Consolidating high-interest credit card debt into one monthly payment can be a smart financial move. Credit card combination advances permit you to pay off numerous credit cards with a single advance that features a lower intrigued rate. This could offer assistance simplify payments, lower intrigued costs, and pay off obligation speedier. Here’s an diagram of the leading credit card solidification programs to consider.
Credit card debt is an increasing problem for many Americans today. With high interest rates and confusing terms, balances on multiple credit cards can feel overwhelming. The average household carrying credit card debt has over $15,000 in balances. But there are smart strategies to make this debt more manageable.
One of the most effective options is to consolidate multiple credit card balances into one single monthly payment through a consolidation loan or balance transfer credit card. This simplifies the payment process, often lowers interest rates, and helps pay off debt faster.
Consolidating high interest credit cards into a personal loan with a lower fixed interest rate saves money on interest charges, letting more of your payment go to paying down principal. Transferring balances to a new card with a 0% introductory APR also postpones interest costs.
In addition to lower rates, credit card consolidation provides the simplicity of making a single payment to one lender instead of keeping track of numerous card payments each month. It also gives you a set repayment term so you know exactly when the balances will be paid in full.
Of course, credit card consolidation does come with some risks and downsides. It’s important to avoid too many credit inquiries when applying for a new loan or card, and to keep old accounts open to maintain your credit history. Consolidation also requires discipline to avoid racking up new credit card debt.
By exploring different consolidation strategies and companies, you can find the right option to reduce interest costs and simplify payments. The key is using credit card consolidation responsibly to accelerate your debt payoff. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the best credit card consolidation loans and balance transfer cards.
Credit card consolidation rolls multiple credit card balances into one new loan. This lets you make a single monthly payment to one lender, instead of juggling payments to multiple credit card companies. Consolidating can make managing debt simpler and more affordable.
There are two main ways to consolidate credit card balances:
- Debt Consolidation Loans: An unsecured personal loan or secured debt consolidation loan that pays off your cards.
- Balance Transfer Credit Cards: Transferring balances to a new credit card with an intro 0% APR period.
Consolidating credit card debt can lower interest rates, simplify repayments, and help you pay off debt faster. It combines amounts owed into one predictable payment.
There are many potential benefits of consolidating credit card balances, such as:
- Lower interest rate – Consolidation loans often have lower interest rates, saving you money each month.
- Single payment – Make one payment to one lender, instead of multiple payments. Simplifies payments.
- Fixed payment – Consolidation loans have a fixed monthly payment, unlike variable credit card payments.
- Fixed payoff time – Loans have a set repayment term, letting you know exactly when the debt will be paid off.
- May improve credit – Responsible use can improve credit mix and payment history.
- Pay off debt faster – Lower rates and fixed payments help pay down principal faster.
- Peace of mind – More manageable monthly payments can provide financial relief.
While consolidation can provide many benefits, potential risks include:
- Closing accounts – Closing old credit card accounts can temporarily lower your credit score.
- Fees – Loan origination fees, account fees, and transfer fees can add to your debt costs.
- Re-racking up balances – It can be tempting to rack up new credit card balances, putting you further in debt.
- Higher payments – If getting a lower APR isn’t possible, monthly payments could increase.
- Losing card benefits – You may lose rewards points or card perks if closing accounts.
- Credit inquiries – Loan applications involve hard credit inquiries, which can modestly ding credit scores.
To make credit card consolidation as beneficial as possible:
- Shop around for the lowest interest rate possible. Even a couple percentage points can save substantially.
- Be cautious about balance transfer fees, which can offset interest savings.
- Read the fine print and understand the loan terms and costs.
- Make payments on time every month to avoid late fees and credit score damage.
- Avoid closing old credit card accounts to retain your credit history.
- Create a debt payoff strategy and budget to avoid racking up new credit card debt.
- Use consolidation loans responsibly as part of an overall plan to reduce debt.
One of the most effective consolidation options is an unsecured personal loan used to pay off credit card balances. Here are some of the best consolidation loan companies:
Lightstream offers unsecured personal loans with fixed rates as low as 5.99% APR with autopay. Advance sums run from $5,000 to $100,000, with adaptable terms up to 12 a long time. There are no expenses and reserves can be sent specifically to your credit card companies.
SoFi individual credits have rates beginning at 5.99% APR and you’ll borrow up to $100,000. The lender focuses on high-income borrowers with strong credit scores. Loan terms range from 2 to 7 years.
Avant offers personal installment loans from $2,000 to $35,000 with APRs from 9.95% to 35.99%. Lower rates are available for more qualified borrowers. Avant personal loans feature fixed monthly payments and terms up to 5 years.
Best Egg specializes in personal loans to consolidate credit card debt. Rates range from 5.99% to 29.99% APR, with loan amounts from $2,000 to $50,000 and 3 or 5 year terms. There are no fees.
Marcus offers personal loans with no fees, fixed rates from 6.99% to 19.99% APR, and flexible 3 to 6 year terms. You can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 for credit card consolidation or other uses.
Another option is to transfer credit card balances to a new card offering a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. This can give you over a year of no interest financing so more payments go to reducing principal. Some top balance transfer card options include:
- Citi Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 months 0% APR on balance transfers
- Chase Slate – 0% Intro APR for 15 months
- Amex EveryDay® Credit Card – 0% Intro APR for 15 months
- BankAmericard® Credit Card – 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles
- Wells Fargo ReflectSM Card – 0% Intro APR for 18 months
Just make sure to make payments on time and pay off balances before the intro period ends. Transfer fees also apply, usually 3% or 5% of the amount transferred.
Consolidating your credit card debt through a personal loan or balance transfer credit card generally will not hurt your credit scores. As long as the accounts are paid on time, credit scoring models view consolidation as responsible credit management. Just beware of too many credit inquiries when applying for new accounts.
Costs incorporate intrigued on the unused advance, which may be lower than current credit card rates. Adjust exchange cards charge a one-time exchange charge, as a rule 3-5% of the sum exchanged. Individual advances may have start expenses. Perused the fine print for all rates and costs.
It’s generally best to keep old accounts open, especially if you have a long credit history. Closing accounts can lower your credit score. Leave accounts open but avoid using them to rack up new debt.
Credit requirements vary by lender, but you’ll have the best approval odds with credit scores of 690 or higher. Those with scores below 600 may not qualify. Checking your credit reports for errors can help improve your score.
The key is developing a budget and keeping close tabs on spending. Make payments on time every month and try to pay more than the minimum when possible. Limit credit card use and have a plan to pay off the consolidation loan within the repayment term.
Credit card consolidation can provide a number of benefits if used strategically as part of a debt reduction plan. Lower interest rates, more predictable payments, and other perks can make getting out of debt easier and faster. Weigh the pros and cons of different options and read all fine print before consolidating balances onto another credit card or personal loan. With a disciplined approach, credit card consolidation can put you on solid ground.