Loans > Best Debt Consolidation Loans

Best Debt Consolidation Loans

A debt consolidation loan can be a great choice for those with different sources of debt. Here, we explain who the top lenders are and why.

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Updated March 21, 2024

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Debt consolidation loans can be effective tools to manage various debts or credit card payments and come with several possible advantages. These loans give people the opportunity to manage various lines of credit and other debts or get a better handle on their finances. They can also help people pay less money over time or secure lower monthly payments to free up cash for daily necessities.

Such personal loans are offered by a plethora of lenders or lending partners. Each of these organizations claims to be the best for everyone but this can’t really be the case. Certain debt consolidation loan providers are better for different people.

Factors like interest rates, eligibility, credit score, and more can all affect whether a given debt consolidation loan provider is a great match for an individual.

Fortunately, we’ve already done plenty of research and spent the time to determine the most useful options. Take a look at the seven best debt consolidation loan providers we could find.

Is it a Good Choice to Contact a Debt Consolidation Loan Provider?

CompanyAPRBorrowing AmountsRepayment TermsFees?
Marcus by Goldman Sachs6.99%-24.99%$3,500-$40,00036-72 monthsNone
Discover6.99%-24.99%$2500-$35,00036-84 monthsLate
LightStreamRates vary (see website)$5,000-$100,000Terms vary (see website)None
Avant9.95%-35.99%$2,000-$35,00024-60 monthsAdministration, late
Sofi8.99%-23.43%$5000-$100,00024-84 monthsNone
Payoff5.99%-24.99%$5000-$35,0002-5 yearsOrigination
Best Egg5.99%-29.99%$2000-$35,00036-60 monthsOrigination

Debt consolidation loan providers can be fantastic choices depending on how well they fit your financial needs and the terms of their loan agreements. Take a detailed look at each choice, or skim the top seven, organized into a table for quick browsing below.

Leading Debt Consolidation Loan Providers

The following list includes the top seven loan providers for debt consolidation:

  1. Marcus by Goldman Sachs
    Best for Debt Consolidation
  2. Discover
    Best for Users Who Seek Flexible Repayment Options
  3. LightStream
    Best Options for Users with Good Credit
  4. Avant
    Best Options for Users with Bad Credit
  5. SoFi
    Best for the Unemployed Users
  6. Payoff
    Best for Users with Big Credit Card Debt
  7. Best Egg
    Superb Customer Service

Top Seven Debt Consolidation Loans Providers?

1. Marcus by Goldman Sachs – Best Overall

Goldman Sachs offers the best options for borrowers with good to excellent credit.


  • No late or origination fees
  • Pretty good APR range
  • Very easy to apply
  • Good upper debt limit
  • Flexible payment amounts


Credit range is generally limited from “Good” to “Excellent”

Visit Marcus by Goldman Sachs on Marcus’ website

Goldman Sachs is one of the most well-known financial institutions in the world. Their debt consolidation loan option through Marcus by Goldman Sachs is an appropriately effective choice, given their experience.

By clicking on their personal loan option, you can specify what the loan is for among a dozen reasons, and they offer amounts between $3500 up to $40,000. This minimum isn’t too high for comfort, in our eyes.

They’re a great option for other reasons, too. For instance, loans through Marcus by Goldman Sachs do not come with any late fees or origination fees – two things you should always try to avoid, as difficult as it may be.

They also have relatively low APR rates that typically hover between 6.99% to 24.99%. It is, therefore, possible to get a very attractive interest rate for your debt consolidation loan through their service.

The downside is that they require good to excellent credit in order to qualify for the lower APR range. But on the plus side, the Marcus by Goldman Sachs loan agreement also lets you tailor your monthly payment options based on your budget. So it’s easy to customize the loan into a shape that best suits your financial needs.

Product disclosure: Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. Rates range from 6.99% to 24.99% APR, and loan terms range from 36 to 72 months.

For NY residents, rates range from 6.99%-24.74%. Only the most creditworthy applicants qualify for the lowest rates and longest loan terms. Rates will generally be higher for longer-term loans. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score.

The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness.

Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans). Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness.

Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch.
Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions. Receive a 0.25% APR reduction when you enroll in AutoPay. This reduction will not be applied if AutoPay is not in effect.

When enrolled, a larger portion of your monthly payment will be applied to your principal loan amount and less interest will accrue on your loan, which may result in a smaller final payment. See loan agreement for details.

Disclaimer:  No Fees. We don’t deduct a sign-up fee from your loan amount.

