Debt Consolidation Loans

Let’s find the best way to consolidate debt for you

When you have bills to pay, it’s easy to lose track of them and miss a payment. If you’re struggling to keep up with your debt, or if you just want to save money on credit card bills, consider debt consolidation.

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Best debt consolidation loans in December 2022

Written by Amanda Push | Edited by Katie Lowery | Updated November 30, 2022

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

LendersAPR rangeLoan amountCredit requiredOrigination feeRepayment terms
Avant9.95% - 35.95%$2,000 - $35,000600Up to 4.75%12 to 60 months
Best Egg8.99% - 35.99%$2,000 - $50,0006400.99% - 8.99%36 to 60 months
FreedomPlus7.99% - 29.99%$7,500 - $50,000Varies1.99% - 4.99%24 to 60 months
Happy Money7.99% - 29.99%$5,000 - $40,0006400.00% - 5.00%24 and 60 months
LightStream5.99% - 22.49%* (with AutoPay)$5,000 - $100,000Not specifiedNo origination fee24 to 144* months
Marcus by Goldman Sachs6.99% - 24.99%$3,500 - $40,000720No origination fee36 to 72 months
OneMain Financial18.00% - 35.99%$1,500 - $20,000Not specified1.00% - 10.00%24 to 60 months
Prosper6.99% - 35.99%$2,000 - $50,0006401.00% - 5.00%24 to 60 months
SoFi7.99% - 23.43%$5,000 - $100,000680No origination fee24 to 84 months
Upgrade7.96% - 35.97%$1,000 - $50,0006201.85% - 8.99%24 to 84 months
Upstart6.50% - 35.99%$1,000 - $50,0006000.00% - 10.00%36 or 60 months
Wells Fargo5.99% - 21.74%$3,000 - $100,000620No origination fee12 to 84 months

Loan terms are subject to change at any time, as is performance relative to other lenders and lending platforms.

Get Your Personalized Results

Sifting through loan companies in search of a debt consolidation loan that offers competitive rates for your credit score can be time-consuming. To assist you in your search, we scored lending companies based on the categories most important to borrowers, such as APR, repayment terms and eligibility criteria. Many of these lenders also let you prequalify online, meaning you can check your rates with no impact on your credit score.

Best for low rates: LightStream

Best for long repayment terms: LightStream, SoFi and Wells Fargo Bank

Best for high loan amounts: SoFi and Wells Fargo Bank

Best for quick funding: Best Egg and FreedomPlus

Best for small loan amounts: Upgrade and Upstart

Best for no origination fee: LightStream, Marcus by Goldman Sachs®,
SoFi and Wells Fargo Bank

Best for low credit requirements: Avant, Happy Money, OneMain Financial and Upstart

Best for a peer-to-peer loan: Prosper

Top lenders for debt consolidation

Avant

  • Borrowing amount: $2,000 – $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 60 months
  • APR: 9.95% – 35.95%
  • Origination fee: Up to 4.75%
  • Minimum credit score: 600

Why we chose it: Avant is willing to work with borrowers with low credit scores and provides quick funding.

 

Overview: Avant offers personal loans for debt consolidation between $2,000 and $35,000, which you can pay off over the course of 12 to 60 months. Two potential downsides to consider: You might have to pay an origination fee of Up to 4.75%, and you likely can’t apply with a cosigner, which could make it difficult for some consumers with low credit scores to qualify.

 

ProsCons

  Funding as soon as the next business day

  Low credit score requirements (most Avant borrowers have scores between 600 and 700)

  No prepayment penalty

  Must pay an origination fee (Up to 4.75%)

  Does not allow for co-applicants

  Unclear about specific eligibility requirements for personal loans

 

Eligibility requirements: Avant isn’t entirely clear about its eligibility criteria, but it does offer consumers the opportunity to prequalify. However, applicants must have a personal checking or savings account to qualify for a loan with Avant.

Best Egg

  • Borrowing amount: $2,000 – $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • APR: 8.99% – 35.99%
  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 8.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 640

Why we chose it: With competitive interest rates and flexible loan amounts, Best Egg may be a good route for those with good credit to consolidate their debt.

 

Overview: Unlike some other loan companies, Best Egg makes its credit score requirements explicit: You must have a score of at least 640 to take out a loan. Assuming you can meet this and other requirements, you could score an APR as low as 8.99% and may be able to borrow up to $50,000.

