Debt Consolidation With Personal Loans – A Good Idea?
If you are looking for a way to reduce the number of payments you make on bills every month, getting a personal loan may be the answer. In fact, you may even be able to reduce the total you pay, provided you get a lower interest rate this way. Consider the facts on using a personal loan to consolidate your debt.
Will You Save Money?
One of the main points of getting a personal loan for debt consolidation is reducing the amount you will pay over time as explained by Business Insider. This means that you need to find a loan that has a lower interest rate than what most of your current bills have. Of course, you will still save money even if the loan’s interest rate is simply lower than the average of the rest of your bills. Just be sure to do the math before you take out a personal loan in an effort to save money. There are plenty of free debt consolidation calculators out there to help with the calculations.
Aside from looking at what you will save long-term through lower interest, you need to consider the monthly payment. Make sure it is an amount you can afford. In many cases, your loan’s payments will be lower than what you currently pay on all your bills every month due to the lower interest rate. This will allow you to possibly make higher payments to pay off the loan faster, or you can put the money toward another expense or even savings.
In addition, note that you have some control over the repayment period for the loan. This means that if the payments are too high for you every month when you pay over ten years, find out what they would be if you were to switch the repayment period to 20 years instead. You just need to remember that the longer the duration of the loan, the more interest you will pay overall, so make sure it is worth it.
Can You Get a Good Interest Rate on a Personal Debt Consolidation Loan?
The key to this tactic is to get a better interest rate on the personal loan than you currently have on most of your bills. This usually means you need to have decent credit. If you want the prime rate, you need an excellent credit score (740 to 760 and up), so you should consider getting a copy of your credit report and score before you shop for loans. Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit reporting bureaus can give you a free report once every 12 months according to FTC. If it turns out your credit is not good, this option may not work well for you, in which case you can look into other methods of consolidating your debts such as settlement.
If your credit score is good enough to get you a low interest loan, you should start looking at different lenders and comparing the rates on the market. You should first start with your own bank to find out what it has to offer. If you have a credit card with your bank, though, you may get turned down for a personal loan to pay it off since the bank will be losing money in this case.
If you cannot get a personal debt consolidation loan through your own bank, or the interest rate is rather high, shop around at different banks or credit unions. Keep in mind that credit unions tend to have some of the lowest interest rates, so you should find out what those rates are before you commit to a personal loan elsewhere. In addition, you need to find out the expenses associated with the loan, aside from the interest rate, as many lenders charge fees upfront if you want a debt consolidation loan.
How Do You Get Started?
Before shopping around for a good personal loan with a low rate, you should add up the total amount you wish to include in the loan. This lets you know how big the loan has to be in order to consolidate your debts. Be sure to leave out any bills that already have a low interest rate as you will not benefit from including them unless you can get a loan with an even lower rate.
Once you know exactly which bills to include, and the amount your loan needs to be, you should check your credit report to make sure you are eligible for a loan. If you have an excellent FICO credit score of 740 and up, you should have your pick of loans with low interest rates. If it is good, you should still be able to get a better rate than you currently have on your bills. However, if your credit is just fair or poor, your options may be limited, and you might be better off looking at other ways to consolidate your debt.
If you find yourself in this boat, we can make recommendation to the best debt consolidation companies that can help you consolidate your bills without taking out a new loan and lower your actual balances instead of just getting a lower APR on your credit card debts.