2. Discover Personal Loans – Best for Flexible Repayment Options

Picture showing four smartphones running Discover app
If you seek flexible repayment options, Discover is the right choice.


  • Very flexible repayment options
  • Opportunity for long repayment terms
  • Decent APR range
  • Lower minimums down to $2500 available to borrow


  • Good APR still needs better than average credit
  • Funding sometimes arrives later than is convenient

Visit Discover Personal Loans on Discover Personal Loans’ website

Discover is pretty good compared to Marcus, with a few additional downsides. For instance, it often takes longer than a day to receive the funds from your personal loan so you can pay back your creditors.

For those on a tight timeframe, this might be too slow. They also only let you borrow up to $35,000.

That being said, Discover has a lot of things going for it. For example, they’ll give you an APR between 6.99% and 24.99% – very close to what Marcus offers.

In addition, there aren’t any extra fees to worry about.
They offer their loans at fixed interest rates and provide their estimates with help from US-based loan specialists, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to have any technical questions answered promptly.

Their most attractive feature is the flexibility of their repayment options. You can pay pretty low amounts if that’s all you can spare, making this a good choice if you have a really tight budget at the moment. They also offer a rare seven-year repayment option – ideal if you’re more comfortable with paying off your debt for a longer time if it means you have more money to handle additional costs of living.

3. LightStream – Great for Good Credit

Promotional banner for LightStream debt consolidation loan offerings
In case you have a good credit, LightStream has some top-notch offerings.


  • Low APR for many
  • Autopay option
  • Very fast funding
  • Will beat the APR of competitors (sometimes)


  • Can’t refinance LightStream with a new one
  • Not so great for those with subpar credit
Visit LightStream on LightStream’s website

LightStream provides fantastic rates competitive across the entire industry depending on your credit score. This makes them an excellent pick if you already have good credit and want to minimize the amount of extra money you’ll pay over the repayment term. This repayment option is a rewarding choice for those with good handles on their finances.

Another notable aspect is that LightStream doesn’t charge fees. This is quite impressive for a platform that offers a maximum loan amount of $100,000.

They offer a decent range of repayment terms. Various term lengths depend on the loan purpose. Add to that a potential rapid deposit of your loan on the same day you apply (depending on certain conditions), and it’s sure to be a great option for many. 

The downside is that if you don’t have better than average credit (including several years of good credit history), you won’t be able to take advantage of as many perks. They also explicitly restrict applicants who earn income from the cannabis industry. Furthermore, they don’t allow you to refinance existing LightStream loans with new ones.

4. Avant – Best for Bad Credit

Promotional picture for Avant mobile app
Avant gives a helping hand to users who have a bad credit.


  • APR rates can be helpful for those with low credit
  • Allow sub-600 credit scores
  • Decent amount range for the loan
  • No prepayment fees


  • Several additional fees
  • Better credit scores may still incur relatively high APR
Visit Avant on Avant’s website

Avant is the other side of the credit coin. They’re related to WebBank and offer a wide range of APRs, going between 9.95% all the way up to 35.99%. Of course, credit score applies to determine what rate you can expect.

But Avant is known to be a bit more forgiving compared to other debt consolidation loan providers, and you still might be able to save money through their loan compared to high rate financing options. They provide options to borrowers that have credit scores of less than 600, even allowing them to borrow between $2000 all the way up to $35,000.

They don’t have any prepayment penalties, either, which is a solid plus. Furthermore, they provide your funds pretty quickly – usually as soon as the next business day.

They do have several downsides, including an administration fee of 4.75% and other late fees. In addition, those with good credit may not like the high APR they might be saddled with.

5. Sofi – Best for Lots of Debt

SoFi promotional banner showing two illustrated smartphones running SoFi mobile app and SoFi logo
SoFi comes with unique offerings such as the unemployment protection.


  • High upper limit for borrowing
  • Good APR, with fixed rates
  • Includes unemployment protection
  • Good loan terms


  • Relatively high minimum to borrow
  • Income requirements may apply
Visit SoFi on SoFi’s website

Sofi is a personal finance and investment company that has shaken the financial market with plenty of innovative developments, like robo-advisors.

They’re similar to LightStream in that they offer debt consolidation loans up to $100,000: this is higher than what most other providers are willing to give.

They also provide you with fixed rates ranging between 5.99% up to a reasonable 21.20%, provided you sign up for automatic payments. The difference between Sofi and LightStream is that you don’t need as good credit to qualify, although you do need to borrow at least $5000.

