It isn’t uncommon these days for consumers to be facing problems meeting their monthly payment obligations on loans and credit cards. Economic changes the world over have affected millions, and some people who were previously fortunate enough to have built a good credit history have now fallen behind in their payments and have seen their good credit ratings suffer because of it. At this point they may be looking for a way to rescue themselves from being dragged further under, and because they’ve been hit with some negative credit feedback, they feel like there’s no way they can find a debt consolidation loan that will help. Well, despite their worries, debt consolidation loans for bad credit are available, all it takes is being a smart consumer and finding the right lender.When you start shopping for debt consolidation loans for bad credit situations, you’re likely to find dozens of potential resources who claim they’ll be able to help you get your finances back on track. No doubt there are many legitimate lenders out there who are willing to work with someone who has run into a bad patch and find their credit rating slipping, but you may also run into some unscrupulous types who may try to take advantage of what they believe is a desperate situation. Just because you may be shopping for debt consolidation loans for bad credit conditions doesn’t mean you deserve to be taken advantage of. Keep these two things in mind to protect yourself from becoming a victim:Be ConfidentYour credit score may have fallen recently, but so have the credit scores of many others due to tougher economic conditions. When shopping for debt consolidation loans for bad credit problems, don’t let a potential lender scare you into a bad loan because they want you to believe that you have no alternatives. There are still numerous lenders willing to work with people who have credit problems. If you’re patient, you’ll find that there are plenty of fish in the sea.Check the TermsMany lenders will want to talk to you only about your payment amount and not about the complete terms of the loan — until it comes time to sign the paperwork. In some cases, lenders who like to specialize in debt consolidation loans for bad credit will put you into a loan that may leave you worse off than before. They do this by charging you an outrageous interest rate, higher than you’re already paying, by stretching the payments out over a longer term and then selling you on the idea of the lower monthly payment. While this sounds good on the surface, run the numbers yourself and see exactly how much more you’re going to pay for the privilege of lowering your monthly payment a few dollars.Remember, there are good lenders out there offering debt consolidation loans for bad credit, so shop around and find one that is interested in dealing with you fairly and has your long-term financial health in mind.