Library funds – Save My NJ Library Wed, 20 Apr 2022 10:39:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Library funds – Save My NJ Library 32 32 Does the FAFSA money you get have to be repaid? Wed, 20 Apr 2022 10:39:00 +0000 The kind of assistance you get after submitting your FAFSA determines whether you’ll be required to repay it. However, a limited number of grants, scholarships, and work-study monies don’t need to be repaid. Your subsidized, unsubsidized, and Direct Plus Loans will need to be paid back. The Free Application for Federal Student Assistance, or FAFSA, […]]]>
  • The kind of assistance you get after submitting your FAFSA determines whether you’ll be required to repay it.
  • However, a limited number of grants, scholarships, and work-study monies don’t need to be repaid.
  • Your subsidized, unsubsidized, and Direct Plus Loans will need to be paid back.

The Free Application for Federal Student Assistance, or FAFSA, must be completed to be considered for most financial aid forms get it today, including aid from your institution. When it comes to the FAFSA for the 2021-22 school year, it’s open until June 30, while the FAFSA for the 2022-23 school year is open from Oct. 1 to June 30, 2022.

Once your school provides you with a complete package of financial assistance, you’ll know exactly what you’re eligible for based on the information you provide on the FAFSA. Returning some and not paying back others will be your responsibility.

Financial aid that you don’t have to repay.

Unlike loans, scholarships, and work-study funds, grants and scholarships don’t have to be repaid after you graduate. As a result, the sooner you submit your FAFSA, the more likely you will be eligible for financial aid.

  • In many cases, Grants are provided based on financial need or membership in a particular organization. Students who commit to teaching for four years in a low-income school and those whose parents or guardians died while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are eligible for various government prizes. Find out more about government funding in this article.
  • Scholarships are often given to students who have excelled in academics, sports, or other areas. The amount of money available for scholarships is determined solely by the institution awarding them.
  • It depends on when you apply, how much money your school has available, and how much financial need you have. To help students struggling financially, work-study is a kind of financial aid that provides part-time jobs, such as working in a university library or as a research assistant.

Some private scholarships and grants may assist bridge the gap if you still want “free money” for college, and you won’t have to repay any of this financial aid. Although private scholarships and grants are very competitive, your school may reduce the financial assistance it provides you by the amount of the private scholarship or grant you get.

Financial help that you must repay

Subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, and Direct PLUS Loans may be available to you when you complete the FAFSA. A set interest rate is in place for all government loans. You must pay back every one of these loans.

  • Subsidized loans are granted only to those who can’t afford to repay them. To avoid accruing interest while you’re in school or during your six-month grace period, the government pays the interest on your loan. After you graduate, you have a grace period during which you do not have to begin paying back your student loans in full.
  • No consideration is given to financial needs when approving unsubsidized loans. Even if you have a six-month grace period, interest will continue to accrue. Instead of a subsidized loan, this is a more expensive option.
  • A credit check is required for Direct PLUS loans, which do not evaluate financial need. Direct Plus Loans are available to graduate and professional students. During the six-month grace period, interest is accrued.

The FAFSA may not cover all of your educational costs, in which case you may need to take out private loans. You’ll have to pay them back, and they should be your last option since personal loans sometimes have stricter terms and conditions than government loans.

You must fill out the FAFSA to determine how much financial assistance you are eligible for, but you don’t have to take all of it.

What is a debt consolidation loan and how does it work? Thu, 27 Jan 2022 12:23:00 +0000 Debt consolidation loans are often misunderstood. They are not always bad. However, you should only take them after careful consideration. If you plan to subscribe best debt consolidation loans then you need to understand what they are and how to get it. The use of debt consolidation loans is to help consumers consolidate their debts […]]]>

Debt consolidation loans are often misunderstood. They are not always bad. However, you should only take them after careful consideration. If you plan to subscribe best debt consolidation loans then you need to understand what they are and how to get it.

The use of debt consolidation loans is to help consumers consolidate their debts into a single loan. This means that instead of paying several creditors each month, you would pay one creditor per month.

How Debt Consolidation Works

Consolidating your debts is not the same as filing for bankruptcy. While this can sometimes be helpful in dealing with overwhelming debt, there are some important differences between these two options. Therefore, here’s how debt consolidation works – 1. You take out a new loan and use it to pay off all or most of your existing credit card balances. 2. You pay off the remaining balance on the consolidated loan over time at a lower interest rate than you were paying before.

What is the concept of debt consolidation?

Consolidating your debts into one loan can save you time and effort. It also helps you get rid of high interest rates and fees. If you take the right steps before applying for a debt consolidation loan, you can avoid ending up with an expensive loan.

Therefore, here are some tips on the best way to use the debt consolidation loan:

Understand your finances
Before applying for a debt consolidation loan or any other type of loan, understand your sources of money. Check if you will qualify for a loan based on your current financial situation.

Know the loan options available
There are many types of loans available today. Some people prefer to use credit cards while others prefer to use cash advances. Many people like to combine the two types of loans in order to better manage their finances.

Consider all options before applying for a loan
You don’t necessarily need to go through all the lenders in your area first. Instead, you can check various websites online for free information on different types of loans.

Choose an interest rate that suits your budget
You can find different types of interest rates when looking for a loan. However, there are two main categories of interest rates: the fixed rate and the variable rate. Fixed rate loans generally have higher monthly payments, but lower overall costs. Variable rate loans generally have lower monthly payments, but higher overall costs.

Look at different payment plans
When choosing a payment plan, you need to consider your budget. Most people who borrow money do so because they want to pay less in the long run. Therefore, you need to think about how much you can afford to pay each month.

Check your ability to repay your loan
If you decide to apply for a debt consolidation loan, make sure you can afford to repay the full amount. Otherwise, you could end up paying thousands of extra dollars each year.

Be aware of loan fees and costs
Some banks charge additional fees when you take out a new loan. These fees include things like application fees and set-up fees. You should research these fees before taking out a loan.

Shop for the best deal
Once you have decided on the type of loan that is best for you, you need to search for the best deal. You can compare interest rates by visiting different websites.

Get pre-approved if possible
Getting pre-approved for a loan is one way to ensure you get the lowest interest rate possible. This means you can start saving money immediately after receiving approval.

Borrow what you need
It is very easy to fall into the trap of taking on too much debt. When you do this, you might be tempted to spend more than you earn. Once you’ve taken out a loan, you might feel compelled to spend even more money.

Debt consolidation loans are a great option for those with high levels of debt. They allow you to consolidate multiple debts into one low-interest loan. By paying off your existing debt, you can save money and avoid future problems.

QuinStreet: Reveals Three Common Debt Consolidation Mistakes Consumers Should Avoid Tue, 25 Jan 2022 10:57:12 +0000 Missteps can derail financial goals and set consumers back Foster City, California – January 25, 2022 – “New year, new me” is resonating on social media and many consumers have made resolutions to get their finances in shape. Debt consolidation can be a vital strategy to help consumers achieve their financial goals, but if they […]]]>

Missteps can derail financial goals and set consumers back

Foster City, California – January 25, 2022 – “New year, new me” is resonating on social media and many consumers have made resolutions to get their finances in shape. Debt consolidation can be a vital strategy to help consumers achieve their financial goals, but if they make certain mistakes, they can end up in worse financial shape. To help people avoid this,, a leading personal loan site, publishes its new report Successful Debt Consolidation: Your Complete Guide, describing the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

“If you’re juggling multiple credit cards or loans, a debt consolidation plan can help you comfortably manage what you owe and strive to pay it back,” says Kristin Marino, personal finance expert at AmOne. “However, there are some mistakes you may not be aware of that can make your debt problems worse.

Three Common Debt Consolidation Mistakes

  1. Believing that the debt has disappeared when it has not disappeared: People can be so relieved to see zero balances on their credit cards and other debts that they forget they still owe their consolidated loan balance – the debt just turns into another type of debt.
  2. Failing to address the underlying issues that created the debt: If someone is prone to overspending, a debt consolidation plan may not be a long-term solution unless behavior changes, so consumers need to focus on sticking to a budget.
  3. Choose the wrong solution for the financial situation: There are several debt consolidation options available and it is important to carefully research which solution offers the best solution, balancing payment term, interest rate and other factors.

AmOne’s guide outlines why people enter into debt consolidation deals and popular products used by consumers – such as debt management plans, personal loans and credit card balance transfers – to manage their debts and achieve their financial goals.

“Whether you want to lower your payments, lock in a fixed interest rate, increase your credit score, or get out of debt faster, debt consolidation can be a useful tool for achieving those goals,” notes Marino. “Making an informed decision about the path you take to get there can be critical to your success.”

Marino is available to discuss the best debt consolidation strategies to get individual finances in order this year, common borrower mistakes, and how consumers can choose the best solution to settle their debts.

About AmOne
AmOne is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST), a leader in providing performance market technologies and services to the financial services and home services industries. QuinStreet is a pioneer in providing online marketplace solutions to match searchers with brands in digital media. The company is committed to providing consumers with the information and tools they need to research, find and select the products and brands that meet their needs. AmOne is a member of QuinStreet’s specialty research and publishing division.

Since 1999, AmOne helped consumers identify the loan or credit solutions that best meet their needs, using proprietary loan matching technology. The company also provides free credit assistance from financial matching specialists. Since its inception, AmOne’s credit assistance efforts have generated more than $4 billion in loan approvals for consumers and business owners nationwide.

Twitter: @AmOneMoney

Media contact
Amy Eury
Senior Manager, Public Relations

Top 5 Benefits of Debt Consolidation – Smithers Interior News Fri, 21 Jan 2022 09:30:00 +0000 The process of negotiating with your creditors to accept partial payment in exchange for paying off your debt in full is known as debt settlement. It is a form of debt repayment approach known as debt settlement. Only a fraction of your total debt is owed, and if your creditor agrees to the terms of […]]]>

The process of negotiating with your creditors to accept partial payment in exchange for paying off your debt in full is known as debt settlement. It is a form of debt repayment approach known as debt settlement. Only a fraction of your total debt is owed, and if your creditor agrees to the terms of your proposal, the rest will be forgiven.