There’s an additional benefit called unemployment protection. In a nutshell, Sofi will let you pause your payments for up to 12 months in 3-month increments if you lose your job through no fault of your own.

They also provide flexible loan terms up to seven years.The downsides are the aforementioned high minimum amount you need to borrow and the income requirements they stick on all their applications. This means those who are currently in between jobs might have difficulty getting a loan from Sofi.

6. Payoff – Best for Credit Card Debt

Payoff website, with a loan to pay off credit cards promotional page selected
Payoff provides its users with top-notch offerings for credit card debts.


  • Good APR range
  • Will work with people with subpar credit
  • Decent loan term range
  • Will help you make a debt reduction plan


  • Controls how you spend the loan to some extent
  • Includes origination fees
  • Minimum borrowing amount of $5000
Visit Payoff on Payoff’s website

Payoff is a great choice if you want to pay off your credit card debts. They have relatively low starting interest rates that can dip to 5.9%, and they allow you to borrow up to $35,000, provided you qualify.

Upper APR goes to 24.99%, and they do have a relatively high upper borrowing minimum of $5000. This all being said, Payoff usually lends to people with slightly lower than average credit scores around the mid-600s and provides flexible repayment terms between two and five years.

Most importantly, Payoff is one of the few loan providers that will actively help you put a debt reduction plan in place. This could be helpful if you need some assistance figuring out a strategy and implementing it.

There are a few other downsides, including an origination fee that can go up to 5% and relatively strict limitations on how you can use the funds allotted to your account. See more info on Payoff’s features in our comprehensive Payoff review.

7. Best Egg – Best for Customer Service

Screenshot of BestEgg website homepage
Superb customer service is the main feature that makes Best Egg a good choice.


  • Decent APR range
  • Works with people with middling credit
  • Allows you to have two loans open at once
  • Great customer service compared others


  • Some state-based restrictions
  • Funds can be received a little slowly
  • Charge an origination fee
Visit Best Egg on Best Egg’s website

Best Egg is relatively recent (having been founded in 2014). But already they’re an attractive option for many, as they have decent APR ranges between 5.99% and 29.99%.

They also offer a relatively low minimum borrowing amount of $2000 and a maximum of up to $35,000. Some special offers may allow you to bump this up to $50,000.

They also allow people with fair credit scores around the mid-600s to apply, and they allow you to open two loans at once through their service. This is risky but possibly beneficial for those who have more money owed than the maximum borrowable amount for a single loan under their name.

Most importantly, Best Egg has a great team of customer service professionals who can work with you to figure out a loan repayment plan that meets your needs. They’ll also answer any questions you have about the debt consolidation process with in-depth knowledge.

They do charge an origination fee between 0.99% and 5.99%, and their funds may show up in your account up to three business days after approval. This could be too slow for some.

Debt Consolidation Loans – A Guide

How Do Debt Consolidation Loans Really Work?

As mentioned earlier, debt consolidation loans are loans specifically used to combine several debts into one lump debt. The point of doing this is so that you have only a single payment to knock out all your debt instead of multiple payments with multiple interest rates.

In short, debt consolidation loans can simplify your finances greatly. They can be effective tools in conjunction with other debt relief steps and strategies.

What Are Average Debt Consolidation Loan Rates?

Like with many aspects of financing, the average rates for debt consolidation loans can vary from time to time. At the moment, average interest rates on personal loans (including consolidation loans) are around 11.25%. The exact number will depend on your particular loan and other things like your credit score and the overall amount of debt you have to eliminate.

Interest rates on different personal loans can range between 6% upwards of 30%. In most cases, higher credit scores and better financial history will result in lower interest rates, although existing debt obligations can also impact your personal interest rate.

What Types of Debt Can You Consolidate?

Generally, you can consolidate any unsecured debt in a personal loan. 

Unsecured debt is any kind of debt that doesn’t have collateral backing. This also means that the debt doesn’t require security. Anyone defaulting on this type of debt may be sued in order for the lender to collect whatever monetary value might be owed.

A good example of unsecured debt is a bond backed only by the credit of the entity issuing the bond. Medical bills, gym memberships, and outstanding credit card balances are further examples.

On the other hand, secured debts are those that have an asset as collateral or surety for the loan. In essence, this means that the lender can use the asset attached to the secured debt to repay the funds if the borrower defaults. Good examples of secured debts are mortgages and auto loans.

