Debt consolidation with a personal loan: Pros and cons

trope : copulate sitting in their populate room and working on their laptops A personal lend can be used to consolidate debt and repay multiple debts with one monthly payment. While this can simplify the debt repayment process and sometimes save you money, that ’ s not always the case. You should compare interest rates and research alternatives such as balance transfer credit cards to find the best choice for you. editorial notice : Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn ’ thymine affect our editors ’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don ’ thymine review, approve or endorse our editorial capacity. It ’ s accurate to the best of our cognition when posted .

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If paying off debt is your goal, debt consolidation with a personal loan could help you tame multiple accounts at once by channeling them into one monthly bill.

Let ’ s front it : Making payments to multiple lenders each month can be a harass. It can besides be expensive — specially if some of your debts have a high pastime pace. Taking out a personal loanword to consolidate debt can sometimes make debt repayment easier and cheaper .
That ’ second because a consolidated lend may have a lower sake rate than the compound rates on the individual loans you owed .
You can consolidate all different kinds of debt using a personal loan. But inaugural, you ’ ll want to figure out if it ’ s your best option .
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interest rate, repayment terminus and fees can vary greatly from one lender to another. Shopping around for the best pace and lowest fees could save you money whenever you borrow .

Personal loans

personal loans can come from banks, accredit unions or on-line lenders .
You can use the money for a wide roll of purposes for about anything you ’ d like, including repaying existing debt. Your interest rate will be based on your credit scores, income and other fiscal details .
You ’ ll know your refund timeline upfront, and many lenders have repayment periods from three to five years. many personal loans are unbarred, which means there is no collateral guaranteeing the lend .

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Balance transfer credit cards

Balance transportation cards frequently have a limited time 0 % promotional interest pace that allows you to pay no interest for a few charge cycles. You may have to pay a small tip to transfer the symmetry, although some cards do not charge for this .
Creditors determine the sum you can transfer to a symmetry transfer card based on your credit tune and the creditor ’ mho policies. fair be aware that interest rates can be high when the promotional rate expires .

Home equity loans

If you ’ re a homeowner with equity in your home, you could borrow against the house and consolidate your debt using a home plate equity loan .
sake rates are by and large lower on a home equity loanword than on a personal lend, but you must use your place as collateral to secure the loanword. This means if you can ’ thyroxine yield back your lend, you could lose your base .

Pros of debt consolidation with a personal loan

There are several benefits to using a personal lend to consolidate debt .

You could reduce your interest rate

personal loans can have lower rates than other kinds of debt. If you can qualify for a low-interest personal loan and reduce your rate, you ’ ll save yourself money on loan refund .

You could lock in a low rate

sometimes when you borrow money, your interest rate is variable. This means it ’ s linked to a fiscal index, such as the prime rate. If the exponent rate goes up, your rate typically goes up besides .
If you ’ re tired of owing money at variable rates, you could get a fixed-rate consolidation loanword so you ’ ll know precisely what your monthly payment will be each calendar month .
however, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warns that although many personal loans have broken teaser rates, those rates can go up. Make certain you find out the utmost rate you could be charged for your consolidation lend .

You will have a repayment timeline

When you take out a personal loanword, you agree to repay that loan on a set schedule specified in your lend agreement. Since you ’ ll have your loan condition going in, you ’ ll know precisely when you ’ ll become debt-free if you pay on time .
Be mindful that if you want to pay off your lend early, your lender may charge a prepayment penalty .

You could boost your credit

Your credit scores are based on a number of different factors, each with a different weight. For exemplify, if you ’ re unable to pay your credit cards on time, that can negatively affect your requital history — an important factor .
If you ’ ve maxed out your cards, that can hurt your recognition use rate. Credit utilization measures the come of your available credit you use. A lower use rate could help your accredit scores .
Consolidating your debt with a personal lend could help your credit rating scores if it leads to a lower credit use rate and more on-time payments.

Read more: Should You Use A Home Equity Loan For Debt Consolidation? | Bankrate

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Cons of debt consolidation with a personal loan

There are some potential disadvantages to consider before you decide to use a personal loanword to consolidate your debt .

You may pay a higher rate

There ’ s no guarantee a personal loanword will decidedly have a lower matter to pace than all the debt you pay off. If you consolidate any debt with a lower interest rate, you ’ ll raise the costs of repaying it. Use a debt repayment calculator to compare any electric potential savings .