Since most bankruptcies are the result of medical bills, debts such as credit cards, private student loans, and personal loans all have a negative impact on life, costing them much more in the long run due to fees, interest and financial charges. in addition to the mental anguish that debt can bring. A debt settlement program is the most effective and cost-effective technique for reducing and eliminating debt for today’s troubled customers who are ready for a fresh financial start. Debt consolidation is a good idea for the following four reasons:

Reasons to Consider Debt Settlement as an Option for You

Debt settlement is rarely recommended as a viable solution to your financial problems unless you work in the debt settlement industry. Debt settlement fraud, as well as customers’ lack of knowledge about the implications of debt settlement, are the cause. Depending on their situation, debt settlement can be beneficial for some people.

The debt settlement procedure is simple

Getting out of debt can be as simple as signing up with a debt settlement company, making monthly payments of a fixed amount, and asking the company to negotiate and settle each of your bills one by one. until you are freed from your debts. All harassing phone calls will now be routed to your debt relief partner, and disputes can often be avoided now that the individual has signed up for debt relief. One by one, funds from the escrow account are applied to their outstanding debts. In today’s world, the majority of people have to juggle multiple jobs, health issues and family responsibilities. Most people are too busy to settle their debts. Debt settlement is a simple solution for people who don’t have the time but want a better financial future.

Debt settlement is faster than alternative options

For consumers, other debt reduction measures can mean a lifetime of financial hardship. There are many ways to consolidate debt, such as taking out a new loan to pay off the old one. The principal, on the other hand, remains unchanged. Without debt relief or a significant financial windfall, people in debt are likely to stay in debt indefinitely. Consumers can become debt free after a two to three year debt settlement process. It’s not a silver bullet, but it’s faster than some of the other possibilities. You can get more information about debt relief at

Take steps to prevent insolvency

Debt settlement is a popular option for people who want to avoid bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a long-term answer to your financial problems. Ten years after bankruptcy, many loans, job applications and credit cards still ask if you have ever been declared bankrupt. No, but if the bank finds out later that you have actually declared bankruptcy, you could be charged with fraud. You could be fired from your current job if your situation worsens.

When done correctly, working out a debt settlement with your creditors can save you from bankruptcy and the inconveniences that come with it.

The debt settlement will appear on your credit report for up to seven years after the fact. Settlements are not public documents, so you won’t have to deal with them when the credit reporting deadline expires on your settled accounts.

Debt settlement is a good use of your money

Clients can expect to see their debts reduced by 25%, 30% or even 40% of the original amount owed, including fees, when working with a professional debt settlement partner. It is only when the invoices have been paid that the suppliers receive a fee. Negotiating on behalf of the client can take weeks or months to reach the best possible deal with creditors who usually take a tough stance. The fee covers the time spent negotiating for the consumer. A debt relief provider may get a better outcome than a consumer who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the debt relief process or how much money they can expect to save by relying on in-depth knowledge and longstanding relationships with creditors, attorneys and collection agencies.

Agreement to consider debt consolidation up to 85% LTV Wed, 19 Jan 2022 13:30:39 +0000 “We are committed to finding ways to help brokers support more clients, and increasing our maximum LTV for debt consolidation for borrowers who meet our higher credit rating will do just that. “ The lender increased the maximum LTV by 80% to give more choice to brokers whose clients meet its higher credit score requirements. […]]]>

“We are committed to finding ways to help brokers support more clients, and increasing our maximum LTV for debt consolidation for borrowers who meet our higher credit rating will do just that. “

The lender increased the maximum LTV by 80% to give more choice to brokers whose clients meet its higher credit score requirements.

Brokers will automatically be notified if their client is eligible for the increased 85% LTV limit when submitting a principle decision. Those who don’t qualify for the upper limit, but still meet Accord’s standard credit score, will be able to borrow up to 80% of the LTV for debt consolidation.

Accord will still only allow a maximum of ten debts to be consolidated for both secured and unsecured debt, and a debt consolidation limit of £50,000 still applies for unsecured debt.

Nicola Alvarez, Head of New Propositions at Accord, said: “We are committed to finding ways to help brokers support more clients, and increasing our maximum LTV for debt consolidation for borrowers who meet our higher credit score will do just that.

“Brokers have been talking about this for some time, so hopefully it will be good news that we have listened and are responding to an identified need with increased choice in the market.”

YK Osiris Joking Receives $65,000 Debt Consolidation Check From Barstool Sports Mon, 17 Jan 2022 08:56:58 +0000 Debt free is the way to be! If it looks like YK Osiris has finally found relief to pay off all the debt he owes. The singer owes money to people left and right, from Lil Baby to the recently paid Drake. With all the buzz surrounding his debt from making multiple bets, Barstool sports […]]]>

Debt free is the way to be! If it looks like YK Osiris has finally found relief to pay off all the debt he owes. The singer owes money to people left and right, from Lil Baby to the recently paid Drake. With all the buzz surrounding his debt from making multiple bets, Barstool sports decided to step in and help Osiris clear his name. In an episode of the YouTube series “Sundae Conversation”, Osiris explained how he got into the debt situation to begin with.

Host Caleb Pressley asked him, “Why do you owe so many people money?” While laughing and showing his perfectly white teeth, the ‘Worth It’ singer replied, “I don’t make smart bets. I just jump in the water and swim. Osiris then asked Caleb: ‘Es you gone to save me?” Caleb came over and handed her a check for $65,000.

As Osiris sat there laughing, Caleb asked if the debt consolidation check was enough to cover his debt? Still laughing, Osiris explained, “I need more than this man. How can I get more? How much do I owe you on interest? Caleb told her they would worry about it later. Although it seemed like a joke, Osiris was in good spirits about the show. The housemates liked the video and the majority of the comments were about the beauty of her teeth.

One commented, “That’s the smile for me.” Another commented: “At least he doesn’t flex like he has the racks. Even if he was buying earrings for $300,000. If you remember last month, Osiris published a $60,000 reward for his missing diamond earring, he lost. Osiris has not revealed whether the earring, which cost $325,000, has yet been found. Roommates, leave a comment and let us know what you think of the clip?!

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The post office YK Osiris Joking Receives $65,000 Debt Consolidation Check From Barstool Sports appeared first on The shadow room.

2021’s Best Debt Consolidation Loans: Top Lenders Wed, 12 Jan 2022 03:53:43 +0000 This article is sponsored content. Interested in advertising with us? Click here. This young couple never imagined being where they are now three years ago. The hope with which they started their small eatery at the outskirts of Dallas had crashed, and they are now caught in an endless debt trap, unable to find a […]]]>

This young couple never imagined being where they are now three years ago. The hope with which they started their small eatery at the outskirts of Dallas had crashed, and they are now caught in an endless debt trap, unable to find a way out.

Incidentally, they are not the only ones facing such a dilemma. Thousands of people across the United States face the same fate. Americans, with only one type of debt, owe over $100,000 on average, and at least 60% of Americans are in deep debt.

In the past 30 years and a trifle more, debt has been on a prowl across the country, murdering the American dream almost with impunity.

The barista at your neighborhood coffee bar is forced to work an extra shift daily only to make ends meet. The single mom lives in a state of claustrophobia under persisting anxiety over how she will keep her child fed. You may even find the high school student next door unsure about whether he or she would be able to make it to college without walking into debt. Your neighbor may even tell you how they are often forced to borrow more to repay earlier outstanding loans.

This is the narrative that defines Americans today. It seems almost every soul you see rushing for work is carrying an invisible pile on their head — the stack of unpaid tax and credit card bills.

The boulder of debt has crushed the American dream, pulverizing people pervasively as it keeps rolling unchecked.

Yet, in this all-pervading gloom, the country offers you scope to live a life of total freedom from all debts. There are two options. You can live a spartan life and stay clear of expenses that may take you your whole life to pay back, or you can avail of the service and guidance of a reliable debt consolidation company, which will show you the path to freedom from debt.

We know and understand your desperation to come out clean from your debts and your aspirations to live a life of freedom hereafter. And we feel your best option is to walk into the office of a reputable debt consolidation company and walk out as a free man. In their efforts to navigate you to freedom from debts, these companies usually consolidate all of your outstanding debts and negotiate a settlement by paying a part of what you owe.

Your freedom from debts, however, will depend on which company you finally decide to work with. Therefore, you must do your due diligence before you select the debt consolidation company to bail you out of the debt traps, or else you may walk into a bigger risk and messy financial arrangements.

List of the Best Debt Consolidation Companies of 2021

  1. CuraDebt — Overall Best Loan Consolidation Company
  2. Accredited Debt Relief — Best for Consolidating Debt to Save Hundreds of Dollars
  3. National Debt Relief — Best for Credit Card Consolidation Loan
  4. Citizens Debt Relief — Best for Fast & Consolidated Debt Relief
  5. DMB Financial — Best for Debt Settlement with Easy Repayment Terms
Courtesy of Credit Pros

#1. CuraDebt: Overall Best Loan Consolidation Company

The financial WizKids, who set up the company in 2000, has been aiding individuals and small businesses to walk out of their debts since 1996. And since then, the company has, thus far, helped thousands resolve their debts and created awareness about the importance of saving.

In the past 21 years, CuraDebt has earned an unparalleled reputation for being the best. It is believed that your passage from financial hardship to comfort can never be easier, faster, and smoother if you are not working with CuraDebt for your debt consolidation and resolution. Although the company consolidates and settles all kinds of debts, it is known for its specialization in tax debts, which most debt consolidation companies refuse to dabble in.

The transparency with which it usually offers, the efficiency with which it handles clients’ debt issues, and the speed with which it takes its customers from financial bondage to freedom have all become fables in the business of debt consolidation and settlement.