 

ProsCons

  May receive funds as soon as the next business day

  Option to change your due date

  No prepayment penalties for paying your loan off early

  Charges an origination fee of 0.99% - 8.99%

  High credit score requirement (640)

  High income requirement to receive lowest APR

 

Eligibility requirements: Other than a minimum credit score of 640, Best Egg does not specify other qualification criteria, such as debt-to-income ratio or credit history. However, you will need to provide the following information during the application process:

  • Full name
  • Contact information (address, email and phone number)
  • Date of birth
  • Employment history
  • Social Security number
  • Annual income

FreedomPlus

  • Borrowing amount: $7,500 – $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • APR: 7.99% – 29.99%
  • Origination fee: 1.99% - 4.99%
  • Minimum credit score: Varies

Why we chose it: This lender disburses loan amounts quickly and offers direct payment to your original creditors when you take out a debt consolidation loan.

 

Overview: FreedomPlus is another lender worth exploring if you’re looking to borrow more than $7,500. Its loans come with an origination fee between 1.99% - 4.99%, and you can choose a repayment term of 24 to 60 months. FreedomPlus also offers a quick funding timeline with consumers receiving their personal loan funds in as little as 48 hours after they are approved.

 

ProsCons

  May receive loans within 48 hours of approval

  Can choose your payment due date

  Allows for co-applicants

  Loans are not offered in all 50 states

  Charges an origination fee of 1.99% - 4.99%

  High minimum borrowing amount of ($7,500)

 

Eligibility requirements: While FreedomPlus isn’t exactly clear on the specifics, this lender takes the following factors into consideration when deciding whether to approve you for a loan:

  • Credit score
  • Credit utilization ratio
  • Credit history

Happy Money

  • Borrowing amount: $5,000 – $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 and 60 months
  • APR: 7.99% – 29.99%
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 5.00%
  • Minimum credit score: 640

Why we chose it: Happy Money is specifically out to serve those who are looking to refinance their credit card debt and is up front about its eligibility requirements.

 

Overview: Happy Money is a solid option for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit since it specifies a relatively low credit score requirement of 640. With this lender, you can borrow up to $40,000 and pay it off over a maximum period of 60 months. Note that a personal loan through Happy Money can only be used to consolidate your credit card debt.

 

ProsCons

  Eligibility requirements are clear

  No prepayment penalties or late fees

  Rates may be lower than credit card interest rates

  Loans can only be used to consolidate credit card debt

  May charge an origination fee (0.00% - 5.00%)

  No joint applications

 

Eligibility requirements: To qualify with Happy Money, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • No current payment delinquencies
  • Credit history of at least three years
  • Debt-to-income ratio below 50%

LightStream

  • Borrowing amount: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 144* months
  • APR: 5.99% – 22.49%* (with AutoPay)
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified

Why we chose it: LightStream has some of the most competitive interest rates on the market and may be a good choice for consumers with excellent credit.

 

Overview: LightStream emerges as the winner in several important categories. It offers one of the lowest APRs at the time of writing, with rates starting at just 5.99%. Plus, it offers large-amount loans up to $100,000 and gives you a maximum of 144 months to pay them off. However, LightStream does not offer the opportunity to get preapproved for a loan.

 

ProsCons

  Low APR (5.99%*)

  Charges zero fees

  High maximum loan amount of $100,000)

  No prequalification services

  High minimum loan amount of $5,000

 

Eligibility requirements: Because LightStream only approves consumers with good to excellent credit, here’s what qualities they believe fall under the “excellent credit” category:

  • At least five years of a robust credit history
  • Ability to save (proven with assets like savings, retirement and investment accounts)
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • A payment history with no delinquencies

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.74% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.04. © 2022 Truist Financial Corporation. Truist, LightStream, and the LightStream logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

  • Borrowing amount: $3,500 – $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months
  • APR: 6.99% – 24.99%
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Minimum credit score: 720

Why we chose it: Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers the unique perks of not only charging zero fees, but also allowing borrowers to skip a payment as long as they previously made at least 12 consecutive payments on time.

