the moment you graduate, and that interest adds up," Anna Khayet, head of product marketing for student loan refi at online lending website So Fi, tells Business Insider.

That consisted of: Some of that debt represented smart investments in real or educational assets, but the rest comes from making mistakes with money.

Using credit well means avoiding the most common mistakes consumers make when spending more than they've earned.

"By itself, debt consolidation won't do anything for you."Tread carefully, the experts say, or you could end up in more financial trouble.

Here are six common debt consolidation mistakes consumers make and how to steer clear of them.

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