  • CuraDebt’s services and programs are indeed one of the widest in the market. The company consolidates and settles credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans for debt and payday loans, tax debts, and private student loans.
  • The company does not insist upon a specific minimum amount of debt for a client to qualify for receiving services or the debt settlement programs. It, on the contrary, offers free consultation on how it proposes to consolidate and settle the debts and explains in detail the company’s working modules.
  • While most debt relief providers do not offer their services to clients having tax debts, CuraDebt offers help to enable you to settle your Federal and State taxes.
  • At the core of its unblemished reputation lies an army of happy clients who were successfully aided to move on with life free from debts.
  • CuraDebt offers one of the best ease of consultations. You can talk to any of its consultants either over the phone or meet one in person at the company’s office in Hollywood. The consultation is free because CuraDebt understands the angst a debtor is already in. This policy speaks volumes about the company’s sensitivity for the millions poorly mired in debts of all kinds.
  • The company is a member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and is certified by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).


  • No upfront fees or enrollment fees.
  • Available across 50 states of the U.S.
  • Settles outstanding debt issues between 24 and 48 months.
  • Works primarily on a flat-rate fee structure.
  • Charges 20% of what you owe.


  • Offers no help in lawsuits, utility bills, auto, student, or government loans, mortgage or home loans, and other secured debts.
  • No mobile applications and dashboards.
  • Not accredited with the Better Business Bureau.
Courtesy of Credit Pros

#2. Accredited Debt Relief: Best for Consolidating Debt to Save Hundreds of Dollars

The runner-up position on our list goes to none other than Accredited Debt Relief. The Texas-based firm is one of America’s leading companies with years of experience in debt consolidation under their belt and is an A+ accredited business under the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The firm is also certified by the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). Accredited Debt Relief understands the frustration and suffering of multiple crushing debts and predatory interest rates from loans. So, the company tries to offer specially tailored services based on the needs and nature of a client’s unsecured loans. The company operates on three core values:

  1. Clients should come first, and each should be given a uniquely optimized solution to handle their situation.
  2. The company must try everything it can to help increase the financial savings of the client.
  3. The company must maintain honesty and transparency with the client at all times. The client came for help in desperate times, so it is immoral to fleece them.

Following these guidelines, the company has helped settle over $500 million in debt for over 140,000 Americans. Accredited Debt Relief can help you reduce your total debt by a whopping 50% by consolidating multiple debts into one and by helping you become debt-free as early as 12 months. If you have a debt of $25,000 or more, Accredited Debt Relief can significantly cut down your monthly payments. With a debt of $25,000, you can end up paying as low as $408 per month at 0% interest on the minimum amount and become debt-free in 48 months.

Getting started is easy. Accredited Debt Relief will ask you about your debt and quote you for service charges and consolidation loan amounts. Consultation and saving estimates are free, and you do not even need to pay any upfront enrollment fee.

Customer reviews for this firm have been nothing short of stellar. Accredited Debt Relief’s website proudly shows an average score of 4.9 stars out of 5 by Trustpilot. One verified customer stated that it was, “The best call I have ever made,” while another customer called the whole experience with the company, “Quick and painless.” So, what are you worrying about? Get relieved of debt by Accredited Debt Relief today.


  • Reduces your debt by a maximum of 50%.
  • Combines multiple debts into a single easy to manage one.
  • Saves you hundreds of dollars each month.
  • Get approved for debt consolidation even if you have an imperfect and minimum credit score.
  • Easy to apply, and it is as simple as getting a quote online.
  • Over one million people have applied, with 140,000 clients enrolled and $500 million in debt resolved.
  • Be debt-free in as little as 12 to 48 months.


  • BBB rating of A+ and accredited by the AFCC.
  • Free consultation and saving estimates.
  • No upfront enrollment fee.
  • 0% interest rate on minimum monthly payment.
  • 9-star review on Trustpilot.
  • Norton-secured website.


  • Only ideal for unsecured debts or debts above $10,000.
Courtesy of Credit Pros

#3. National Debt Relief: Best for Credit Card Consolidation Loan

Since its founding in 2009, National Debt Relief has been a consistently high-ranking debt consolidation and relief firm. It has not changed as of 2021, as we place National Debt Relief at our number three spot. The New York-based firm is an A+ business accredited by the BBB. National Debt Relief is also certified by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) and AFCC. Whether it is major credit card debt, bank loans, or medical debt, National Debt Relief has you covered and can lower your debt by up to a staggering value of 50%. The company only charges 15-25% of your total debt as fees, so they still lower your debt by roughly 30% even after paying National Debt Relief. You can achieve all of this in just a period of two to four years. You might be thinking that is a long time, but remember that paying off a large debt otherwise can often take decades, if not a lifetime. Initial consultation and savings estimates are free, so you can get a good idea of what you are getting before you need to shell out even a single dollar. Even then, no upfront payment is necessary.

Qualification is easy, provided you have a minimum debt of $7,500 that belongs to one of the qualified types of debt.

National Debt Relief has been featured as a leading debt consolidation firm multiple times by Top Consumer Reviews, Top 10 Reviews, and Consumer Advocate. It has almost a perfect 5-star review on TrustPilot based on 32,000+ reviews and 4.6/5 stars on Google based on over 2,000 customer reviews. One customer, Amber P., writes, “It has been a lifesaver. We were drowning in CC debt and National Debt Relief had helped us. I am so glad I called.” Bobby A. says, “National Debt Relief helped me settle my debts that were choking me.”

With such fantastic customer reviews and services, National Debt Relief is a no-brainer solution if the unrelenting weight of debt is crushing your life. No longer do you have to lie sleepless at night wondering if your house will be repossessed or if your credit score tanked, hamstringing future financial prospects. In a nation falling increasingly in the jaws of debt, National Debt Relief is welcome salvation for many Americans.


  • Reduces your debt by a maximum of 50% or 30% after fees.
  • Choose between debt consolidation and debt relief, each one with its unique pros and cons.
  • Get your debt consolidated even if it is as low as $7,500.
  • Be debt-free in as little as 12 to 48 months.


  • BBB rating of A+.
  • Accredited by the AFCC and AIPDA.
  • Choose between debt consolidation and debt settlement.
  • Free consultation and saving estimates.
  • No upfront enrollment.
  • 5-star review on Trustpilot and 4.6 on Google.
  • Consistently high rated by reputed media sources.


  • Must fall in one of the eligible debt types to qualify.
Courtesy of Credit Pros

#4. Citizens Debt Relief: Best for Fast & Consolidated Debt Relief

At our number four spot is New York-based firm Citizens Debt Relief. Despite being a new company established in 2017, AFCC and IAPDA already accredited Citizens Debt Relief. The company is also a certified primary member of the Consumer Debt Relief Initiative (CDRI) in 2021 and an authorized partner of Consumer Affairs. Citizens Debt Relief functions on the four pillar philosophies of diversity, transparency, respect, and integrity. It ensures each customer is given optimal attention, help, and a fair chance to clear their debt.

Initial consultation and getting a quote is free, and Citizens Debt Relief suggests to every customer a five-step system to a debt-free existence.

1. Enroll. This is as simple as calling them or signing up on their website. You will be assigned a free consultation to examine your finances and credit history to see if you qualify for debt consolidation. There are no upfront fees until your debt is successfully consolidated and reduced.

2. Payment Plan. Citizens Debt Relief will help you set up one monthly payment plan according to your current budget and earnings. This helps optimize the installments while slowly paying off your debts and still living a decent life.

3. Communication with Your Creditor. Citizens Debt Relief will tell your creditors they are handling your debt.

4. Debt Reduction. After you have built up a sufficient amount of money in your trust account, Citizens Debt Relief will contact your creditors and try to negotiate a reduction in your debt. The firm has a history of dealing with a 40-60% debt reduction, which is fantastic.

5. Be Debt Free. Citizens Debt Relief will then pay back your creditors from the money you put in the trust account. One by one, your debt will reduce over time, and Citizens Debt Relief will claim its fees.

That is how simple it is. However, one thing to note is that while you are actively working to pay off your debts, Citizens Debt Relief will freeze all of your credit cards to avoid further spending. This is to prevent your debts from becoming even higher and unviable with the current payment plan. Citizens Debt Relief says that under ideal circumstances, customers can usually pay off their debt in 12 to 48 months, depending on how high their debt is.

If you do not mind your credit cards getting frozen, Citizens Debt Relief is an excellent option for any American to slowly but surely settle your debt while still living a dignified life. Sadly, however, Citizens Debt Relief does not offer its services in all 50 U.S. states. So, it is prudent to check their website and see if you qualify before moving forward with an application.


  • Reduces your debt by 40-60%.
  • Pay off all of your debts from a single monthly payment.
  • Easy to join and get a free quote.
  • No impact on your credit score.
  • Be debt-free in as little as 12 to 48 months.


  • Accredited by the AFCC and AIPDA.
  • Authorized partner of CDRI and Consumer Affairs.
  • Free consultation and saving estimates.
  • No upfront enrollment.


  • Does not provide service to all 50 U.S. states.
  • Your credit cards will get frozen while you pay off your debt.
Courtesy of Credit Pros

#5. DMB Financial: Best for Debt Settlement with Easy Repayment Terms

Last but certainly not least is DMB Financial’s debt consolidation services. Based in Massachusetts, DMB Financial is a proud member of the North Shore and Greater Beverly Chambers of Commerce. DMB Financial is also an AFCC as well as an IAPDA-certified firm. DMB understands that unsecured debts can be a significant burden, and repaying minimum amounts does not get you anywhere close to settling your debts. It can lead to a lifelong debt trap. So, the company offers affordable solutions to debt consolidation and easy loan repayment terms.