 

Overview: While some lenders charge an origination fee on their debt consolidation loans, Marcus by Goldman Sachs does not. In fact, this lender doesn’t charge its borrowers any fees. Marcus by Goldman Sachs allows you to borrow up to $40,000 and pay off your loan over 36 to 72 months. This lender also offers some special perks, such as the ability to defer a payment after you’ve made 12 on-time payments.

ProsCons

  Charges borrowers zero fees

  Can skip a payment after making 12 consecutive on-time payments

  Offers 0.25% autopay discount

  High credit score requirements

  Does not allow for joint applications

  Loan use can determine funding amount

 

Eligibility requirements: Marcus by Goldman Sachs isn’t entirely clear about what it’s looking for in borrowers, but to be eligible, you may have to provide the following documentation:

  • Identity verification (can be a government-issued ID, Social Security number or tax ID number)
  • Income verification (can include pay stubs, bank statements or tax filings)

OneMain Financial

  • Borrowing amount: $1,500 – $20,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • APR: 18.00% – 35.99%
  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 10.00%
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified

Why we chose it: While this lender doesn’t have the lowest rates on the market, low-credit borrowers may have an easier time getting qualified with this lender.

 

Overview: OneMain Financial offers higher rates than many other lenders, with APRs starting at 18.00%. However, it might be worth exploring if you have relatively weak credit. In particular, this lender may be a good choice for bad credit borrowers who also own valuable collateral, as OneMain Financial offers secured loans.

 

ProsCons

  Offers secured loans

  May receive funds within one day of approval

  Flexible loan term options

  High minimum APR (18.00%)

  May lose collateral if you take out a secured loan and fall behind

  Unclear eligibility requirements

 

Eligibility requirements: While OneMain Financial doesn’t specify exactly what its personal loan qualifications are, it does examine the following factors:

  • Financial and credit history
  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Loan purpose
  • Any history of bankruptcy
  • State of residence

Prosper

  • Borrowing amount: $2,000 – $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • APR: 6.99% – 35.99%
  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 5.00%
  • Minimum credit score: 640

Why we chose it: Prosper offers a unique alternative to traditional lending by instead providing peer-to-peer lending. Instead of the lender providing your funds, investors will fund your loan.

 

Overview: Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender that connects borrowers with investors. It offers a fast, easy, online process that lets you prequalify for offers before you submit a full application. You’ll get a fixed interest rate that won’t change over the life of your loan, but you may have to pay an origination fee ranging from 1.00% - 5.00%.

 

ProsCons

  Offers quick funding

  Flexible loan amount options

  Peer-to-peer lending alternative to traditional lenders

  Limited options for loan terms

  Charges an origination fee

  Charges late fees

 

Eligibility requirements: Prosper isn’t entirely clear on its requirements for potential borrowers, but during the application process, you will need to provide basic personal and financial information.

SoFi

  • Borrowing amount: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • APR: 7.99% – 23.43%
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Minimum credit score: 680

Why we chose it: With its lack of fees, large loan amounts and flexible loan terms, SoFi is a solid choice for those with good credit looking to consolidate their debt.

 

Overview: SoFi offers some of the largest loan amounts and longest repayment terms on this list of debt consolidation loan companies. You may be able to borrow up to $100,000 and choose a repayment term of up to 24 to 84 months. Plus, you don’t have to worry about paying any types of fees, including an origination fee, on your loan.

 

ProsCons

  Same-day funding available

  Doesn’t charge any fees

  Allows for co-applicants

  High minimum borrowing amount of $5,000

  High minimum credit score requirement

  Not available to LendingTree customers in Vermont

 

Eligibility requirements: Other than its credit score requirement, SoFi also has requirements around employment. To be eligible, borrowers must either be:

  • Employed or have an offer to start employment within 90 days

Or:

  • Must receive an income from other sources (this can include alimony or Social Security benefits)

Upgrade

  • Borrowing amount: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • APR: 7.96% – 35.97%
  • Origination fee: 1.85% - 8.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 620

Why we chose it: Upgrade may be a good option if your credit could use some work. It offers quick funding, an autopay discount and long loan terms.

 

Overview: Upgrade is another online lender that provides debt consolidation loans up to $50,000. It also offers a relatively long repayment term of up to 84 months, but there’s no penalty for paying off your loan earlier. However, you may have to pay an origination fee (1.85% - 8.99%), and you may have to pay a late fee if you’re more than 15 days behind.

