How Does a Debt Consolidation Loan Work?

If you have multiple loans, including credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans, you may find that managing all of them and getting them paid on time is challenging. A debt consolidation loan may help you manage your debts more effectively and get you out of debt faster.

What is a Debt Consolidation Loan?

A debt consolidation loan is a personal loan that you take out for the purpose of repaying your other debts. You then pay off the personal loan according to its terms, giving you one monthly payment instead of several, often at a lower interest rate.

Why Consolidate Your Loans?

Credit cards in particular tend to have very high interest rates, especially if you have less than perfect credit or if you have had a late payment or two. You can often consolidate these high interest rate loans at a lower rate, getting you out of debt faster. A consolidation loan also has the advantage of having a single monthly payment. This is often far easier for people to manage than several different payments, amounts, and due dates.

How Can You Do It?

First of all, add up all the debt you want to consolidate. Then look at several companies that offer debt consolidation loans and determine which one has the best terms for you. You may be looking for the lowest interest rate, or you may need a longer payment term to make the payments more reasonable.

Things You Should Know

A debt consolidation loan is designed to help you get out of debt. When you pay off your credit cards with a debt consolidation loan, it’s up to you to keep from running them up again. If you think this may be a challenge for you, you should close the accounts. A debt consolidation loan is a loan, not a line of credit. If you take a loan for $20,000 and pay off $15,000 of it, you cannot then ‘use’ that $15,000 of credit. It’s not a revolving line, like a credit card.

Can You Pay Off Early?

Different companies have different policies regarding paying off your loan early. Before you commit to a debt consolidation loan, ask if you can pay the loan off early without a penalty. If you think you may be able to do so, make sure the loan you get offers that option. A debt consolidation loan can be a lifesaver for someone who is overextended and struggling to keep up with or manage debt payments. Compare the options to choose the right loan for you.


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