Signing up with DMB Financial is easy and free. All you have to do is contact them via their website, email, or phone. A DMB Financial consultant will get in touch with you and organize a free consultation where they will review your case and check if you qualify. If you do, they will advise you on a set course for debt repayment. DMB makes customized debt consolidation plans for each customer for all of their unique needs. This plan will ask you to pay a monthly amount to a savings account set up by DMB Financial. As you pay back your debts, the money will accumulate in that savings account from which they will be delivered to your creditors. DMB Financial will also talk to your creditors on your behalf and reach a debt settlement so you can have a significant debt reduction. It can help you save thousands of dollars.

DMB Financial has helped over 30,000 customers consolidate and settle over one billion dollars worth of debt. DMB Financial has a 5-star BBB customer rating for its exceptional track record and is ranked among Inc company profile 5000. Customer reviews have also been great. Tia P. from Texas says, “They do exactly what they say they’ll do. It does take time but I have no complaints so far.”


  • Reduce your debt by 40-60%.
  • Pay off all of your debts from a single monthly payment.
  • Get a free consultation and plan.


  • Accredited by the AFCC and AIPDA.
  • 5-star BBB customer rating and member of Inc 5000.
  • Free consultation and planning.


  • Does not provide service to all 50 U.S. states.
  • No mention of an estimated amount of debt reduction you can anticipate or how much DMB charges you as fees.

How We Chose the Best Debt Settlement Companies

We virtually handpicked the five best debt consolidation companies from a confusing multitude, spending weeks studying every company in the business. We started our search for the best by probing into their reputation and standing in the business. The other points we looked into while choosing the best debt settlement companies were:

  • Their rate of success in consolidation and settlement of debts.
  • Their areas of specialization. By this, we mean what kind of debts the companies work with. We found most of these companies deal with credit card debts, and only a few among them also settle student loans, medical loans, and unpaid taxes.
  • We ensured the debt consolidation companies were certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Financial Counseling Association of America.
  • We checked their reputation in the market, reliability, and fees for their services.
  • We read the reviews and ratings they received from their clients, which helped us immensely in making our selection. We selected the best based on the client reviews and ratings.

Our selection was shaped largely by the quality of service a debt consolidation company usually offers. Companies that provide average or poor services are not the kind of firms we wanted to recommend. And obviously, we did not consider such companies. We tried to fish out the best and most effective ones who could consolidate and settle all of your outstanding debts and confer a decent credit score of over 750 or more.

The five companies that finally met our criteria are the best we could find. They are reputable, reliable, effective, have all necessary certifications, are well-reviewed and well-rated, and charge a reasonable fee for their services.

The Guide to Finding the Right Debt Consolidation Loan & Settlement Company

In the period leading to the economic downturn of 2008, a lot of debt consolidation and settlement companies worsened an already deteriorating economy. The situation warranted the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and a host of checks and balances to protect both the debtors and the creditors from the growing unethical business practices of many debt consolidations and debt settlement companies. The reforms CFPB brought in made the business of debt settlement more transparent and helpful to people in need of the services.

Still, unfortunately, not all of the players of this sector abide by the rules in words and spirit. Only a few do, and they are the companies you should approach to settle your financial burdens. The key, therefore, lies in finding the right and ethical company.

This section of the article is designed to guide you in finding the company you are searching for. Here are some of the points you must consider before hiring the services of any company.

Verify the Reputation of the Company

The best way perhaps is to approach the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for this. Write to the agency and ask them if there has ever been any complaint against the company you want to work with to settle your outstanding debts. You can also write to your State Attorney General asking the same question about the company in question.

Read the reviews given by clients about the company on some reputable third-party websites, and you will find many clients talking about their experiences of working with the company. These reviews will enable you to form an idea about the company’s working modules, efficacy, transparency, and honesty.

Upfront Fees

In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission prohibited all debt consolidation and settlement companies from taking any upfront fee from clients and from giving consultation over the phone. These companies can charge a fee only after serving you. So, check out this matter before hiring any company or buying any service.

Check Out the Company’s Track Record and Experience

You must know the company’s track records and experience before you hire it for the settlement of your debts. Always opt for a company with a good track record of success, and the success of a company depends on the experience of its counselors.

Settlement Time

Debt consolidation and settlement cannot be done overnight. The process takes time but not years on end. Usually, the process takes 24 to 48 months, and a company that takes more than four years is inefficient and should not be considered.

Benefits You Can Derive from Debt Consolidation 

When you use your credit card balance to buy anything, like a new home or a new car or take a personal loan for education, you walk into the murky world of debt, which often spirals into an unmanageable proportion unless you know the secrets of handling them. Debt consolidation offers you a unique strategy that can make the management of all of your debts simple. In fact, debt consolidation can bring you a host of advantages, which include:

  • If you are using more than one credit card, you can turn multiple debts into one and make the servicing easy. This system or arrangement will lighten the weight on your shoulder and may also make you pay less. Debt consolidation will not wipe out any portion of your debt but will spare you from remembering all of those multiple payment dates. With all of your debts turned into one source, you can concentrate on one date.
  • Debt consolidation may allow you to pay less interest. Unsecured debts, incurred especially from using multiple credit cards, make your debt pile up. Consolidation of all debts can reduce your interest payment by 4 to 7%, and that is a big advantage of debt consolidation.
  • The method can even improve your credit score up to 827, which is excellent.
  • Consolidating all of your debts into one will lessen the stress on you. You will then be able to enjoy life better.
  • For many, paying out the dues incurred from using credit cards stretches for years on end. The creditors do not mind the repayment stretching endlessly as long as the debtor keeps paying the interest. For them, it is an earning. So, the consolidation of multiple debts into one helps the debtors to pay out the outstanding significantly quicker.

FAQs: Debt Consolidation Loans with Low Credit Score

Q. How do debt consolidation and settlement companies work?

The primary aim of debt consolidation companies is to save your money in servicing your debts. They do it by combining multiple debts into one so you do not have to remember so many dates. You can repay all of your debts by paying the monthly installment only once every month.

Most debt consolidation companies also sell debt settlement programs. These companies negotiate with the creditors and wipe out your debt by paying only a portion of what you owe. In this process, you end up paying less, saving at least 30%.

Q Are the services of debt consolidation and debt settlement companies expensive?

Debt consolidation and settlement programs can be expensive if you, by mistake, walk into the traps of some shady companies. But, if you work with good and reputable companies, you can go through your journey to freedom from debts with a happy memory and a cherishing experience.

Usually, reputable companies are honest, and their business policies are transparent. Their service fee usually ranges between 18 and 25% of your enrolled debt. Even after paying the service fee, you will save a substantial amount of money after the consolidation and settlement of your debts.

But, buying the services of debt consolidation and settlement companies can be expensive if you work with small and lesser-known shady companies. Such firms will fleece you and will make you spend more for many of their hidden charges. So, beware of such companies and work with reputable firms only.

Q. Do debt consolidation programs affect the credit scores of individuals?

No, working with debt consolidation and settlement firms will not affect your credit score or lower it if you buy the services of a reputable establishment. Creditable firms do not resort to any dubious methods to consolidate and settle the debts of their clients, as their mode of function is transparent and legal. Working with them, on the contrary, may jack up your credit scores and reinforce your credibility. This, however, may not happen if you work with a questionable company.

Q. What are debt consolidation and debt settlement?

Debt consolidation and debt settlement are the two sides of the same coin. They are programs designed to help individuals and companies come out of their debts through honorable negotiation. Debt consolidation is a program designed to combine multiple debts, primarily incurred using more than one credit card.

Debt settlement is also a financial program designed to wipe off or settle outstanding debts by paying out a portion of the loan amount still owed by the debtors.

Both debt consolidation and debt settlement programs aim to save the debtors money and make repayment more manageable.

Q. Are there any alternatives to debt consolidation and debt settlement?

Technically, there is an alternative available. You can declare yourself bankrupt. The creditors can confiscate your assets, liquidate them, and distribute the cash among themselves. Declaration of bankruptcy is legal and will provide you immunity from lawsuits and those irritating collection calls.

Declaring yourself bankrupt may not always be a good option and never to most people. It may affect your credit scores, which will remain on record for at least ten years. Moreover, if you take this drastic step, you may have to begin your life all over again from scratch, as you may have to wash your hands of all of your assets and properties.

Q. Who should avail of the services offered by debt consolidation and settlement companies?

The answer is simple. Obviously, people who are into debts and have exhausted all means of repayment or settling their outstanding are the ones who would avail of the services offered by debt consolidation and settlement companies. You may have been regular in servicing your debts initially, but, with time and under some compelling situations, your regularity might have taken a beating. Personal loans may have assumed humongous proportions, and repayment has become a challenge. It is then you may need to avail of the services of debt consolidation and settlement companies.


Can there be anything more blissful and joyous than a life free of debts? We guess not. You, too, can have a debt-free life if you can simply change the way you look at money and use it. There are hundreds and thousands of families like Eric’s. His family is debt-free now but was not five years ago. He, too, was in deep debt but paid off $200,000 because he worked with a debt consolidation company. The company showed him an alternative way to live and changed how he looked at the money earlier.

To enjoy a life free of debts, you need to make a studied decision, walk into the office of a good debt consolidation company, and follow the experts’ advice to go through the journey to become 100% debt-free. And, in four or five years, you can enjoy the life Eric is now experiencing.

The five companies we have mentioned and reviewed in this article are the most qualified we found to become partners in your journey to a debt-free life. You can avail of the services of any one of the companies we have listed. They will take you out of your debts and help you regain control over your money, help to build wealth, and gain back the confidence you may have lost.

5 Best Debt Consolidation Loans of 2021 Wed, 12 Jan 2022 03:53:32 +0000 If you have several high-interest loans, debt consolidation can help you manage your finances by combining multiple debts into a single payment. We researched and selected the five best debt consolidation loans to help you get back on track and adequately manage your monthly bills. Our Top Picks for Best Debt Consolidation Loans LightStream – […]]]>

If you have several high-interest loans, debt consolidation can help you manage your finances by combining multiple debts into a single payment. We researched and selected the five best debt consolidation loans to help you get back on track and adequately manage your monthly bills.

