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Best Credit Card Consolidation Loans Of 2024

Best Credit Card Consolidation Loans Of 2024

Best Credit Card Consolidation Loans of April 2024 BEST FOR PAYING OFF CREDIT CARD PROVIDERS DIRECTLY Achieve

Achieve is an indirect lending platform that offers personal loans underwritten by Cross River Bank or MetaBank. Founded in 2014, the lender is one of our top picks for debt consolidation loans because of the flexible loan terms (two to five years) and loan amounts ($7,500 to $40,000). These characteristics make it easier to consolidate a large amount of debt while spreading payments out over a lengthy period of time and reducing monthly payments.

Like some of our other top picks, Achieve also offers direct payment to creditors. In fact, borrowers who put 85% of the total loan amount toward debt consolidation via direct payment are more likely to qualify for a loan

That said, depending on the interest rates on your current debts, the potentially high APR Achieve charges may make it more difficult to save money by consolidating. Likewise, the origination fee from 1.99% to 6.99% of the loan amount can make the loan more expensive. If you’re considering Achieve for debt consolidation, it’s important to do the math before you sign on the dotted line.

Pros & ConsFunds available within 48 hoursFlexible repayment termsAllows co-borrowersApplication is not entirely onlineImposes a minimum income requirementHigh minimum loan amount

Details

Overview: Achieve is an indirect lending platform that offers personal loans underwritten by Cross River Bank or MetaBank. Like some of our other top picks, Achieve also offers direct payment to creditors. In fact, borrowers who put 85% of the total loan amount toward debt consolidation via direct payment are more likely to qualify for a loan.

That said, depending on the interest rates on your current debts, the potentially high APR Achieve charges may make it more difficult to save money by consolidating. Likewise, the origination fee from 1.99% to 6.99% of the loan amount can make the loan more expensive. If you’re considering Achieve for debt consolidation, it’s important to do the math before you sign on the dotted line.

Eligibility: Minimum credit score: 620Minimum annual income: $21,500Allows co-signers and co-applicants

Loan uses: Credit Card Debt consolidationHome projectsMedical expensesTravel

costsBEST FOR NO INTEREST IF REPAID WITHIN 30 DAYS Discover

Discover is an online bank that also offers customers credit cards, retirement solutions and personal loans in all 50 states. As a lending platform, Discover stands out because of its online application and mobile banking tools, well-reviewed customer support team and quick funding.

In general, loans are available from $2,500 to $40,000 and may be issued for between three and seven years. So, while borrowers may get a larger loan from another lender, the repayment terms are fairly flexible. Discover charges a late payment fee and does not offer an autopay discount; however, it does not charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties, making it competitive with other top personal loan providers.

Pros & ConsOption to pay off creditors directlyNo origination fees or prepayment penaltiesDirectly pays creditorsCharges late feesLow maximum loan amount

Details

Eligibility: Minimum credit score: 660Minimum household income: $25,000Doesn’t allow co-signers or co-borrowers

Loan uses:Medical billsBusiness expensesHome renovationBEST FOR BAD CREDIT Upgrade

Upgrade was launched in 2017 and provides accessible online and mobile credit and banking services. Since that time, the platform has made more than $3 billion in credit available to over 10 million applicants and continues to expand its online and mobile services. Although maximum APRs are on the high end compared to other online lenders, Upgrade makes loans available to those with poor credit history.

Loans amounts, which range from $1,000 to $50,000. Upgrade has two- to seven-year terms  available. Upgrade charges an origination fee between 1.85% and 9.99% of the loan, and borrowers will encounter a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or if the payment does not go through; there are no discounts for autopay. That said, Upgrade borrowers are not subject to a prepayment penalty, so you can reduce the overall cost of the loan if you’re able to pay it off early.

Beyond offering accessible personal loans, Upgrade streamlines the lending process with a mobile app that lets borrowers view their balance, make payments and update personal information. Upgrade’s Credit Heath tool also makes it easy to track your credit score over the life of your loan.

Pros & ConsLow minimum credit score requirementBorrowers can use loans to cover business expensesOffers direct lender payoff for debt consolidation loansHigh APR rangeCharges fees for origination, late payment and insufficient funds

Details

Eligibility: Minimum credit score: 580No minimum income requirementAllows co-applicants

Loan uses:Debt consolidationHome projectsLarge expensesBusiness expensesBEST FOR COMPARING MULTIPLE OFFERS Universal Credit

Universal Credit is an online lending platform that offers personal loans between $1,000 to $50,000 through its partners. Repayment terms range from three to seven years.

