Debt consolidation means taking out one loan to pay off others. One of the main benefits of taking out a debt consolidation loan is sometimes lower interest rate and the convenience of paying off only one loan.
Debt consolidation is often advised when someone is paying credit card debt. More often than not, credit cards carry a much higher interest rate than even unsecured loans. in this case the total interest and the total cash flow paid towards the debt is lower, allowing the debt to be paid off sooner because it incurs less interest.
There is however one major pitfall with regards to debt consolidation to pay off credit card debt. The risk of taking out the debt consolidation loan and continue to incur credit card debt.
Nowadays it is very easy to get a credit card. More often than not, banks don't perform the appropriate checks to ensure that the person applying for the credit card can afford to pay it off.
I personally believe that it is the responsibility of each person applying for a loan or credit card to ensure that he/she can afford the repayments. The banks should perform the appropriate checks, nevertheless the individual is responsible for his own actions and in the end will be held accountable to pay off the debt.