Our Top Picks for Best Debt Consolidation Loans

  • LightStream – Best for Excellent Credit
  • SoFi – Best for Low Interest Rates
  • PenFed – Best for Small Debt
  • Fiona – Best for Bad Credit
  • Discover – Best for Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Best Debt Consolidation Loans Review

  • No fees for loan application, origination or prepayment penalty
  • No appraisals
  • Choose when you want to receive your money
  • Rate discount when you choose autopay
  • Minimum loan amount is $5,000
  • Autopay discount option only available before loan funding
  • Lowest rates require excellent credit

LightStream is our top choice for borrowers with excellent credit who don’t want to pay origination fees or prepayment penalties on their debt consolidation loan. The company offers personal loans up to $100,000 with funding available the same day of approval, and has one of the lowest annual percentage rates (APR), starting at 5.93% with an autopay discount.

LightStream also features a completely online application and a debt consolidation loan calculator with a soft credit check that won’t lower your score. With its Rate Beat Program, LightStream claims it will lower your rate by .10 percentage points if you are approved by a competing lender for an unsecured loan with the same terms.

LightStream holds the #1 spot on J.D. Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study of 2020.

  • Fixed rates from 4.99%-19.63% with autopay discount
  • No late fees on personal loans
  • Pay lenders directly
  • Funds are not available on the same day of approval
  • Loan terms start at three years up to seven years
  • Minimum loan amount is $5,000

SoFi offers credit card consolidation loans rates starting at 4.99% APR with AutoPay. Most lenders have interest rates up to 35.99%, but SoFi caps their competitive rates at 19.63% APR with AutoPay discount. If the customer declines the AutoPay option, interest rates will be higher.

SoFi’s personal loans have no fees, and customers can make payments and check their loan status on the SoFi mobile app, available for iOS and Android. The company also offers online prequalification with a soft credit pull, fixed rates for the life of the loan, and a fixed payment schedule.

SoFi takes the #4 spot in JD Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study of 2020.

  • APR starts at 5.99%
  • Apply and check application status online
  • The loan is funded 1-2 business days after approval
  • Loans are up to only $50,000
  • You need to be a member of the credit union to apply

PenFed personal loans start at $600, making it the best lender for someone with debt obligations under $1000. This lender has fixed interest rates, a debt-to-income calculator, and an online application. PenFed also has a mobile application for iOS and Android where members can check their loan status, make loan payments, mobile deposits, and transfer your money between accounts.

To become a member of the PenFed credit union, customers have to open a savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. After approval, the loan is disbursed within 1-2 business days. The APR rate at the time of loan approval is based on creditworthiness, a credit inquiry, and the length of the PenFed membership.

PenFed is not part of J.D. Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study of 2020; however, it made it to our top list for its low interest rates and no loan fees.

  • Works with any type of credit
  • Online application process
  • Online loan calculator
  • Credit requirements depend on the company selected
  • Some lenders will charge an origination fee of 1-6% of the loan amount

With partnerships with LendingClub, SoFi, Avant, and Marcus by Goldman Sachs, among others, Fiona stands out for providing debt consolidation options for people with any type of credit. Fiona also offers no application fee or prepayment penalty, a complete online application process, and customer service by email or phone.

Fiona loan offers include refinancing for secured and unsecured loans including auto, student loan, and mortgage refinance. The company also provides customers with a reference blog about debt repayment and other financial advice.

Fiona is not part of J.D Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study; however, some of its partners are on the 2020 list.

  • Several debt consolidation options: balance transfer, personal loans, home equity loans, student consolidation loans
  • Application assistance by loan specialists
  • Discover mobile application
  • Eligibility requirement of a minimum household annual income of $25,000
  • Late payment fee of $39

Discover offers a wide variety of options for debt consolidation. Customers can select a credit card balance transfer with a promotional interest rate, apply for a personal loan, or use their home equity for debt consolidation. Discover doesn’t charge any origination fees, and its personal loan rates are between 6.99%-24.99% APR.

Discover offers customer service 24/7 over the phone and has a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows customers to check their FICO score, access their bank account, make payments, and check balances, among other features.

Discover holds the #3 spot for J.D. Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study of 2020.

Other lenders we considered

National Debt Relief

  • Negotiate with creditors to settle outstanding debt
  • Online quote
  • Only work with clients that have at least $7,500 in debt
  • A fee of 15-25% of the debt amount

National Debt Relief didn’t make it to our main list because qualifying borrowers need to have at least $7,500 in high-interest debt. Also, they charge a fee of at least 15% of the debt amount. National Debt Relief is not a loan originator but instead a debt management service.

AM One

  • Helps with credit improvement if the loan is denied
  • US-based live support
  • Credit requirements depend on the company selected
  • No information about fees on the website
  • Credit requirements and APR depend on the company selected

There is not enough information about interest rates and loan fees on AM One’s website to include this lender in our top list. With AM One, interest rates and loan fees depend on the lender the borrower is matched with at the time of approval.


  • Funds within 24 hours after approval
  • No prepayment penalty
  • All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee
  • The lowest rates require autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly

Upgrade didn’t make it into our main list because of its high origination fee and not ranking in J.D. Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study.

Best Egg

  • Approval in minutes
  • APR from 5.99%-35.99%
  • Below average in J.D. Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study
  • Origination fee of 0.99-5.99% of the loan amount

Best Egg is not part of our main list because of its high origination fee and below-average ranking in J.D. Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study.

Lending Club

  • Customized loan options
  • 15-days grace period after the due date to pay without penalties
  • Origination fee of 3-6% of the loan amount
  • Higher APR rates than other lenders, starting at 7.04%

Lending Club, a marketplace for debt consolidation loans, didn’t make it into our top selection because of its origination fee and higher interest rates than other lenders on our list.

OneMain Financial

  • Debt consolidation calculator
  • Loan specialist counseling
  • APR from 18%-35.99%
  • Late payment fees from 1.5-15% of loan payment
  • Origination fees from 1-10% of the loan amount

OneMain Financial is not part of our best personal loan list because of its high APR rates, origination fees, and late payment fees compared to other lenders on our list. Also, this lender scored a below-average rate in JD Power’s Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study.


  • Funded one day after approval
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Administration fee up to 4.75%
  • APR from 9.95%-35.99%

Avant didn’t make it into our top list because of its high interest rate and administration fee. Also, this lender rated below average in J.D. Power’s study about consumer lending satisfaction.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

  • No fees
  • Loan options within 5 minutes
  • Loan disbursed within five days after approval
  • Rates from 6.99% APR to 19.99%
  • Not suitable for smaller debt

Marcus by Goldman Sachs isn’t on our top list because of their interest rates and longer waiting time for loan disbursement compared to other lenders.


  • Loans from $1,000-$50,000
  • Check loan rate online
  • Only offers three and five years terms
  • FICO or Vantage Score of at least 600

Upstart didn’t make it into our best debt consolidation loans list because of their limited-term offering and below-average score on J.D. Power’s study. Upstart could be a good option for people with fair credit to excellent credit scores.

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Debt Relief won’t fix all your debt problems, but can be a good option for some consumers

If you owe $15,000 or more in debt, Freedom can help you lessen the amount you owe and make managing your debt easier.

Enroll in a Debt Relief Program

Debt Consolidation Loans Guide

In this guide, you can find information about how debt consolidation loans work, step-by-step processes on how to apply, and other alternatives for debt management.

What is a debt consolidation loan?

A debt consolidation loan is an unsecured personal loan that combines several debts into one installment loan payment with a lower interest rate (APR). It’s designed to help borrowers manage credit card debt and unsecured debt with an outstanding balance and high APR rates.

There are different types of debt consolidation options:

  • Personal loan: unsecured loan to pay for existing debt, finance a big purchase, pay medical bills or cover home improvements or renovations
  • Balance transfer: when credit card debt is transferred to another credit card with a lower interest rate
  • Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit: lets the customer borrow money against its home equity. These are only tax-deductible when used for home improvements.

How does debt consolidation work?

Debt consolidation loans gather several debts into a new loan. The borrower uses the loan proceeds to pay other accounts, lowering their credit usage to one single lower monthly payment. Some financial institutions pay the lenders directly instead of depositing the loan money into a bank account.

How to get a debt consolidation loan

  1. Check your credit score. This will help you obtain quotes without incurring multiple hard credit inquiries. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the three main credit bureaus.
  2. Make a list of all your debt and credit utilization.
  3. Check what interest rate you’re currently paying on your credit cards and other outstanding debt.
  4. Research lenders, their interest rates, loan terms and fees.
  5. Use a loan or a debt-to-income ratio calculator to get an idea of the rate you can obtain with your credit score and what payment options are the best for you.
  6. Decide on a lender that offers a lower interest rate — and lower payment — than what you currently have.
  7. If the pre-approved loan has a higher interest rate than what you’re currently paying for in your accounts, ask a co-borrower with good credit to co-sign it.
  8. Apply for a loan.
  9. Analyze your offer and accept it.
  10. Obtain the loan funds and pay your debt.

If your loan application is denied because of poor or no credit, the next step should be to improve your credit score and credit history. To fix your credit, you can find a credit repair service or research and improve your credit report on your own.

Does debt consolidation affect your credit score?

Yes, debt consolidation can have a negative or positive impact on your credit score. It all depends on the borrower making the right choices when it comes to loan selection. It’s important to know that debt consolidation is not a strategy to increase your credit score; however, it can prove to be beneficial in the long run if the borrowers make on-time payments and don’t incur any new debt.

Alternatives to debt consolidation loans

Instead of applying for a personal loan to consolidate debt, lenders and credit card companies offer other options to their customers.

