I think consolidation is a legitimate solution to consumer debt, but it is not the best way to go about erasing debt. With that said, it is a good way to organize and reduce the payments people have to make. I have successfully consolidated and paid off my debts in the past.
Yes, I think consolidation is the perfect solution to consumer debt. While many people are pressured to just declare bankruptcy, that leaves a bigger stain on your credit report. Consolidation may not be as helpful, but at least you can say you paid off your debts honestly. Some people need bankruptcy, but most do not.
I believe that debt consolidation combined with credit counseling and budgeting can give people an easier way to manage their debt and get it under control. Sometimes multiple payments to different lenders can feel overwhelming and consolidating those debts to one, sometimes lower, payment can give people the mental boost that they need to finally get their spending under control.
Consolidation is not a legitimate solution to consumer debt. It does not make the problem of the debt go away but just lumps it together. The higher interest rates after consolidation just makes the amount that you owe even more in the end. I do not think that consolidation is the answer.
I think people who get in debt need a real solution. If they just keep getting themselves back into debt by consolidation, what's to stop the process from keep happening. The world is a full of issues right now, we need a solid solution to unemployment and maybe the government should step in on credit cards, its why we had a housing collapse. The banks are awful at deciding things.