Tuesday, January 24, 2023

How To Combine All Credit Card Debt

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Borrowing From Your 401

Credit Cards For Beginners || Consolidating Debt The Easy Way

Most employer-provided retirement plans permit participants to borrow from their own savings. Since it’s your money, there’s no credit check or qualifying hoops to jump through. You can generally borrow up to half of your vested retirement balance, up to $50,000. The interest rate may be one or two percentage points higher than the Prime Rate, which recently was around 4%. You usually have up to five years to pay back money used for consolidating credit card debt. Miss that deadline and you may owe income tax and potentially a 10% fee on the remaining balance.

When weighing whether borrowing from your workplace retirement plan makes sense, keep in mind that if you leave your jobvoluntarily or notyou typically must repay a loan within 60 days. If you don’t get it paid off in time, the loan morphs into a withdrawal, and that can end up costing you plenty. If you are under 55 you will owe a 10% early withdrawal penalty, and a withdrawal from a traditional 401 account will also be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.

Another consideration is whether you want to touch your savings that will support you in the future, to pay for a cost today.

Cons Of Borrowing Against Your Home

  • You could face foreclosure if you fail to make payments on time.
  • To qualify, you need to prove your creditworthiness. This includes proving you have enough income to pay back the money you borrow and an acceptable credit score.
  • Your credit score will help determine how much you can borrow, and the interest rate the lender will offer.
  • Equity loans and HELOCs use underwriting like first mortgages, meaning you will need to pay an application fee, have an appraisal done on your property and cover other application costs. Occasionally lenders will waive these fees. You should ask about them before you apply.

What Is Credit Card Debt Consolidation

In basic terms, credit card debt consolidation allows you to combine several credit card balances. If youâre currently making payments on multiple credit cards each month, you may be able to combine them into one monthly payment by using a loan or a balance transfer.

There are a couple notable benefits to consolidating debt.

First, you may be able to lower your payments. How? By consolidating with a loan or a than your current accounts have. Some credit cards even offer 0% introductory rates to start, but that rate may last for a limited time.

But as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes, credit card debt consolidation wonât eliminate your debt. And thereâs a chance you could end up paying more in the end because of fees, interest and other factors.

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Debt Consolidation Loan: Diy Pitfalls

Any type of consolidation loan personal, home equity, HELOC, loan from a 401 retirement account large enough to cover all your high-interest credit card debt is worth looking into, for several reasons.


  • Your credit score could get a boost. These loans are considered installment loans, another form of credit that works in your favor when calculating your score.
  • Zeroing out your credit cards with a consolidation loan will help the credit utilization aspect of your credit score. Not using as much credit is a favorable thing.
  • You will trade several monthly due dates for one, possibly for a lower payment than all your credit card minimums combined.
  • You probably will save money. The rates on these type of loans tend to be lower than credit card rates, often by half or more.


  • You essentially trade one loan for another. In other words, you still owe the money, just to one lender instead of five or six.
  • If you use collateral home, car, boat, etc. to help lower the interest rate on your loan, you could lose that collateral by missing payments.
  • There may be upfront costs associated with the loan that add to your debt.
  • Debt consolidation loans typically have repayment periods of 3, 5 or 10 years.
  • If you continue to use your credit cards during the repayment period, you may end fighting a losing battle as your debt grows again.

Consolidate By Doing A Debt Settlement

How To Consolidate Your Credit Card Debt

Up until October of 2010 Canadian debt settlements were primarily done in only one way. If you were having extreme difficulty paying your credit card debts and you happened to receive a large chunk of cash from somewhere, you could contact your creditors and offer to settle your debt with them for less than your full balance if they would accept a lump sum payment. If your creditor thought that this was a better option than waiting for you to completely pay them back, they might accept your offer and you might repay only 50% – 80% of your debt.

Anyone can call up their creditors and try to settle their debts in this manner but are unlikely to succeed. The most successful approach is to work with a credit counselling organization. They know what your creditors are likely to accept and what they won’t even consider. Because most people don’t have a rich uncle or a Fairy Godmother to lend them the money necessary to settle their debts, this isn’t a realistic option for most people.

To make matters worse for those who signed up for these programs, creditors would not stand by and wait while they skipped their monthly payments. They would naturally escalated their collections activities. This could include sending the debt to a collection agency, taking the client to court, seeking a judgment against the client and then garnishing the client’s wages or putting a lien on their house.