Home equity loans (HELOCs)

Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit let the customer borrow money against its home equity. Home equity is the difference between the value or amount your home could be sold for and what you owe to the mortgage lender. With a loan, the home equity is disbursed in one payment, with a line of credit you can draw from the funds as needed. HELOCs come as loans or lines of credit. Both are only tax-deductible when used for home improvements.

Balance transfer credit cards

Moving balances from a card with a high APR rate to another credit card with a lower APR rate is an option to consolidate credit card debt. Many credit card companies offer no interest rates on their cards for 12 months, allowing customers to pay or lower their debt during that time.


Bankruptcy is a legal action taken by people or businesses unable to manage outstanding debt. It should be the last resource for dealing with creditors and debt issues. According to The United States Department of Justice, several repayment options are available when filing for bankruptcy.

The most common are:

  • Chapter 7: when a trustee takes control of your property to sell it or turn it into a profit to pay your creditors. Depending on the state you live in, and which federal laws apply to it, you’ll be able to keep some of your properties.
  • Chapter 13: A court approves a repayment plan where you agree to pay part of your wages to your creditors. A trustee will be appointed by the court to collect the money from you and make sure that the payment plan is completed.

Not all debt can be discharged by the court when you file for bankruptcy. Some of the debt that cannot be discharged is:

  • Child support
  • Student loans
  • Court fines
  • And most taxes

Bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for around ten years, making it more challenging to apply and be approved for credit in the future.

Try to avoid payday loans, which are loans given at a very high interest rate and have to be completely paid back when the borrower receives their next paycheck.

Debt Consolidation Loans FAQ

How do debt consolidation companies work?

Debt consolidation companies work with people to reduce their monthly debt by consolidating multiple debts into one. Some of these companies charge a fee of the debt amount to help their customers. Besides hiring a debt consolidation company, you can achieve debt consolidation through personal loans, balance credit cards, or home equity loans/lines of credit.

How to get a debt consolidation loan with bad credit?

There are companies, like Fiona, that work with customers with poor credit. For people with a bad or no credit history, APR rates are usually higher than those with excellent credit scores. Another option is to repair your credit and increase your credit score before applying for a personal loan.

Debt consolidation or bankruptcy, which is better?

Bankruptcy should be the last resort to managing your debt. Debt consolidation is a better option than bankruptcy and, with time, can help increase your credit score and improve its history. Bankruptcy stays in your credit report for up to 10 years.

What is the best debt consolidation loan?

In our selection of best debt consolidation loans, we recommend lenders that can help according to the needs of their borrowers. If you’re interested in paying no fees, we recommend LightStream. For lower interest rates, we recommend SoFi, and for bad credit, we recommend Fiona.

Where can I get a debt consolidation loan?

You can apply for a debt consolidation loan online using one of our recommendations, or you can also apply for a loan at banks, credit unions, online marketplaces, or through a debt consolidation agency like National Debt Relief.

How to get approved for a debt consolidation loan?

Before applying for a debt consolidation loan, check your credit score and debt-to-income ratio. Many borrowers require a minimum credit score of around 600 to qualify for a personal loan. You can research lenders, check rates, and apply for those who fit the criteria with that information. If your quotes come back with a high interest rate, consider applying with a co-signer, it can improve your chances of getting a better interest rate and lower monthly payment.

How We Chose the Best Debt Consolidation Loans

To select the best debt consolidation loans we took into consideration,

  • Lenders offering low APR Rates, a variety of loan repayment terms, access to loan specialists, an online application, debt calculator, fast funding, no application fees or a low origination fee
  • J.D. Power Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study: This study measures overall customer satisfaction based on application and approval process, loan management, offerings, and terms and closing
  • Companies with customer service available through phone, chat, or email

Summary of Money’s Best Debt Consolidation Loans of 2021

  • LightStream – Best for Excellent Credit
  • SoFi – Best for Low Interest Rates
  • PenFed – Best for Small Debt
  • Fiona – Best for Bad Credit
  • Discover – Best for Credit Card Debt Consolidation
How To Get A Debt Consolidation Loan With Bad Credit Wed, 12 Jan 2022 03:53:25 +0000 Debt consolidation is a debt management strategy that allows you to combine multiple debts into a single payment. Having one account can be easier to manage. Also, if you have higher than average interest rates due to bad credit or credit card debt, it could help you lower your average rate.  One of the most […]]]>

Debt consolidation is a debt management strategy that allows you to combine multiple debts into a single payment. Having one account can be easier to manage. Also, if you have higher than average interest rates due to bad credit or credit card debt, it could help you lower your average rate. 

One of the most common ways to consolidate debt is to take out a debt consolidation loan — a personal loan used to pay off multiple creditors. Although it may be tough to get this type of loan with bad credit, there are several actions you can take to increase your loan approval odds. Plus, there are alternative options to consider.

Benefits of a debt consolidation loan

Someone might get a debt consolidation loan for one of several reasons. The biggest benefits of a debt consolidation loan include:

  • Simplified finances: A debt consolidation loan rolls multiple monthly payments into one. Having only one lender and one monthly bill to worry about could help you pay off your debt more consistently and avoid missed payments, which lower your credit score.
  • Lower interest rate: It’s generally only wise to get a debt consolidation loan if you can get a better interest rate than what you’re paying on your debt now. If you’re paying an average of 16 percent to 20 percent on your credit cards and you can get a debt consolidation loan for 14 percent APR, you’ll save money overall.
  • Fixed payment: Most debt consolidation loans have fixed interest rates and a set repayment term, so your monthly payment will be the same every month — unlike monthly payments on credit cards.

How to qualify for a debt consolidation loan

Every lender sets its own requirements for borrowers looking for debt consolidation loans. However, every lender will look at your credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio to determine how capable you are of repaying your loan. Often you’ll need a credit score of around 650, although bad-credit debt consolidation lenders exist; these lenders may accept credit scores of 600 or even less. Just remember that the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate.

4 steps to getting a debt consolidation loan for bad credit

If you’re struggling to get out of debt and think a debt consolidation loan can help, you’ll likely have to have a credit score in the mid-600s, a history of on-time payments and sufficient income to qualify. However, every lender has its own requirements. Start with the following steps to help you find the right personal loans for debt consolidation and boost your chances of approval.

1. Check and monitor your credit score

Lenders base loan decisions largely upon the condition of your credit. Generally, the lower your credit score, the higher the interest rates lenders will offer you on financing. To qualify for a debt consolidation loan, you’ll have to meet the lender’s minimum requirement. This is often in the mid-600 range, although some bad-credit lenders may accept scores as low as 580.

Many banks offer free tools that allow you to check and monitor your credit score. Once you know your credit score, it’s easier to identify lenders that may be willing to work with you. Not only are there lenders that specialize in loans for people who have bad credit, but many list credit score requirements on their websites.

Takeaway: Check with your bank or credit card issuer to see if it offers tools that allow you to check your credit score for free.

2. Shop around

It’s rarely a good idea to accept the first loan offer you see. Instead, do your research and compare loan amounts, repayment terms and fees from multiple sources, including local banks, national banks, credit unions and online lenders. This process can take time, but it might save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

The easiest starting point may be online lenders because you can often view your rates with a soft credit check, which won’t hurt your credit score. However, it may also be worthwhile to check offerings with your existing bank; if you have a good relationship with a bank or credit union, it may be more willing to overlook below-average credit.

Takeaway: Compare your loan options from multiple lenders to find the best debt consolidation loan for your needs. Go to each lender’s website to learn about its products and qualification requirements.

3. Consider a secured loan

Personal loans for debt consolidation are typically unsecured, meaning they don’t require collateral. If you’re having a hard time getting approved for an affordable unsecured debt consolidation loan, a secured loan might be worth considering.

Secured loans require some form of collateral, such as a vehicle, home or another asset. The collateral usually has to be worth enough to cover the loan amount if you default. Because of this, it’s typically easier to get approved for a secured loan than an unsecured one, and you may even qualify for a better interest rate.

Takeaway: To increase your loan approval odds and chances of landing a lower rate, shop around for a secured personal loan.

4. Wait and improve your credit

If you’ve tried everything and can’t find a loan that will help you save money, it may be best to hold off and take some time to establish a better credit score.

Make it a goal to pay your monthly debts on time every month for several months in a row. It’s also a good idea to focus on paying down credit card balances and eliminating all nonessential monthly expenses, such as subscriptions and eating out frequently.

“Make a short-term plan that ensures you’re consistently allocating money towards debt payments every month,” says Steve Sexton, CEO of Sexton Advisory Group. “Once you’ve built momentum for a month or two, request a meeting with your bank or credit union to review your efforts and apply for a debt consolidation loan. You’ll have better luck with a bank or credit union vs. an online lender because you can show that you’ve already started taking the steps to paying down your debt and correcting the issue.”

It’s also a good idea to get a copy of your three credit reports, which you can do for free once a year — or weekly through April 2022 through — and check for errors. If you find any, you can dispute them with the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Takeaway: To increase your chances of receiving a lower rate, take these steps to improve your credit score: Pay your debt on time, pay off as much credit card debt as possible and review your credit reports for errors.

Where to get a debt consolidation loan with bad credit

With so many lenders out there, it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to begin. Here are some good places to start your search.

Credit unions and local banks

Local banks and credit unions will typically check your credit when you apply for a personal loan, just like any other lender. Yet these local financial institutions may be willing to offer you more leeway if your credit isn’t in great shape, particularly if you’ve already built a positive relationship with them.

If you’re a customer of a local bank or a member of a credit union, you can talk to a loan officer about whether you qualify for a personal loan — and what the rate and terms are, if you do. The institution may look beyond your low credit score and take into account your entire financial history, personal circumstances and relationship with the bank or credit union.

Online lenders

Online lenders are good places to look for debt consolidation loans if you have bad credit, as they may be more likely to approve you for a bad-credit loan than a traditional brick-and-mortar bank.