While Universal Credit makes finding a personal loan accessible even to those with damaged credit, it comes with a few tradeoffs. First, it charges high APRs, well above the most competitive rates seen on our list. Second, Universal Credit charges a 5.25% to 9.99% origination fee on all personal loans. Because this is deducted from your loan proceeds, you’ll need to factor this in when determining your loan amount to ensure you receive the necessary amount after the fact.

Pros & ConsFlexible qualification requirementsNext-day fundingNo prepayment penaltyHigh APRsAll personal loans charge a 5.25% to 9.99% origination fee

Details

Eligibility:Minimum credit score: 580Minimum income requirement: Does not discloseDoesn’t allow co-signers or co-borrowers

Loan uses:Debt consolidationLarge expenseHome projectBEST FOR FLEXIBLE REPAYMENT TERMS Happy Money

Overview: Founded in 2009, Happy Money (previously Payoff) is an online lending platform that connects prospective borrowers with fixed-rate credit card debt consolidation loans in every state except Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska and Nevada. Happy Money specializes in helping borrowers eliminate their high-interest debt, and will pay off members’ outstanding credit balances directly.

Eligibility: Minimum credit score: 640Minimum credit history: Three yearsMaximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%

Loan uses:

Pros & ConsDirectly pays third-party creditorsCompetitive APRsAssists borrowers with financial wellness through its Peace programMay charge an origination feeLimited repayment termsRequires a minimum credit history of three years

Details

Overview: Founded in 2009, Happy Money (previously Payoff) is an online lending platform that connects prospective borrowers with fixed-rate credit card debt consolidation loans in every state except Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska and Nevada. Happy Money specializes in helping borrowers eliminate their high-interest debt, and will pay off members’ outstanding credit balances directly.

Eligibility: Minimum credit score: 640Minimum credit history: Three yearsMaximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%

Loan uses:BEST FOR DEBT CONSOLIDATION PERKS Best Egg

Best Egg is a lending platform available to borrowers in every state except Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Personal loans are issued by Cross River Bank and range from $2,000 to $50,000. Loan proceeds can be used for debt consolidation, and payment terms are available from three to five years, so Best Egg can be a great way to consolidate your other debts and spread the payments out over time.

That said, Best Egg does not directly pay off creditors, so you’ll have to manage the repayment process on your own. What’s more, borrowers have to pay an origination fee from 0.99% to 5.99% of the loan amount. This fee is an important consideration when calculating how much you can save by consolidating your debts with a Best Egg personal loan. Borrowers can, however, pay off their loan early without incurring a prepayment penalty.

Pros & ConsLoan terms available up to five yearsLow minimum APRNo prepayment penaltyDoes not offer direct payment to third-party creditorsCharges an origination feeMaximum repayment term of five years

Details

Overview: Best Egg is a lending platform available to borrowers in every state except Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Personal loans are issued by Cross River Bank and range from $2,000 to $50,000.

With Best Egg, borrowers have to pay an origination fee from 0.99% to 5.99% of the loan amount. This fee is an important consideration when calculating how much you can save by consolidating your debts with a Best Egg personal loan. Borrowers can, however, pay off their loan early without incurring a prepayment penalty.

Eligibility: Minimum credit score: Does not discloseMinimum annual income: Does not discloseDoes not allow co-signer

Loan uses: BEST FOR PEER-TO-PEER LENDING LendingClub

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer—or marketplace—lender founded in 2007. As the largest online lending platform for personal loans, LendingClub has worked with over 3 million customers and funded more than $55 billion in loans. It’s also one of the most geographically widespread options, with lending capabilities in every state except Iowa and the U.S. territories.

While LendingClub imposes high APRs and no autopay discount, applicants can choose to borrow between $1,000 to $40,000. This is a higher maximum loan cap than some other lenders. That said, LendingClub’s loan terms are limited to two to five years, which is less flexible than other lenders on our list. Borrowers also are charged an origination fee between 3% to 8% of the total loan amount, which is taken from the loan proceeds at funding.

LendingClub also makes debt consolidation easier by offering a balance transfer loan. With this type of loan, LendingClub offers direct payment to third-party lenders, including over 1,700 creditors. Not only does the platform take care of payments for you, you can choose exactly how much of your new loan amount you want LendingClub to pay toward each creditor.

Pros & ConsWill directly pay off third-party creditors as part of balance transfer loanCo-applicants permittedAvailable to borrowers with fair to excellent creditOrigination and late feesLimited loan term availabilityHigh APR range

Details

Overview: LendingClub is a peer-to-peer—or marketplace—lender founded in 2007. As the largest online lending platform for personal loans, LendingClub has worked with over 3 million customers and funded more than $55 billion in loans. It’s also one of the most geographically widespread options, with lending capabilities in every state except Iowa and the U.S. territories.

