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What Is Credit Card Consolidation and Who’s It For?

You may have heard of credit card consolidation as a way for consumers to pay off debt. More likely than not, you have had to deal with some form of debt in your lifetime. Not all debt is bad, but there are certain types of unsecured debts that can spiral out of control if you’re not careful. Credit card debt is one of them. If you are currently stressed about your credit card debt, consolidation might be the best option for you. We will outline what credit card consolidation is exactly and who can use it.

credit card consolidation

What is credit card consolidation?

Consolidating debt means that you are able to combine all your debt payments into a single payment every month. Typically, this is done by taking out a debt consolidation loan. This can make it easier for you to keep track of your finances, especially if you have a lot of different debt payments. Obviously only having to remember one payment is easier than trying to remember when five or more different payments are due.

Debt consolidation loans are administered by banks or other financial institution. You will need to apply for these like you would any other loan, meaning you need good credit. A major benefit of debt consolidation is that your new loan will likely have a lower interest rate than your credit cards. However, this is dependent on your credit. If you have good credit, you’re more likely to get a good interest rate. Unfortunately, if your credit is lower than a 700, you might not get the best interest rate. If your credit is bad, you might not get approved for a consolidation loan at all.

Who should consider credit card consolidation?

Consumers who have multiple credit accounts that are close to their limit may want to consider this option. If you are struggling to make payments and feeling overwhelmed by your debt, credit card consolidation may be worth it. Of course, you should do more research on your own too, including research into the company administering the consolidation loan. Not all debt consolidation is created equally, so it’s important that you know what you are getting into before you commit.

Is there an alternative option?

If your credit isn’t great, or you just don’t want to take out another loan, there is an alternative to credit card consolidation that may be better for you. A debt management plan is similar to debt consolidation in that it combines your multiple debts into one easy monthly payment. The difference is that debt management is not a loan. It is administered by a nonprofit credit counseling agency. They can offer you lower payments because they negotiate lower interest rates and waived fees with the creditors. Additionally, they can offer you financial education resources to help you get back on track so you don’t make the same mistakes again.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Madison

Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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