Interest Rates for doing a Debt Settlement

Advantages of using a Debt Settlement

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Check Your Credit Score And Credit Report

Knowing your credit score is another important step to complete when youre consolidating credit card debt. Your credit score will directly impact the credit and loan products and terms you qualify for. In general, a good credit score of 670 or higher using the FICO scoring model will allow you to access competitive options.

If youre not sure where your credit stands, credit card issuers sometimes allow you to see your credit score through their online portal. You can also use .

After consolidating your credit card debt and paying down your balance, you can monitor changes in your credit score. Your credit card debt not just whether you pay your bill on time can have a big influence on your score. As your goes down, your credit score can increase.

Review and report credit report errors for a credit boost.

See If You Qualify For A Loan On Upstart

It takes 5 minutes and doesnt hurt your credit score.*

* When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus.

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Second Mortgage Or Heloc

If your home has appreciated in value over time or the balance has been paid down a fair amount, using your home could be a way to consolidate your debts. Taking out a second mortgage or using a home equity line of credit is effectively using your home as collateral in order to pay off other debts.

Since there is an underlying asset for these loans, the rate is often lower than what you would get with a personal loan, making either the monthly payments smaller and gaining the ability to pay down the balance quicker. There could additional mortgage-related expenses when taking this route, so a direct inquiry to your lender is a must.

Does Credit Card Debt Consolidation Hurt Your Credit

Is It A Good Idea To Consolidate Credit Card Debt

Debt consolidation describes a basket of methods to reduce and eliminate what a consumer owes. These methods wont crush your credit score:

  • Consolidation loans from a bank, credit union, or online lender.
  • Balance transfer to a new low- or zero-rate credit card.
  • Borrowing from a qualified retirement account, such as an IRA or 401.
  • Borrowing against the equity in your home or something else of substantial value.
  • Borrowing from a friend or family member.
  • Working with a nonprofit credit counseling organization.

Others specifically debt settlement will.

When weighing the options for debt consolidation, its a good idea to keep in mind which methods will injure your credit rating, and which wont. After all, you want to improve your credit life even as you tidy up your messy debt situation.

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How To Consolidate Debt

First, you will want to decide which debt consolidation strategy you are going to use. As mentioned above, debts can be consolidated with or without a loan. You can find debt consolidation loans from banks and online lenders. Nonprofit credit counseling agencies will be able to provide all of the benefits of a debt consolidation loan without having to take out new credit.

Smart Ways To Consolidate Credit Card Debt And 5 You Should Never Do

Consolidating high-interest credit card debt with a lower-interest credit product could help you wipe out the debt faster and pay less interest.

In theory, consolidating credit card debt sounds like a good idea. Replacing high-interest credit card debt with a credit product that has a lower interest rate could help reduce the amount of interest you ultimately pay on the debt.

There are a number of ways to consolidate credit card debt all of them with their pluses and minuses. Some choices are better than others. But the goal of all of them is basically the same: to combine your high-interest debt, leaving you with one monthly payment at a more reasonable rate.

If youre considering consolidating your debt, its important that you find the option that works best for you and offers you the lowest-cost way to get out of debt.

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Where Payoff Falls Short

Moderate funding time: If same or next-day funding for a debt consolidation loan is a priority, there are other lenders to consider. However, Payoffs two-day funding time is still decent compared to some competitors.

May charge origination fee: Payoff may charge an origination fee up to 5%. This fee is taken from the total loan amount when the loan is issued. Though this is the only fee Payoff charges, some lenders charge zero fees, including origination fees.

No rate discount for autopay: Unlike other lenders, Payoff does not offer a rate discount for setting up autopayments. This discount usually ranges from 0.25 to 0.5 percentage points and can reduce the overall cost of your loan.

No co-signed, joint or secured loan options: Payoff only offers unsecured debt consolidation loans, meaning theres no option for borrowers to submit a joint application, add a co-signer or secure the loan with collateral to qualify for a better rate or a larger loan.

Potentially Risky Debt Consolidation Methods

Second City Advisors Offer Debt Consolidation for Bad ...

When searching for the right way to consolidate debt, you might come across other riskier options. These credit card debt consolidation options could have additional drawbacks youâll want to consider before making any commitments.

1. Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans allow people to borrow money by using their home as collateral. The amount youâre able to borrow is determined in part by how much equity you have in the home. You can estimate this number by subtracting how much you owe on your mortgage from the current market value of the property.