With an online lender, you can often:

  • Compare rates without impacting your credit score.
  • Apply quickly and easily, without lots of paperwork or the need to visit a branch in person.
  • Get funds within a week, or even in as little as one business day.

“Most online lenders will be more flexible in providing these types of loans,” says Ash Exantus, director of financial education at BankMobile, an online bank.

With that said, online lenders frequently charge high APRs for bad-credit debt consolidation loans. You also have to watch out for origination fees that could add to your overall cost of financing and cut into your loan proceeds.

In particular, when reviewing online lenders for a potential debt consolidation loan, it’s important to know whether the company you’re considering is a direct lender or a third-party lender, Sexton says. “Working with a third-party lender can sometimes involve additional costs and fees, so it could benefit you to seek a direct lender to avoid these costs.”

If you’re considering debt consolidation loans for bad credit, here are some online lenders you may want to check out:

  • LendingClub doesn’t state a minimum credit score requirement, but does offer the ability to apply with a co-borrower. APRs range from 7.04 percent to 35.89 percent on debt consolidation loans from $1,000 to $40,000.
  • Upstart only requires a credit score of 300. Qualified borrowers may be able to take out loans from $1,000 to $50,000 with an APR range of 5.31 percent to 35.99 percent.
  • Avant doesn’t state a minimum credit score. However, the company says that most customers who receive loans have a score above 600. If you qualify for financing, you may be able to borrow $2,000 to $35,000 at an APR between 9.95 percent and 35.99 percent.
  • OneMain Financial doesn’t specify a minimum credit score on its website, but it has a track record of working with borrowers who have fair and poor credit. The APR range on debt consolidation loans with OneMain Financial is 18 percent to 35.99 percent, and borrowers may qualify for loans from $1,500 up to $20,000.

Summary of the best bad-credit debt consolidation loan options

Lender Minimum credit score APR range
LendingClub Not specified 7.04%–35.89%
Upstart 300 4.37%–35.99%
Avant Around 600 9.95%–35.99%
OneMain Financial Not specified 18%–35.99%

How to manage your debt consolidation loan

Once you’ve obtained the funds from a debt consolidation loan, it’s important to manage the money responsibly. Here are some ways to help pay off your debt consolidation loan without racking up new debt.

Create a budget

After being approved for a loan, draft a budget outlining how you will repay the money each month, ensuring that you’ll be capable of doing so.

“Know ahead of time how much you’re going to have to pay each month,” Exantus says. “If the amount that you’re going to pay is not conducive to your current budget, then it would not make sense to proceed with a debt consolidation loan.”

Alternatively, you may want to immediately reduce some of your current discretionary expenses to ensure that you have enough cash on hand to repay your loan each month.

Pay off all debt immediately

Once the funds from the consolidation loan have arrived in your account, the first thing you should do is pay off all of your debt.

“Some people will receive the money and proceed to use it for other purposes, or will fail to pay off the entirety of their debt,” says James Lambridis, CEO of DebtMD. “This will only put you in a worse off financial situation.”

Set up automatic payments

Once you have your debt consolidation loan, see if your lender offers autopay. Many do, and some will even give you a discount for setting it up. It’s a good way to potentially lower your interest payments if your poor credit resulted in a high rate. It will also help keep you on track — especially important for your credit, since making timely payments on your loan is one of the best ways to raise your credit score.

Resolve any spending issues

Finally, you’ll need to acknowledge and resolve any ongoing spending issues you may have. Without addressing the behavioral money patterns that caused the problem in the first place, it’s easy to fall right back into debt, Sexton says.

This includes trying not to reach for those credit cards again once they’ve been paid off, as you don’t want to end up back at square one.

Alternatives to a debt consolidation loan

Debt consolidation may not be the best option for everyone. If you can’t qualify for a debt consolidation loan with a lower interest rate than you’re currently paying, you might want to consider some of these alternatives instead.

Do-it-yourself fixes

There are a few ways to alter your financial plan without involving third parties. To start tackling your debt, you can:

  • Overhaul your budget. Compare how much you’re spending with how much you earn and see where you can cut costs to free up more money for debt elimination.
  • Renegotiate the terms of your debt. If you’re struggling to meet your minimum payments, your lenders might be willing to lower your interest rate or work with you in other ways.
  • Ask for a due-date adjustment. You might be able to schedule all of your payment due dates near the same day. While this isn’t the same as consolidating your debt, it may help you keep track of your obligations more easily.

Debt management plan (DMP)

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is a nonprofit financial counseling organization with member agencies around the country that offer debt management plans (DMPs).

In a way, DMPs are another type of debt consolidation for bad credit. While in the program, you make one lump-sum monthly payment to your credit counseling agency that covers multiple bills for the month.

The agency, in turn, pays each of your creditors on your behalf (generally at a lower negotiated interest rate). Most debt management plans take three to five years to complete.

That said, going through this process typically results in a notation on your credit report that you’re on a debt management plan. Though the notation will not impact your credit score, new lenders may be hesitant to offer you new lines of credit.

Home equity

If you own a home and have significant equity in it, you may be able to take out a home equity loan to consolidate your debt. A home equity loan isn’t technically a debt consolidation loan, but it might help you score a low interest rate, because the loan is secured by your home.

Just keep in mind that while using your home’s equity may help you qualify for financing and possibly secure a lower interest rate, there’s significant risk involved as well. If you can’t keep up with the payments, you could risk losing your home to foreclosure. It’s best to pursue this option only if you’re certain that you won’t have problems repaying the debt.

Ways to leverage your home equity for financing include:

  • Home equity loan. Sometimes called a second mortgage, a home equity loan is a lump-sum, fixed-rate loan that homeowners can take out using the equity in their homes as collateral.
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC is another type of financing that is secured by the value of your home. Rather than borrowing a lump sum at a fixed interest rate, you take out a line of credit — similar to a credit card. This gives you access to funds whenever you need them, up to a maximum borrowing limit. As you pay down your balance, you can borrow up to that limit again.
  • Cash-out refinance. With a cash-out refinance, you take out a new mortgage for more than you currently owe on your home. From there, you can use the leftover funds to pay off your debt.

What to do if your situation is dire

Debt consolidation loans and the alternatives noted above are best for people who can qualify for a low interest rate. If you’re drowning in debt and can’t afford your monthly payments, it might be wise to consider credit counseling, debt settlement or bankruptcy.

While these options aren’t ideal, they may be your ticket to getting some relief.

Credit counseling

A credit counseling agency can help by acting as a middleman between you and your creditors. A credit counselor can help you understand your credit report and suggest steps for improving your credit score and achieving financial stability. Some credit counseling agencies even offer limited services for free.

If you’re struggling to manage your debt, credit counselors can also set you up with a debt management plan. Credit counseling agencies typically have contracts with creditors with lower interest rates than what you may be currently paying.

Debt settlement

Debt settlement goes one step further than debt management. Debt settlement companies like National Debt Relief and Freedom Debt Relief work with you to settle your debt for less than what you owe.

The caveat is that you typically need to pay enough into an account with the debt settlement company before it will begin negotiations with your creditors — often at the expense of making your regular monthly payments, forcing you to default.

If you default on your debts, it could damage your credit score even further, which can take a long time to rebuild.

However, there are also some positives to consider when proceeding with debt settlement, Exantus says. “If your credit is bad already, then allowing your current debt to stay delinquent is not a negative thing because eventually, it will save you money because you’re paying a lower amount to your creditor than what you originally would have paid if the debt consolidation company didn’t intervene.”

Remember, however, that reaching a zero balance on your debt won’t make past late payments or other derogatory notations disappear from your credit report. You’ll still be stuck with the negative account on your credit report for up to seven years from when it went into default (though it should impact your score less and less over time).

Debt settlement services also come with fees, sometimes regardless of whether the company is successful at negotiating down your debt.


If you’re experiencing financial hardship and even debt settlement doesn’t sound possible, bankruptcy may be your only option. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, you may need to place your assets under control of a bankruptcy court and agree to give up most or all of your wealth.

Note that declaring bankruptcy doesn’t discharge all types of debt — for example, you still have to pay student loans and child support debt. Bankruptcy will also remain on your credit report for up to seven to 10 years. Because of this, it could be years before you’ll qualify for certain types of credit again.

That being said, filing for bankruptcy can give you a second chance to rebuild your finances. With diligence, your credit can eventually recover as well.

If you’re considering bankruptcy, consult with a bankruptcy attorney to get advice about your best path forward.

Watch out for predatory lenders

If you’re considering a debt consolidation loan, keep in mind that some lenders are predatory in nature. This is especially true of lenders that work with people who have low credit scores. They’ll often charge exorbitantly high interest rates and a variety of additional fees.

Online companies like OppLoans, for instance, charge triple-digit APRs. That said, it’s nowhere near as pricey as payday loans, which can charge APRs of up to 1251.43 percent.

Accepting a loan with such a steep interest rate can be extremely expensive and may cause you to go deeper into debt. Plus, using a predatory lender defeats the purpose of a debt consolidation loan, which is to make it easier to pay down your debt.

“Sometimes it’s hard to spot who are predatory lenders as it relates to the consolidation loans, especially when you have bad credit,” Exantus says. “Anybody who offers you anything may seem like a win. The important thing is to read the fine print. Do not get into any agreement without fully understanding what that is going to cost you.”

Predatory loans are those that benefit the lender at the borrower’s expense, Sexton adds. The warning signs include:

  • The interest for your credit rating seems too good to be true.
  • The lender is pressuring you to act quickly.
  • The lender is pressuring you to take out a risky or expensive loan.
  • The lender is asking you to lie on your application.
  • The fees or terms suddenly change at closing.

The bottom line

Regardless of how you get rid of your debt, it’s important to have a plan for accomplishing your goal. It can be discouraging if you can’t find a good debt consolidation loan or if you’re faced with the prospect of debt settlement or bankruptcy. But don’t let that discouragement stop you from taking action. If you can avoid letting an account go to collections while you decide, do so.