 

ProsCons

  Flexible loan terms of 24 to 84 months

  Potential autopay discount

  May receive funds as soon as one business day

  Charges an origination fee (1.85% - 8.99%)

  Isn’t clear on some eligibility requirements

  May have to pay late fees

 

Eligibility requirements: Upgrade doesn’t outline all of its eligibility requirements, but it will evaluate your credit history, credit score and your credit utilization ratio.

Upstart

  • Borrowing amount: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months
  • APR: 6.50% – 35.99%
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 10.00%
  • Minimum credit score: 600

Why we chose it: This lender may be a good choice for those with thin credit history and lower credit scores.

 

Overview: Upstart might be a good choice if you’re looking for a small loan, as it lets you borrow loans starting at just $1,000. It also offers low APRs starting at 6.50%, but you’ll need strong credit to get the lowest rates. Upstart also charges an origination fee (0.00% - 10.00%) and has limited loan terms.

 

ProsCons

  Flexible loan ranges

  Able to use loan funds to cover student debt

  May receive funds as quickly as one business day

  Doesn’t offer joint applications or secured loans

  Limited loan repayment terms

  Charges an origination fee (0.00% - 10.00%)

 

Eligibility requirements: To get a loan from Upstart, you must be a citizen or permanent resident living in the U.S. You must have a current full-time job, a full-time job that starts within six months or another source of income.

Wells Fargo

  • Borrowing amount: $3,000 – $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 84 months
  • APR: 5.99% – 21.74%
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Minimum credit score: 620

Why we chose it: Wells Fargo not only offers large borrowing amounts, but flexible repayment terms as well.

 

Overview: If you’re looking for a large debt consolidation loan, Wells Fargo might be able to help. It offers loans up to $100,000 and repayment terms as long as 12 to 84 months.

 

Wells Fargo loans don’t include any types of fees, such as origination fees, late fees and prepayment penalties. You can use its online calculator to get an idea of what repayment would look like.

 

On top of that, consumers may receive a loan approval as quickly as one business day.

ProsCons

  High maximum loan amount of $100,000

  Charges no origination, closing or prepayment fees

  May be approved within one business day

  High minimum loan amount of $3,000

  May charge late fees

  Only offers personal loans to Wells Fargo customers

 

Eligibility requirements: In order to be eligible for a personal loan with Wells Fargo, you’ll need to be a current customer with this bank.

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is a debt management strategy that involves rolling one or multiple debts into another form of financing. For instance, you may take out a debt consolidation loan or balance transfer credit card and use it to pay off existing debts with better terms.

Ideally, you’ll want to consolidate your debt to a lower APR than what you’re currently paying. This can help you save money on interest, lower your monthly payments and pay off debt faster.

Debt Consolidation Calculator

When is debt consolidation a good or bad idea?

There’s no one-size-fits-all debt management strategy.
To determine if debt consolidation is a good idea, you’ll need to take a close look at your finances.

Debt consolidation is a good idea when…

  • You can qualify for a lower APR than what you’re currently paying on your debts
  • You’re struggling to manage credit card bills and loan payments
  • You want to pay off debt faster on a set schedule

Debt consolidation is a bad idea when…

  • You can’t qualify for a lower APR than what you’re currently paying on your debts
  • You only have small balances that you can pay off quickly
  • You owe too much to manage and repay

How does debt consolidation work?

Although there are many ways to consolidate debt, it generally works the same way: You pay off one or more debts using a new debt. Some popular debt consolidation methods include personal loans and balance transfer credit cards.

Depending on your unique situation — how much debt you have to consolidate, your credit score, how soon you need the funds, what type of debt you have and other factors — one method may work better for you than another.

Personal loans:
Combine many types of debt into one fixed monthly payment with a debt consolidation loan.

Balance transfer credit cards:
Consolidate credit card debt onto a balance transfer credit card with a lower APR.

Home equity loans:
Tap your home’s equity to pay off debt by using your home as collateral.

Debt management plans:
Enroll in a DMP through a certified nonprofit credit counseling agency to repay your debt in three to five years.