You could end up paying more interest

even if you lower your matter to pace, there ’ randomness a casual your personal loanword could cost you more if you stretch out your repayment menstruation for besides long .
If you use a personal lend with a five-year repayment term when you ’ vitamin d differently have repaid the debt in two years, you ’ ll pay interest for three years longer. This could mean you ’ ll yield more interest over time, depending on your loan ’ randomness interest rate .
For exemplar, say you owe $ 2,000 on a credit tease with 13 % interest and are paying $ 75 a calendar month and besides owe $ 5,000 on a personal lend with 10 % interest and are paying $ 250 a calendar month .
If you refinanced to a personal loanword at 8.99 % sake for 36 months, you would lower your concern rate but would pay $ 145 more in concern than if you hadn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate consolidated .

You could get hit with fees

sometimes you have to pay to take out a personal lend. Depending upon your lender, you could end up owing application fees, initiation fees or prepayment penalties if you pay off your lend early .
These fees sometimes make consolidating your debt more costly than barely continuing to pay back your stream lenders .

You might put assets at risk

Some personal loans are secured personal loans. With a procure lend, certain assets will act as collateral to guarantee the lend .
Lenders could take the assets if you don ’ metric ton reward as promised. If you take out a plug personal loanword to consolidate debt that was unguaranteed — meaning the debt didn ’ triiodothyronine have any assets guaranteeing it — you ’ ve put the collateral at gamble .
If you don ’ metric ton give back your lend, you could lose the property you put on the telephone line .

You could end up deeper in debt

When you pay off credit cards using the proceeds of a personal loan, you free up your line of credit. If you use these cards again and can ’ t pay off the libra, you could end up owing your original creditors again .
But now you ’ d have to pay off your consolidation loan and a bunch together of new debt, leaving you in worse shape .

Ask the experts about debt consolidation

When does debt consolidation make the most sense?

“ Debt consolidation makes the most sense when you can improve your debt position in one or more of the stick to ways : A lower monthly payment, a lower sake rate, a shorter payoff term, or a more impregnable loan such as with a mortgage. different people are going to have different objectives for consolidation. ”
— Melanie Hanson, senior editor, Education Data Initiative

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What are the possible benefits of debt consolidation?

“ Debt consolidation is a capital direction to give yourself one, commodious monthly requital alternatively of having to worry about several different bills with different due dates. Most loans allow you ( and encourage you ) to set up automatic rifle payment, therefore vitamin a farseeing as the money is in your check history, you won ’ thymine have to worry about ever missing a payment. In addition, debt consolidation gives you a concrete complete line as to when you know all of your debt will be paid off. ”
— James Lambridis, founder and CEO of DebtMD

What are the potential downsides of debt consolidation?

“ If you consolidate your debt using a lend, it will show up as new debt on your credit report and could potentially lower your citation score. additionally, if you miss any payments on your consolidate debt, it will besides negatively impact your credit mark. Another potential downside of consolidating your debt is that it could extend the amount of time it takes to pay off your debt, which could mean you ’ ll end up paying more in interest over the long run. ”
— Brian Meiggs, founder of Smarts 

Will debt consolidation impact my credit score?

“ Getting a debt consolidation lend can be a net positive for your credit score. You may see your score decrease slightly due to the hard inquiry on your credit to secure the loanword. But, since paying off your credit cards will cause your credit use ratio to drop, you may see an initial boost to your score. Plus, responsibly managing your debt consolidation loanword can help your score over fourth dimension. ”
— Leslie Tayne, financial attorney and founder of Tayne Law Group

Bottom line

Consolidating debt with a personal lend can be a thoroughly idea if you can get a fresh loan with favorable terms and a lower interest rate than current debt. Whether you can qualify for a consolidation loanword depends on your credit scores, income and other fiscal factors .
If you qualify, make sure you understand the loan terms, have a plan to pay it rear and get your outgo under control so you don ’ t end up deep in debt. If the conditions are right, a debt consolidation lend can be a good tool to help you become debt exempt fast.

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About the author: Christy Rakoczy Bieber is a full-time personal finance and legal writer. She is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and the University of Rochester. Christy was previously a college teacher with experience writing textbo… Christy Rakoczy Bieber is a full-time personal finance and legal writer. She is a alumnus of UCLA School of Law and the University of Rochester. Christy was previously a college teacher with experience writing textbo… Read more.

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