This means that you can’t consolidate various types of secured debt, like your car loan or mortgage, with a personal loan. However, debts like credit card bills can be safely consolidated.

One other exception is student payments. In most cases, student loan debt is not able to be consolidated.

What Are the Benefits of Debt Consolidation Loans?

There are lots of advantages to consolidating your debts into a single personal loan. It effectively allows you to replace debt spread across several creditors or lenders with one monthly payment and an accompanying interest rate.

This, in turn, allows you to simplify your monthly payments. People who have to make multiple monthly payments can easily miss one or two, but having only one monthly payment to keep track of is a lot easier mentally and financially.

In addition, putting all of your debt into a single pool may result in you having to pay a lower monthly bill. Consolidating debt often means negotiating a lower monthly payment rate.

For instance, if you had to pay three bills for various debts, and their combined monthly payments totaled $150, consolidating those debts might be effective. In this case, the consolidated debt might only have you pay $100 a month, and oftentimes for a similar interest rate.

This saves you money both in the short and long-term (in theory). Having an extra 50 bucks every month can allow you to pay off your debt that much more quickly or make other life purchases that are needed at the time. Or you can save for other goals.

Even better, debt consolidation loans don’t require credit. This makes them pretty accessible since folks don’t have to put up their car or house in order to back the loan up. The unspoken mental health side effects of all this are important to note, as well. 

An additional benefit to consolidating your debt is the potential increase to your credit score. This isn’t always the case (more details below), but it’s a good possible advantage. 

Another “softer” benefit is that having a single loan to repay means you can more accurately track how long it’ll take you to pay off your debts. Figuring out when you will be out of the shadow of your debts when you have all kinds of bills showing up on the first of the month can be tricky. Having one monthly payment with a fixed interest rate means you can project when you’ll be able to free up some of your income for new ventures or other expenses.

How Much Can You Save with Debt Consolidation?

This is, of course, heavily dependent on how much debt you have and many other financial factors. It’s also affected by how much you can afford to pay off every month. 

In general, you can expect to save at least hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by consolidating your debt into a single personal loan with an accompanying payment. Lower interest rates and being able to make larger monthly payments for all your debt collected will mean saving more money in the long run, as well.

What are the Risks of Debt Consolidation?

Despite its numerous potential advantages, debt consolidation does come with several risks.

For instance, some people don’t qualify for consolidation loans that have low interest rates. This may mean that, even though they have a lower than average monthly payment when they consolidate their debts, borrowers end up paying more in the long run for all their debt because of a high interest rate.

Still, this is a trade-off that many people might consider depending on their financial situation and their current repayment timeline. It’s easy, for example, to imagine paying off more money over time if it means being able to make your mortgage payment as well.

In addition, depending on the personal loan provider, some debt consolidation loans may also have origination or prepayment fees. An origination fee is a cost incurred when you make an account with a bank or lender. A prepayment fee is an extra charge that a lender might levy if you try to pay off your loans early or before the agreed-upon timeframe. 

Such fees are certainly predatory. But they are potential disadvantages you need to look out for.

Finally, those who don’t have good monetary or debt payment strategies and habits could end up in even more debt than they originally started with. For instance, consolidating all the debt from your credit cards is a good idea in theory. But if you keep using those credit cards without paying off their balances in full, you’ll easily end up with much more credit card debt in total and still have to pay everything off one way or another.

How Do You Know if You Should Use a Debt Consolidation Loan?

Ultimately, the decision about whether you should use a personal debt consolidation loan depends on your personal repayment strategy, spending characteristics, and other factors only you can know. But in general, that consolidation is a good idea if:

  • you have a manageable amount of debt and it’s just spread around too many creditors/lenders
  • you feel overwhelmed by too many bills to pay
  • you need help keeping track of debt payments
  • having a single debt payment every month will increase your likelihood of remaining out of debt once the bills are clear

You should also consider the practical rules or features of a given personal loan. A bad debt consolidation loan can easily be worse than paying all of your debts individually. A good debt consolidation loan will:

  • have a manageable interest rate
  • make your monthly payment obligations lower – there’s less of a reason to transfer your debts to a personal consolidation loan if you’ll pay the same amount of money overall or even more
  • help your credit score

Any of the above aspects could make a debt consolidation loan well worth your time and effort.

What Should You Do Before Applying for a Debt Consolidation Loan?

Before you sign up for a debt consolidation loan (like one of the above options we discussed), there are a few ducks you need to get into a row.