ProsCons
Personal loan for debt consolidation
  • • Fixed APR and monthly payments
  • • Potentially lower APR than what you’re currently paying
  • • APRs can run high for fair and bad credit borrowers
  • • Subject to fees, like loan origination fee and prepayment penalty
  • • Bad credit borrowers may not qualify at all
Balance transfer credit card
  • • Some cards have introductory 0% APR periods, which can last as long as 20 months
  • • Potentially lower APR than what you’re currently paying on your credit cards
  • • Variable APR
  • • Can only be used for credit card consolidation
  • • Intro offers reserved for borrowers with strong credit
  • • May be subject to a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5%
Home equity loans
  • • Fixed APR and monthly payments
  • • Interest rates are typically lower than with unsecured debt
  • • Can consolidate a large amount at once
  • • Only homeowners are eligible
  • • You run the risk of going into foreclosure if you fail to pay
  • • You could go underwater on your home, taking out more money than it’s worth
  • • Subject to closing costs
401(k) loan
  • • No credit check needed
  • • Interest rates are low
  • • Borrowing from and paying interest to yourself rather than a lender or bank
  • • Some plans servicers don’t permit 401(k) loans
  • • Payments are made with after-tax dollars, and you’re taxed again during retirement
  • • If you default on the loan, the amount is subject to income tax and a 10% penalty
  • • If you lose employment, you may have to repay the loan in its entirety within a few months
Debt management plan
  • • Comes at low or no cost
  • • A credit counselor may be able to negotiate down fees and interest rates on your debts
  • • Consolidates many types of debts into one monthly payment
  • • Won’t affect credit score if you adhere to the plan
  • • Can only be used for unsecured debts
  • • You’ll likely have to stop using or close your credit cards
  • • Can take up to five years to complete, in which time you can’t take out credit

How to consolidate debt with a personal loan

  1. Check your credit score. Most consolidation options will require a credit check. Unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, which means that lenders rely more heavily on your credit score, along with other factors, to determine eligibility. Check your credit score for free using My LendingTree.
  2. Calculate how much you need to borrow. Add up all your monthly debt payments that you wish to consolidate. You can use a personal loan to pay off credit cards, payday loans and other high-interest debts.
  3. Determine the APR you need in order to save money. Your APR would need to be lower than what you’re currently paying on your debts for a personal loan to be worthwhile.
  4. Compare APRs by prequalifying with lenders. Many lenders let you prequalify for a personal loan to get an idea of your potential APR without impacting your credit score. This lets you compare estimated loan offers before you formally apply.
  5. Formally apply with a lender. If you’re approved, the lender can deposit the funds directly into your bank account. You can use that money to pay off all types of debt.

3 major benefits of debt consolidation

1. Track debt repayment
Once you consolidate your debts, regardless of which method you use, you’ll have one bill to pay. This can help you stay on top of your finances and set an attainable goal for your debt repayment plan.

2. Save money on interest
Ideally, you’ll use a financial product with a lower interest rate and fewer fees than what’s charged on your current debts. This reduction in interest will help you save money you’d have been required to pay had you not consolidated.

3. Build your credit score
Paying off credit card debt with a loan can have an immediate effect on your credit score by lowering your credit utilization ratio. This is the total amount of credit available to you versus the amount of credit card debt you have.

Debt consolidation vs. debt relief: What’s the difference?

Whereas debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan or credit card to repay debt on better terms, debt relief seeks to reduce the amount of debt you owe through negotiation or legal means. Debt relief comes in many forms, such as credit counseling, debt settlement and bankruptcy.

Credit counseling is a nonprofit service to help you manage expenses and debt payments more effectively. A credit counselor may set you up on a debt management plan and even negotiate debts and monthly payments on your behalf.

Debt settlement involves negotiating with your creditors to lower the amount of debt you owe and reduce fees charged to your account. Some companies offer this service, but these programs may come with high fees and can severely damage your credit.

Bankruptcy is a legal process offering debt relief for an individual or business. When you file for bankruptcy, your assets may be sold to repay your creditors, or you may be enrolled in a court-ordered debt repayment plan.

How your credit score impacts loan rates

When it comes to obtaining most types of credit, including personal loans, the higher your credit score, the better the interest rates you are likely to be offered by lenders.

In the eyes of lenders, your credit score indicates how likely you are to repay a loan on time and in its entirety. Every time a lender offers someone a loan, they are taking a risk; the higher the credit score, the lower the perceived risk.

However, even borrowers with bad credit are able to find lenders that are willing to work with them. Keep in mind that you may not receive that lender’s lowest interest rates.