LendingClub also makes debt consolidation easier by offering a balance transfer loan. With this type of loan, LendingClub offers direct payment to third-party lenders, including over 1,700 creditors. Not only does the platform take care of payments for you, you can choose exactly how much of your new loan amount you want LendingClub to pay toward each creditor.

Eligibility:Minimum credit score: 600Minimum credit history: Three yearsAllows co-applicants

Loan uses:Debt consolidationHome projectsMedical expensesBEST FOR LOW INTEREST RATES LightStream

APR range

7.49% to 25.49%

with autopay

7.49% to 25.49%

with autopay

LightStream offers loans with both a low minimum and maximum interest rate, along with a rate-beat program. LightStream’s unsecured personal loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 with loan amounts varying based on the loan purpose. In addition to offering appealing and flexible terms, LightStream charges no origination, late payment or prepayment fees. The lender also offers a 0.50% rate discount for borrowers who enroll in autopay.

Pros & ConsNo origination, prepayment or late feesLow, competitive ratesFast approval and fundingNo prequalification processNo due date flexibilityLimitations on use of loan proceeds

Details

Eligibility:Applicants should have several years of credit historyMinimum credit score: 660Can’t prequalify

Loan uses:Large expensesFinance land, timeshares and tiny homesHome projectBEST OVERALL DEBT CONSOLIDATION LOAN SoFi®

APR range

8.99% to 29.99%

with autopay

8.99% to 29.99%

with autopay

SoFi is an online lending platform that offers unsecured fixed-rate personal loans in every state. Founded in 2011, SoFi has extended over $50 billion in loans and stands out for allowing high loan amounts and its availability of extended loan terms.

Loans are available from $5,000 to $100,000, making SoFi a great option for those with excellent credit who need to borrow a large amount of money. Loan amounts available may vary by the state you live in. Repayment terms range from two to seven years, making SoFi an incredibly flexible option for those with sufficient credit (minimum 650) and annual income (at least $45,000). SoFi also lets prospective borrowers submit joint applications—although co-signers are not permitted.

Approved borrowers are rewarded with comparatively low APRs. What’s more, SoFi doesn’t charge origination fees, late fees or prepayment penalties—a stand-out feature because personal loan lenders often charge origination or late payment fees at a minimum.

However, if you’re considering a debt consolidating loan from SoFi, keep in mind that the lender does not offer direct payment to a borrower’s other creditors. This means the loan proceeds will be deposited to your bank account and you’ll have to pay off your other lenders individually. The platform does offer customers a number of other perks and discounts.

Pros & ConsPrequalification with soft credit checkFunding in as little as one to two daysHigh loan amounts and lengthy termsDoes not offer direct payment to third-party creditors for debt consolidationSome applicants report difficult qualification standardsCo-signers are not permitted

Details

Eligibility:Minimum credit score required: 650Minimum annual income: $45,000Co-signers not permitted

Loan uses:Medical expensesCredit card consolidationHome projectsMoving costsSummary: Best Credit Card Consolidation Loans Methodology

We reviewed 15 popular lenders based on 11 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process. We chose the best lenders based on the weighting assigned to each category:Loan cost. 35%Loan details. 20%Eligibility and accessibility. 20%Direct payment to creditors. 15%Customer experience. 10%

Within each category, we also considered several characteristics, including available loan amounts, repayment terms, APR ranges and applicable fees. We also looked at minimum credit score requirements, whether each lender accepts co-signers or joint applications and the geographic availability of the lender. Finally, we evaluated the availability of each provider’s customer support team.

Where appropriate, we awarded partial points depending on how well a lender met each criterion.

To learn more about how Forbes Advisor rates lenders, and our editorial process, check out our Loans Rating & Review Methodology.Tips for Comparing the Best Credit Card Consolidation Loans

Before committing to a consolidation loan, compare lenders to find loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (APRs) that meet your needs. Follow these tips before choosing a lender:Pre-qualify if the option is available. Personal loan pre-qualification allows you to see the rates you’re likely to qualify for with only a soft credit check, which doesn’t impact your credit.

This can save you time and energy when applying for a loan and reduce the number of hard inquiries on your credit report.Make sure the lender allows debt consolidation. The best personal loans are extremely flexible, but some lenders prohibit specific uses. In addition to choosing a lender that allows credit card debt consolidation, streamline the process by opting for a lender that provides direct creditor payoff.Choose a loan that covers all of your credit card balances.

