Debt Consolidation Loans Save You Money and Time
Did you know it takes many people over 20 years to pay off a credit card if they only make the minimum payments?
It’s sad, but true. Minimum payments may seem like the way to go to when your pinching pennies during the month, but it can end up costing you lots of money over the life of your credit card.
Minimum Payments Cost You Maximum Dollars
If you carry a credit card balance of $5,000 and pay the minimum payment – which usually runs 1% to 3% per month. It’ll take you at least 18 years to pay off the card balance. Plus, you’ll end up paying $10,860 by the time you get it done. That means you spent more than you actually charged for purchases. Even worse, if you miss a payment or pay late, the card companies hit you hard with added interest and late fees.
You also spend lots of time making multiple payments to different charge card accounts every month. And again, if you forget or get the dates mixed up, you pay unnecessary late fees.
Solve the Problem
So what’s the solution? That’s easy. Apply for a debt consolidation loan and you can pay off all your high-interest credit cards at once. Then, you can get the loan paid off in a few years (not twenty).
Consolidate Debt with Personal Loans
There are a few different ways you can consolidate your debts with a loan. You can use your home equity -- if you have any. This used to be a fairly common practice before home values began to plunge in 2008. Some homes have regained their value, but many have not. Most home loans are still upside down; meaning the value of the house is lower than the mortgage on the house.
You can also use another credit card and transfer all the balances to the card with a high credit limit. Unfortunately, the financial crisis also put a kink in this consolidation strategy, as card lenders cut back on credit limits and raised credit score requirements.
In light of these changes in lending, a personal loan may be your best option. These loans are unsecured (no collateral required) and depend on your credit rating, income and other financial considerations. If you have a good to excellent credit score, you can qualify for a lower interest rate, but as your credit score gets lower your interest rate gets higher.
How to Apply
It’s easy to apply for a personal loan. Our secure online application sends your information to a variety of lenders with many different loan programs. These lenders will make you their best offers and send them to your inbox. You can review your loan approvals in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to waste valuable time driving around city from bank to bank.
After you select your loan. You can contact your preferred lender. They will let you know what documents you need to support your application and answer any questions you have about the loan’s terms or costs.
What You Need to Know Before You Apply
First, you want to make sure the interest rate you qualify for is better than the interest rates on your card or cards. Plus, you want to try and keep your payment around the same cost. This is not always doable.
However, if you can replace three credit cards with $50 minimum payments with a monthly $150 payment, you accomplish two things. You don’t spend any extra money each month and you get the same balance paid off much faster. In fact, even if you pay a little more on a monthly basis, you still come out ahead if you pay the loan off faster – in many cases years faster.
Be Smart With Your Loan and Cards
Don’t give into the temptation to use the loan proceeds for another purpose or run your credit cards back up. Then, you’ve only created more problems for yourself. You have an extra loan payment and all of your card payments.
However, don’t close all your credit card accounts. Your credit score improves significantly when you have available credit (credit on your card that you don’t use). In fact, if you use your lowest-interest card every once in a while, but pay it off in full each month, your credit score should go up. A higher credit score will enable you to qualify for lower-interest loans in the future.
Also, make your loan payments as agreed. This also raises your credit score and puts you in a position to get lower-interest loans or credit cards.