According to the CFPB, you receive a home equity loan in a lump sum. And like a personal loan, you could use those funds to pay down other debts, including credit cards.

But a home equity loan can be risky: If you canât pay it back, you could face foreclosure on your home.

Home equity loans usually have a fixed rate, which means the rate wonât change over time. But itâs worth confirming before accepting a loan. If youâre considering a home equity loan, it also helps to examine whether there are other fees and costs that could make it more expensive than your original debt.

2. Home Equity Lines of Credit

Home equity lines of credit are similar to home equity loans. And they come with the same risk of losing your home. But home equity lines of credit, called HELOCs for short, differ in a few ways.

Itâs wise to examine and understand the details of a HELOC before accepting one.

3. Debt Settlement Companies

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Which Debts Can Be Consolidated

A debt consolidation loan is primarily used to pay off credit card debt, but could also be used for the following debts:

Debt management plans primarily consolidate credit card debt, which happens to be the most common reason to consolidate debt. But you can also add past due utilities, collection accounts, payday loans and medical debt for payment convenience. In other words, there isnt a reduction in interest rates, but it can simplify and consolidate your bills.

One thing to consider is that medical debt and utility bills dont have interest rates attached to them. It might not be wise to use money from a loan to pay off a debt that does not accrue interest. DMPs however, can pay the bills for you without having those debts accumulate interest.

Secured debts such as homes, property and automobiles can be refinanced, but are not considered good candidates for debt consolidation.

When It Makes Sense To Consolidate Your Debt

The most common reason to consolidate your debt is to save money on interest. If you can consolidate your debt and get a lower interest rate, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in total interest.

Another popular reason to consolidate debt is to simplify your monthly payments. If you struggle to pay your bills on time because of differing due dates, consolidating could make it easier to manage your finances.

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What Is Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is a process where multiple debts, often from things like credit cards, are rolled into a single payment. This can make it easier to pay off debt faster and keep track of how much debt you have.

What is a debt consolidation loan and how does it work?A debt consolidation loan is a type of personal loan that can help you combine several high-interest debts into one new loan, ideally one with a lower interest rate. You pay off multiple debts with a single loan that has a fixed monthly payment. When managed responsibly, a debt consolidation loan can help you save money on interest and get out of debt faster.

Learn more: How debt consolidation loans work

With a debt consolidation loan, you apply to borrow the amount that you owe on your existing debts. Once approved for the loan, you receive the funds and use them to pay off your credit cards or other loans. In some cases, the funds can be sent directly to your creditors. From there, you begin making monthly payments on your new debt consolidation loan.

The most popular type of debt to consolidate is credit card debt because it typically has some of the highest interest rates. But you can also consolidate other debts, such as personal loans, payday loans and medical bills, although student debt is not able to be consolidated the way other types of debt can.

Look Into Strategies To Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Debt Management Tips : How to Consolidate Debt

One alternative to consolidating your credit card debt is to employ the debt snowball or debt avalanche method to more quickly pay down your balances.

With the debt snowball method, you target the card with the lowest balance and make extra payments toward that account, while paying just the minimum on all other cards. Once you’ve paid off that balance, move on to the next-lowest balance and add what you were paying on the first card to pay it off even fasterhence the “snowball” effect. You’ll continue this practice until you’ve paid off all of your credit card balances.

The debt avalanche method works similarly to the debt snowball method. The only difference is that you’ll focus on the cards with the highest interest rates first instead of the lowest balances.

The debt snowball method may be a better option if you’re struggling to get motivated to pay off your debt. Paying off small balances quickly can give you small wins early, making it easier to build momentum. The debt avalanche method, on the other hand, can save you more money because you’re getting rid of debts with higher interest first.

Depending on your debt situation, though, the difference in savings may not be large. Use a debt snowball calculator to determine which is the better option for you.

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Cons Of Balance Transfers

  • Balance transfer cards usually are offered to existing or potential customers with high credit scores, 680 or higher. If your credit score is suffering from late payments, this might not be an option for you.
  • If you are using a balance transfer card to pay off multiple credit cards, you must be approved for a high-enough credit limit to handle all the debt.
  • Balance transfer cards typically charge a fee of 3%-5% on the amount of debt shifted. That adds to what you owe.
  • Card companies dont allow 0% interest on balances transfers between cards they issue themselves.
  • If you fail to pay off what you owe during the introductory period, the remaining balance will revert to the high interest levels normally charged.

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