Firstly, be sure to examine your credit report and score. If you have multiple credit cards, do this for every one of them, even if it means your credit score takes a slight hit.

In most cases, credit scores don’t go down for a simple check unless you do it too many times per year or if it’s a “hard” check. This is important because personal loans will take your credit score into account and will determine what kind of financing plans or interest rates you can expect to be offered.

If your credit score is low, and you want to raise it before applying, there are some options. The top credit repair companies can challenge an unlimited number of items on your credit report — every cycle. This method can bring serious results, but it will take time.

If there are any credit reporting errors you find during your analysis, you should try to dispute them with your credit reporting agency. Any errors can seriously damage your credit score and impact your financial capabilities going forward. In many cases, credit reporting agencies will simply correct a mistake if you put up enough of a fight.

Next, determine how much money you’ll be able to afford to pay every month. Tally up all of your expenses, figure out a debt repayment budget, then boil everything down to a final number.

This is the amount you should plan to pay to eliminate your debt in a reasonable amount of time. It’s also what you should be looking for as you shop around for a great debt consolidation loan.

After doing all this, it’s time to search for possible lenders. Since you have your credit score(s) on hand, you should be able to easily figure out which personal loan lenders will be willing to hear your case.

A good rule of thumb is that new personal debt consolidation loan seekers need to have FICO scores of around 650. Other companies may go even lower into the 600s or 500s, but these opportunities are definitely rarer.

What to Look for in a Debt Consolidation Loan

The above recommended that consolidation loan providers are great choices, but you might be wondering how we determined their value. There are plenty of things you should look for in a debt consolidation loan – here are a few.

Loan Amount

Figure out what the minimum and maximum loan amounts offered by a particular provider are and whether they can meet your financial needs. Remember, the goal is to consolidate all your debt into a single payment, so providers that can’t cover every dollar you owe aren’t worth the time in most cases.

Repayment Terms

Next, figure out what the minimum and maximum loan repayment terms are from a given lender. There’s a bit of a balance to be struck here.

Longer loan repayment terms are usually accompanied by lower monthly payments, so they will likely be easier for you to handle in the short term or if you have a very tight budget at the moment. Some personal loan lenders may allow you to increase your monthly payments as your finances become more manageable, but beware the prepayment fees we mentioned earlier.

On the other hand, shorter repayment terms are usually accompanied by bigger monthly payments. But they also normally mean that you’ll pay less money overall. These are great choices if you do have some money to work with and are interested in knocking out your debt ASAP.


When discussing your debt consolidation loan with a lender, see if they offer pre-approval through their website or through one of their customer service representatives.

Pre-approval will provide you with estimates of your loan amount, repayment rates, and other factors through a soft credit check. Even if your credit is far from ideal, guaranteed approval for borrowers with bad credit can still be a possibility.

A soft credit check doesn’t impact your credit score, so there’s nothing to worry about here. It’s a good tool for gathering information before signing on the dotted line.

Origination/Prepayment Fees

Check to see if a given personal loan lender also comes with one of the origination fees explained earlier. Avoid these if at all possible, for obvious reasons. The same applies when it comes to prepayment fees.

Interest Rates

Finally, it’s a great idea to look at the interest rates on a debt consolidation loan. This, more than any other factor, may determine whether taking the loan makes financial sense at the time.

Thankfully, this information is easy to find, as most lenders provide a range of APRs, or annual percentage rates. This gives you an idea about what your personal interest rate could be between the minimum and maximum.

One other thing: consider whether a lender will give you a loan at a fixed or variable rate. Fixed-rate loans have interest rates that never change throughout the debt repayment timeline.

Variable rates may appear more attractive at first, as they are often cheaper. However, they can always rise in the future and become more costly in the long term.

Once you have a debt consolidation loan, you should be taking steps to ensure that you actually make the most of the opportunity. Taking all the time to find a great debt consolidation loan will be worth nothing in the long run if you don’t begin repaying your consolidated debt as promised.

Do Consolidation Loans Hurt Your Credit Score?

Actually, no. In fact, debt consolidation loans can often be helpful for your credit scores, although this varies from person to person. FICO and VantageScore – two credit scoring models – often use something called the debt to limit ratio to determine aspects of your total score.

In short, this ratio examines how much debt you have in total versus how much free credit you have to spend and sets a score accordingly. Other aspects can impact your score, of course.

However, consolidation loans aren’t affected in the same way as a regular loan or credit card balance. If you have several credit cards that are almost maxed out or fully maxed out, they have bad debt to limit ratios and will negatively affect your credit score. Transferring those debts to a personal consolidation loan will have a positive impact on your score overall.