Also, keep in mind that debt consolidation loans are a temporary fix. They don’t address the core problem of how you got into debt in the first place. If you opt for a debt consolidation loan, be sure to take additional steps toward financial stability, like creating a budget, curbing your overspending and looking for additional income opportunities. You should also avoid racking up new balances on accounts you just paid off.

Finally, be cautious about jumping on any loan you can qualify for just to pay off your debt quickly. Taking out a predatory loan to pay off your current debt is exchanging one problem for another.

Learn more:

The Best Debt Consolidation Loans of January 2022 Wed, 12 Jan 2022 03:42:39 +0000 The best debt consolidation loans of 2022 Generally, you’ll need a personal loan for debt consolidation, which means replacing multiple loans with a single loan instead. Most personal loan lenders ask about loan purpose when starting the loan application process, and often, personal loans for debt consolidation have higher interest rates than other personal loans […]]]>

The best debt consolidation loans of 2022

Generally, you’ll need a personal loan for debt consolidation, which means replacing multiple loans with a single loan instead.

Most personal loan lenders ask about loan purpose when starting the loan application process, and often, personal loans for debt consolidation have higher interest rates than other personal loans and other loan types. 

PFI Best Wells Fargo Logo Banner


Flexibility makes Wells Fargo a top contender for best personal loans for debt consolidation. Wells Fargo separates debt consolidation loans from personal loans, but the interest rates are the same.

Benefits include competitive interest rates and an autopay discount of 0.25% if payments are made from a Wells Fargo account. For unsecured personal loans, the most common type for debt consolidation, there are no origination or prepayment fees.

Wells Fargo can send your loan funds to your Wells Fargo bank account, or to a credit account outside of Wells Fargo to pay down your debts directly. 

Watch out for: Wells Fargo’s history with data security and compliance. The bank has faced several federal penalties for improper customer referrals to lending and insurance products, and security issues tied to creating fake accounts several years ago. 

Read Insider’s full review of Wells Fargo. 

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Lightstream is a highly regarded lender for many loan types, and has been a top pick across Insider’s coverage of the best personal loans and best auto loans. However, this lender only works with borrowers with good or better credit, with a minimum credit score requirement of 660. 

LightStream offers consistently competitive interest rates, though its minimum interest rate for debt consolidation is higher than its typical personal loan’s interest rates. However, this lender does not have any prepayment or origination fees. Same-day funding is available with LightStream. 

Watch out for: Varying loan terms between LightStream’s typical personal loans and debt consolidation loans. Only borrowers with excellent credit can borrow the $100,000 maximum, and anyone without excellent credit may not qualify for the full amount.

LightStream defines excellent credit history as an account with five or more years of credit history, stable and sufficient income for debts, and a variety of credit history with little or no credit card debt. If you’re looking for a debt consolidation loan, chances are you have a significant amount of debt, and may not fit these qualifications.

Additionally, LightStream doesn’t have a way to pre-qualify online. You’ll have to apply for the loan to find out exactly what your rates and terms could look like, which could make comparison shopping difficult. 

Read Insider’s full review of Lightstream.

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A SoFi personal loan is the best option for anyone with a high balance, as this lender makes debt consolidation loans of up to $100,000. Debt consolidation loans from this lender are comparable in rates to those offered by LightStream, but SoFi offers higher loan limits to all applicants, whereas LightStream only allows some borrowers to borrow up to $100,000. Similarly, SoFi doesn’t have any application, origination, or prepayment fees. 

SoFi offers unique features like unemployment protection, which could put loans in forbearance for up to three months if you find yourself out of work. 

Watch out for: Stringent requirements. SoFi personal loans have a minimum credit score of 680. According to NerdWallet, the average income among borrowers is over $100,000.

Read Insider’s full review of SoFi.

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In the fair credit range, it can be tough to qualify for a personal loan with reasonable interest rates — many lenders have a minimum of 660 or 680. However, a Payoff loan could be a good option for people with credit scores as low as 640. Interest rates are comparable to those offered by LightStream and SoFi, but this lender has less stringent requirements. 

Compared with competitors Prosper and Best Egg, which both have the same 640 minimum credit score requirement, Payoff’s interest rates are capped lower, and could have lower origination fees. 

Watch out for: Origination fees. Payoff offers loans with origination fees ranging from 0% to 5%. Competing lenders Prosper and Best Egg charge minimum 2.41% and 0.99% origination fees, respectively. The better deal will depend on your credit score, income, and repayment term.

Read Insider’s full review of Payoff.

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With bad credit, a personal loan for debt consolidation can be expensive, or hard to qualify for. An Avant personal loan is the best bet for borrowers with poor credit, requiring a minimum credit score of 600.

Compared to other personal loan lenders offering debt consolidation loans for bad credit borrowers, Avant’s terms are the most generous. While there is an administration fee, it could be lower than competitors’ fees with a cap at 4.75%. Avant also has the advantage of quick, next-day funding available.

Watch out for: High rates with a low credit score. While Avant is accessible to borrowers with poor credit scores, approval might go hand in hand with high interest rates on your loan.. 

Read Insider’s full review of Avant.

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Other personal loans we considered

  • LendingClub LendingClub Personal Loan: This lender has the potential for high origination fees that could add to the cost of borrowing. The average origination fee is 5.2%. Read Insider’s full review of LendingClub . 
  • Prosper Personal Loan: Prosper’s minimum credit score requirement is 640, but borrowers with this score could get lower interest rates and potentially lower fees from Payoff. Read Insider’s full review of Prosper. 
  • Best Egg Personal Loan: Like Prosper, borrowers with credit scores of 640 or above could get lower minimum interest rates and lower maximum fees from Payoff. In order to qualify for the lowest possible interest rates, borrowers need a minimum FICO score of 700 and an income of at least $100,000 per year. Only three-year and five-year loan terms are available, making these loans less flexible than other options. Read Insider’s full review of Best Egg. 
  • Discover personal loans: Discover’s personal loan rates start higher than other lenders’ loans, and borrowers who meet the minimum credit score requirements could get lower interest rates from LightStream, which cap lower. However, Discover makes payments directly to creditors, which could simplify your payoff process. Wells Fargo is the only other bank on our listing to offer that option. Read Insider’s full review of Discover. 
  • Marcus Personal Loan: Like Discover, borrowers who qualify for Marcus personal loans could find lower minimum interest rates with LightStream, SoFi, or Wells Fargo. Read Insider’s full review of Marcus. 
  • Axos personal loans: This lender’s personal loans require a minimum credit score of 720. For borrowers with this type of credit, lower interest rates can be found elsewhere. 
  • OneMain Financial Personal Loan: OneMain doesn’t have a minimum credit score required to apply, which could make it a viable option for people who don’t meet Avant’s 600 minimum. But interest rates range from a high 18% to 35.99%. Read Insider’s full review of OneMain Financial. 

Which lender is the most trustworthy?

We’ve compared each institution’s Better Business Bureau score to give you another piece of information to choose your lender. The BBB measures businesses based on factors like their responsiveness to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here is each company’s score:

With the exception of Wells Fargo and Avant, our top picks are rated A+ by the BBB. Keep in mind that a high BBB score does not guarantee a positive relationship with a lender, and that you should continue to do research and talk to others who have used the company to get the most complete information possible. 

Avant’s business profile is currently being updated, so it doesn’t have a rating from the BBB. The BBB does not have a rating for Wells Fargo as the company responds to previously closed complaints. Previously, the organization gave Wells Fargo an F in trustworthiness. In the past few years:

  • The bank paid the city of Philadelphia $10 million as a result of the city’s claims that Wells Fargo was involved in predatory mortgage lending to racial minorities (2019).
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency charged Wells Fargo $1 billion for overcharging and selling extra products to consumers with auto and home loans (2018).

If you’re uncomfortable with this history, you may want to use one of the other personal loan lenders on our list.

Frequently asked questions

Why trust our recommendations? 

Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that “best” is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product, we outline the limitations, too. We spent hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don’t have to.

How did we choose the best debt consolidation loans? 

To find the best personal loans for debt consolidation, we combed through the fine print and terms of about a dozen personal loans to find the ones that were best suited to help with consolidating debt. We considered four main features: 

  • APR range: For the most help with debt payoff, a personal loan for debt consolidation needs to have lower interest rates than the credit card or other debts you’re consolidating. We looked for the loans that had the lowest rates possible for each credit range and purpose. The average credit card interest rate was 16.28% in 2020, so we focused on loans that had the potential to beat this. 
  • Appropriate loan amounts: We looked for personal loans that had the most variety in loan amounts. According to loan comparison site Credible, the median amount of debt consolidated in May 2020 was $18,000. To benefit the most borrowers, we included personal loans with maximum limits over $10,000. 
  • Minimum credit score requirements: Where available, we considered the minimum credit score requirements for each company. We considered loans for excellent, fair, and poor credit, grouping loans into categories based on these credit score requirements.
  • Fees: We considered fees like origination or administrative fees in our decisions, looking for loans with the fewest or lowest fees. None of the best loans listed have prepayment penalties. 
  • Nationwide availability: We only considered loans with availability in most or all 50 US states. 

What is debt consolidation? 

Debt consolidation takes all sorts of debts, including credit cards, medical debt, or typically any other type of unsecured debt, and rolls it into one loan. 

To consolidate debt, you get a loan from one lender for the total amount of debt you’d like to combine. Then, you use those funds to pay off the individual, smaller debts. At the end, you have all of your debt rolled into one monthly payment, one deadline for debt repayment, and a smaller interest rate. 

Can I use any personal loan for debt consolidation? 

Most personal loans allow a variety of uses, and while most include credit card consolidation or debt consolidation, not all do. Make sure to read the fine print of any personal loan you’re applying for, and make sure that debt consolidation is an acceptable use of your loan. All of the loans we considered had an option to use the loan for debt consolidation, if not a separate loan, which we included details for. 

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