Average APR and loan amounts by credit score

Credit score bandAverage APRAverage borrowing amount
720+9.81%$18,812.69
680-71916.01%$15,214.76
660-67923.54%$11,727.69
640-65928.93%$9,470.86
620-63935.98%$7,350.97
580-61954.17%$5,746.62
560-57985.24%$4,250.88
Less than 560135.83%$2,817.03

Source: LendingTree user data on closed personal loans for the first quarter of 2022.

Where people have the most debt

Frequently asked questions

Debt consolidation can help you keep track of payments, get a lower interest rate and pay off your debt faster. It’s a smart move under the right circumstances, but you’ll want to weigh your options to see if this is a good idea for your situation.

 

For example, it’s not worth consolidating if you can’t get a lower APR on the new form of financing than what you’re currently paying on your debts. But when you consolidate debt for a lower APR, you’ll save money in the long run, and you may be able to save money on monthly payments, too.

Debt consolidation can affect your credit score. There might be a small drop in your credit score after consolidating debt, since you are taking out a new credit product or loan. You might also see a dip in your credit score if you settle a debt or work with a debt management service.

 

Some borrowers see their credit score increase by consolidating debt, particularly credit card balances. Paying off credit card balances lowers your credit utilization ratio, which can give your credit score a boost.

 

Whatever the initial effect on your credit score, debt consolidation can help you increase your credit score over the long term. If you choose an option with affordable payments, you can build up a healthy payment history, which is central to a good credit score.

Applicants with good credit will have a wider range of debt consolidation options. They can get approved more easily for balance transfer credit cards with introductory 0% APR periods and personal loans with lower APRs.

 

Still, there may be options for consolidating debt if you have bad credit. You could try a secured loan, such as a home equity loan, which may come with a lower APR. There are also 401(k) loans, which let you borrow money from your own retirement fund without a credit check.

That will depend on your financial situation. There are a few primary methods of debt consolidation, including personal loans, balance transfer credit cards and home equity loans. You may also consider a 401(k) loan or debt management plan to consolidate debt. To learn about your options, talk to a credit counselor who can provide free or low-cost guidance on your debt relief options.

It always costs money to borrow money, which is why you want to find the debt consolidation option with the lowest APR to save yourself the most money in the long run.

 

Different debt consolidation options come with their own set of interest rates and fees. For example, some personal loan lenders charge origination fees, while a home equity loan can incur appraisal fees and closing costs. Even a credit card balance transfer can come with a fee.

Debt consolidation has the potential to save you money, but it’s not guaranteed. To save money, you’ll have to consolidate your debt into another form of financing that has a lower APR than what you’re currently paying on your debts. Before you consolidate debt, it’s important to take a look at your current credit card and loan agreements to determine the APR you’re paying, so you can shop around for financial products that will save you money.

If your goal is to get out of debt faster, consolidating your debts can be a smart move. Consolidating with a personal loan, for example, can give you the option to choose a short loan term, so your debt will be paid off sooner. And if you get a lower APR than what you’re currently paying on your debts, then you can pay off your debt faster even if you pay the same amount of money toward your debt each month.

There are several places to seek a consolidation loan, including banks, credit unions and online lenders. You can also see if you prequalify for a loan through LendingTree’s network of lenders using our personal loan marketplace. Just fill out a single form, and you’ll know if you’re eligible within minutes.

Secured debt is tied to an asset you own, called collateral. Some borrowers can more easily qualify for a secured loan and even pay less in interest. But if you stop repaying the loan, the lender has the right to claim that collateral and sell it to settle the debt. Home equity loans are a type of secured debt that can be used for consolidation.

 

Unsecured debt doesn’t require that you have or put up collateral for the loan. Personal loans and credit cards are examples of unsecured debt. With no collateral on the line, lenders will rely more on an applicant’s credit score to decide whether to extend a loan and how to determine your APR.

How we chose the best debt consolidation loans

We looked at 16 lenders that offer debt consolidation loans to determine the 12 best lenders for this service. By offering a detailed and objective account of each lender’s rates and terms, LendingTree’s goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make a financially sound decision specific to your situation.

Here are the criteria we assessed to choose the best debt consolidation lenders:

  • Transparent rates and repayment terms
  • Flexible loan amounts
  • Low fees

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