Lenders typically offer personal loans between $1,000 and $100,000. Choose a loan that pays off all of your credit card debt without borrowing more than necessary.Evaluate overall costs and fees. Compare the interest rates available from each lender and additional costs like loan origination fees. Many online lenders now offer a fee-free structure that can reduce the overall cost of borrowing.Research customer support resources and reviews. Credit card consolidation often aims to simplify payments and streamline your finances. This makes a high-quality customer support team especially important when consolidating debt. Browse each lender’s support options and read customer reviews to look for significant shortfalls.What Is Credit Card Consolidation?

Credit card consolidation involves taking out a personal loan and using the funds to pay off individual credit card debts. This effectively consolidates a consumer’s high-interest credit card debts into a single monthly loan payment. In addition to simplifying a borrower’s finances, credit card consolidation loans can also offer lower interest rates and smaller monthly payments.How Does Credit Card Consolidation Work?

When you consolidate your credit card debt with a personal loan, you’re essentially taking out a new loan to pay off your debts. The process involves applying for a new personal loan and then using the proceeds to pay off each outstanding credit card balance. Sometimes, the lender further simplifies consolidation by sending the loan funds directly to creditors.

Once you combine your debt, you’ll consolidate your bills into one monthly payment instead of multiple payments to different creditors. This new debt structure can save you time and money, as you won’t have to keep track of multiple due dates. Plus, your monthly payments—and interest rates—may go down.Should You Consolidate Your Credit Card Debt?

Consolidating your credit card debt can help you pay down debt faster. It can simplify your payment schedule into one monthly payment and in some cases, can reduce the interest you’re paying on the debt. 

Before you consolidate your debt, make a plan for repaying the loan. A debt consolidation calculator can help you understand what your monthly payments could be and if they fit into your budget. The payments on a debt consolidation loan can be higher than the minimum payments required on your credit card. 

Keep in mind that freeing up your credit card balance with a debt consolidation loan can lead to more overspending if you don’t have a plan to manage your spending going forward. Ultimately, that can lead to even more debt. Pros and Cons of Credit Card Consolidation Loans

Debt consolidation loans can be a useful tool to pay off your debt quickly, but they have their downsides. Consider the pros and cons of debt consolidation loans to decide if they’re the right option for you:ProsPay off credit card debt fasterCan pay less in interestCombine multiple debts into a single loanPossible credit score increaseSteady, fixed-rate paymentsConsPossible origination feesMonthly payments may be higherCan overspend on credit cardsMay require a co-signerCan be difficult to qualify for low interest ratesWhen Should You Get a Credit Card Consolidation Loan?

Credit card consolidation loans can help borrowers save money and make it easier to stay on top of monthly payments. However, this strategy isn’t the right fit for all borrowers. Consider credit card consolidation if you:Consistently have enough cash to cover payments. Consolidating debt is only effective if you have enough cash to make the new monthly payment. Credit card consolidation likely won’t improve your financial situation if you’re already struggling to make ends meet each month.Carry high-interest debt. If you carry a balance on your credit cards each month, you’re likely paying high rates—sometimes 27% or more. Personal loan interest rates typically range from 7% to 36%. So, if you can qualify for a consolidation loan with a lower interest rate, you may be able to pay off your debt faster and at a lower cost.Have good credit. You’ll need a strong credit score to qualify for the best rates and loan terms. Borrowers with scores of at least 720 have the easiest time qualifying for a competitive loan. Those with bad or fair credit may still qualify but will likely pay higher rates.Have debt that will take at least six months to pay off. If you only have a small amount of debt, you may be able to pay it off without taking out a consolidation loan. In general, consolidation loans are best for those with at least $5,000 in debt that will take at least six months to pay off.Have a plan to avoid future debt. Even if consolidation saves you money each month, it won’t help if you rack up new debt. If you consolidate your credit card debt but don’t change your spending habits, you will likely find yourself in the same situation a few years later. Avoid this by making a budget and committing to only spending what you can afford.How Does a Credit Card Consolidation Loan Affect Your Credit Score?