Even better, many peoples’ credit scores are affected by having multiple credit cards open at once. Lowering the number of cards you have active (and with debt on them) is likely to have a positive effect, too.

If you want to protect your credit score from dropping, you may want to evaluate the top credit monitoring services. They can protect you — and your credit — from harmful attacks.

What about balance transfers? It’s true that opening new credit cards or transferring your balance from one credit card to another can have a negative impact on your credit score.

Using a consolidation loan, which is a type of installment account (i.e. not a card), isn’t the same thing from a financial and legal standpoint. Again, this results in an improvement in your credit scores across the board under most circumstances.

In summary: no, debt consolidation loans do not normally hurt your credit score(s).

How Long Does Debt Consolidation Stay on Your Credit Report?

In the event that your debt consolidation loan does require a hard credit check, your credit score(s) will take a slight dip for the short-term future. However, debt consolidation loans that are properly paid (not overall – just payments that are on time and according to the agreed-upon timeframe) are positive information for your credit report. Like other types of positive information, this remains on your credit report(s) indefinitely. This is, unequivocally, a good thing.

However, debt consolidation loans that are not paid or are paid late provide negative information to be added to your credit report. These follow the same rules that regular late or no-payment incidents do. For instance, late payments can (and most often do) remain on your credit report for up to seven years past the date of the occurrence.

What is the Smartest Way to Consolidate Debt?

All this still begs the question: is a debt consolidation loan the smartest way to consolidate debt?

There are other options when it comes to debt consolidation aside from taking a personal loan through one of the above providers. For instance, you can arrange a debt management payment plan using a credit counseling agency. Or you can transfer any unpaid balances to a single credit card that has the lowest interest rate.

Other options involve borrowing from your retirement savings plan (i.e. a 401(k) or Roth IRA) and using a home equity loan/home equity line of credit (also called HELOC). This latter option uses your own house as collateral for the debt.

However, what is smart or effective for one person may not be the same for everyone else. Debt consolidation loans can be very smart depending on your finances and your ability to repay the debt as promised.

What Are Some Alternatives to Debt Consolidation Loans?

If you’re not sure how debt consolidation works, there are a number of alternatives you can pursue in addition to debt consolidation loans. These include debt management plans and debt settlement.

Debt Management

A debt management plan is a type of debt management provided by credit counseling agencies – these are usually nonprofit organizations. In short, you pay an agency that disperses payments across your various creditors for you after you pay them the total amount for the payment period.

It’s a lot like having someone handle all the financial running around from having multiple debt payments instead of actually consolidating everything into a single monthly fee.

The agency acts as a friendly middleman who will work with your creditors and try to get you more favorable terms. This may include refinancing your loans or securing better interest rates. They can also provide you with several different repayment schedules, ranging from monthly payments to quarterly or so on.

The catch is that you aren’t allowed to open any new lines of credit while you are paying off all your previous debts. Many agencies will also force you to close your credit card accounts. It’s a way of ensuring that you don’t get into further financial trouble.

Still, this can be helpful if you have some poor credit habits you need to break. But it can be a bad thing if you end up needing a line of credit in an emergency.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is another alternative. As the name suggests, it’s an agreement with your lender so that you ultimately pay back a smaller portion of your total debts.

At the end of the repayment period, your debt is considered “settled”, although this is negative on your credit report and can remain for up to seven years. Out of all three options, it’s normally regarded as the worst.

Should I Take a Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards?

The final decision about whether you should take a personal loan to pay off your credit cards is totally up to you. As we’ve explained, whether or not a debt consolidation loan from one of the above providers depends on your repayment plan, your ability to stick to that plan, and the total amount of debt you need to handle in the first place.

We think that debt consolidation loans can be one of the most effective and financially healthy methods to pay off multiple debts over time. However, if your credit is good enough to score a low interest person loan from a top-tier lender, then that could be a better alternative.

Wrap Up

All in all, a debt consolidation loan could be the key to your financial recovery and future stability. These personal loans give people the opportunity to get a hold of their debts and knock them out procedurally rather than be overwhelmed with a constant, looming specter of credit card bills. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there, even if you don’t have the best credit in the world.

We believe the Marcus personal loan from Goldman Sachs is the best option for most folks, at least if they have decent credit to begin with. But one of the other above loans might work better for you. Be sure to let us know and tell us your experience with personal consolidation loans!

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