Putting debt on a 0% credit card or rolling high interest debt into a home equity line of credit may help save you money in the short term, but it is only addressing the symptom. The symptom is the debt; the debt isn’t the problem. The behaviors and attitudes that got you into debt are usually the problem.
Imagine a couple in a pool flailing around unable to swim or even tread water. You through them a lifeline and they are saved. The trick is though that they only stay saved if they don’t go into the water again. Unless they learn how to swim they are going to continue to have the same problems if they go in the water.
The same is true for money, although unlike avoiding water we can’t avoid spending, earning, and needing money. The only other option is to learn how to swim. We need to change our relationship and behavior towards money. Debt consolidation often helps people escape the symptoms of their problems without having to actually address the issues. Bankruptcy and bailouts usually have similar deleterious effects. People who roll their credit card debt into a second mortgage often find themselves with credit card debt again and now they have a second mortgage to boot.
The way issues get addressed is often by hitting rock bottom or the end of your preverbial rope and coming up with a real desire to change your behvaior and your financial destiny. Feeling pain promotes real change. Watching other people suceed inspires change. Hard work, discipline, and repitition change behavior. Focus on the problem not the symptom. Fix the problems and the symptoms will go away with some hard work.