Best options for consolidating credit card debt

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An error on any of your credit reports could prevent you from qualifying for the debt consolidation help you need, so You can get your free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies — Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.

And, Credit.com’s free credit report summary can help you understand what’s inside your credit report. There are several safe and smart ways to consolidate credit card debt, so you’ll want to research them before deciding what’s best for you.

You can transfer high-interest rate credit card balances to a single card with a lower APR and save money on monthly finance charges as you pay down your debt.

For consumers with good credit, there are several credit card balance transfer, and low-interest rate available.

By consolidating your credit card debt into a personal loan, you’ll have a definite plan for paying off your old card debt.

You may be able to consolidate your debt with a personal loan from your bank or credit union.

Your credit utilization counts toward 30% of your credit score, and that’s why it’s important to keep that ratio low — under 30% and, optimally, less than 10% of your credit limits, overall and on individual cards.

Keep in mind a debt management plan may have a negative impact on your credit during the course of the program because your creditors will close or suspend your accounts while in the program, and this can affect your credit utilization.

Credit cards may have a balance transfer fee, so you’ll want to make sure that cost doesn’t outweigh the potential benefit of getting a lower interest rate on your debt. Ask about any loan origination fees, and make sure the loan payment amount is something that easily fits into your budget.Some strategies will be more affordable than others, and your credit card consolidation choices may be limited by your credit standing.If you have good credit, look for a credit card with a low-interest rate.If you’re feeling weighed down by several credit card balances, credit card debt consolidation could provide some serious relief from your financial woes.Here’s how credit card consolidation works: You first decide if you want to take out a new loan, open a new credit card, or enroll in a debt management plan (more on that later).

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