Credit card consolidation loans impact your credit in several ways:Lower credit utilization rate. Revolving lines of credit, like credit cards, impact your credit utilization ratio, which factors into your score calculation. Paying off credit cards with a debt consolidation loan can improve your utilization rate and, in turn, your credit score.Streamlined payments. Having a single loan payment each month is much simpler than multiple. A debt consolidation loan makes it easier to manage on-time monthly payments and safeguards the payment history portion of your credit score.Lower interest rate. A lower interest rate indirectly impacts your credit because more of each monthly payment goes toward the loan principal rather than interest. Paying off debts faster translates into lower loan balances.New inquiry on your credit report. When you apply for a loan or line of credit, the lender runs a hard credit check. This hard inquiry is reflected on your credit report and results in a temporary ding against your credit score. That said, the inquiry will fall off your report in two years and the impacts on your score only last about one year.How To Get a Credit Card Consolidation Loan

The process for getting a credit card consolidation loan varies by lender. Still, there are a few general steps to follow when applying:Check your credit score. Before shopping for a consolidation loan, check your credit score to understand the lenders whose loan requirements you meet and what interest rates you can expect. Doing so early gives you time to improve your score before submitting an application.Pre-qualify. Some lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a loan without impacting your credit score. This provides insight into the interest rates and terms you may qualify for before formally applying.Compare lenders. Once you know which lenders you may qualify with, compare loan offers to find the best deal based on interest rates, origination fees and repayment terms. Depending on your goals, the best option may be the lender with the lowest monthly payment, the most competitive rates or the most convenient repayment process.Gather the necessary documents. In most cases, you’ll need to provide documentation that proves your employment, income and bank account information. Having this information on hand can speed up approval and funding.Submit a formal application. Even if you prequalify, you’ll need to finish the formal application process with your chosen lender. This usually involves submitting information to help the loan underwriters decide if you are an acceptable lending risk or not.Await approval. Most online personal lenders promise same-day approval, and some even offer same- or next-day funding. However, loan approval can take several business days, especially if the lender requests additional documentation to verify your income or identity. Continue to make necessary credit card payments during this period.Consolidate credit card balances. If the loan funds go to your bank account, use the money to pay off your credit card balances immediately. If, on the other hand, you are working with a lender that specializes in credit card consolidation, it may pay off your cards directly.How To Get Credit Card Consolidation Loans for Bad Credit

With bad credit, finding a credit card consolidation loan can be more challenging, but there are options. Start by looking for lenders with low minimum credit score requirements; some lenders offer debt consolidation loans for bad credit, and have credit score requirements below 600.

If you can’t qualify on your own for a credit card consolidation loan, apply with a co-signer who meets the lender’s requirements. Keep in mind that if you fail to repay your loan, your co-signer will be obligated to do so. 

A secured loan can be another option to qualify for a debt consolidation loan. With a secured loan, your debt is backed by collateral like your savings or home. If you fail to repay the loan, the lender can take possession of your collateral. These loans can be easier to qualify for than unsecured loans. Credit Card Refinancing vs. Debt Consolidation

Credit card refinancing, or a balance transfer, and debt consolidation are two debt repayment strategies.

With a credit card refinance, you swap your current debt from one or more credit cards onto a new one. Ideally, your new card will have a lower interest rate, and in some cases, an introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers. This intro offer only lasts for a short amount of time, generally about one to two years.

If you pay all of your debt in that time, a balance transfer credit card can be a great option to avoid interest charges and get out of debt faster. But be aware that some cards charge a balance transfer fee, which may make sticking with your current card the cheaper option.

Debt consolidation generally refers to a personal loan that’s used to pay off credit card debt, repaid in monthly installments. These loans won’t have an interest-free period, but you can generally qualify for lower interest rates than with a credit card. That can make debt consolidation loans a better option if you’re paying off a moderate or large amount of debt.Find the Best Personal Loans of 2024 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) What credit score do you need for a consolidation loan?

Most lenders require a credit score for personal loans in the mid-600s. However, a higher credit score usually results in a more competitive interest rate. You also can qualify for a loan with a lower credit score by applying with a co-signer or by applying for a loan with a lender that specializes in bad-credit borrowers.Is credit card consolidation a good idea?

Debt consolidation may be worth it for borrowers with several high-interest credit cards and loans. A lower interest rate on a consolidation loan can save you money each month and help you pay off your debt faster. Just be sure to shop for the best interest rate and terms before taking out a consolidation loan.How much does it cost to consolidate debt?

The cost of consolidating your debt depends on several factors, including the interest rate, loan terms and applicable fees. Personal loan APRs generally range from 3% to 36%, and origination fees may be around 1% to 10% of the total loan amount. That said, many online lenders offer fee-free personal loans.How long does it take to get approved for a credit card consolidation loan?

Approval for credit card consolidation loans is typically quick because the application process is simple and streamlined. Some lenders, such as SoFi, even offer same-day approval and funding. Other lenders may take upwards of a week or more if they need to verify details with you.What is the average length of a credit card consolidation loan?

Most lenders offer credit card consolidation loans ranging from one to five years in length. Yet, it’s possible to find lenders offering credit card consolidation loans for shorter or longer periods.Next Up In Personal Loans Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

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