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Best debt consolidation loans of 2020

Get your credit card and debt payments in a single place with one of these top lenders.

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Debt consolidation involves taking out an unsecured personal loan to pay off credit cards and other unsecured debts. It can make it easier to manage your accounts and even save on interest — if you qualify for a lower rate.

Our roundup of the best debt consolidation lenders is based on factors like its rates, terms, fees and requirements. We also looked at customer experiences, as reported on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.

Every borrower is different. Our list includes providers that would fit a range of needs, from borrowers with excellent credit to first-timers.

7 top debt consolidation loan providers

SoFi personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate
at SoFi personal loans's secure site

Best for excellent credit: SoFi personal loans

680
Min. Credit Score
5.99%
Starting APR
$100,000
Loan Amount
SoFi may be best known for its student loan refinancing option, but it also offers a wide range of personal loans — and qualified borrowers may be approved for up to $100,000. It offers competitive rates, accepts coapplicants and has no fees. But perks like career coaching and personalized financial assistance are what really set SoFi apart from other lenders.
  • Competitive APRs from 5.99% to 18.82%
  • Loans up to $100,000
  • No fees — not even late fees
  • Loans start at $5,000
  • Good to excellent credit required
Loan Amount $5,000 – $100,000
APR 5.99% to 18.28%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 680
Min term 24 months
Max term 84 months
Turnaround Time Up to 30 days
Disclaimer
Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.28% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of October 5, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
Monevo personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate
at Monevo personal loans's secure site

Best for bad credit: Monevo personal loans

None
Min. Credit Score
3.49%
Starting APR
$100,000
Loan Amount
Monevo is a connection service — not a lender. When you fill out its online form, you can compare rates from its network of partners that offer loans for debt consolidation. It's ideal if you have a lower credit score and have struggled to find a lender willing to work with you. But as with all connection services, you could face marketing calls from its partners.
  • No obligation offers
  • Quick online decision
  • Award-winning service
  • High potential APR
  • Might have to field phone calls and emails from partner lenders
Loan Amount $500 – $100,000
APR 3.49% to 35.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min term 3 months
Max term 144 months
Turnaround Time Varies by lender
LightStream personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 4.83 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate
at LightStream personal loans's secure site

Best for fast funding: LightStream personal loans

670
Min. Credit Score
Varies
Starting APR
$100,000
Loan Amount
This online lending arm of SunTrust Bank — now Truist — is a powerhouse in the online lending sphere. Alongside its potential same-day turnaround, it also has a rate beat program and a hefty autopay APR discount of 0.5%. But you need good to excellent credit to qualify. And you can't consolidate less than $5,000 of debt.
  • Highly competitive rates
  • May be able to get your funds the same day
  • No origination fee
  • No customer service phone number
  • No preapproval process
  • Large minimum loan amount of $5,000
Loan Amount $5,000 – $100,000
APR Varies
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 670
Min term 24 months
Max term 84 months
Turnaround Time Varies
Disclaimer
All loans are subject to credit approval by LightStream.

Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.
Upgrade personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 3.98 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate
at Upgrade personal loans's secure site

Best for fair credit: Upgrade personal loans

600
Min. Credit Score
7.99%
Starting APR
$50,000
Loan Amount
Upgrade works with borrowers with credit scores as low as 600, and it comes with a few benefits. You may receive a lower starting rate than many other lenders, and it's available throughout the majority of the US. However, the high origination fee and cashflow requirement may make it harder to qualify if most of your income is eaten up by current debt payments.
  • Flexible loan options
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Quick turnaround
  • Inflexible loan terms
  • High origination fee of up to 6%
  • Must have at least $1,000 left over after monthly expenses
Loan Amount $1,000 – $50,000
APR 7.99% to 35.97%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 600
Min term 36 months
Max term 60 months
Turnaround Time Up to 5 business days
Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.98%-35.89%. All personal loans have a 1.5% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by WebBank, Member FDIC.

Prosper personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 3.42 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate
at Prosper personal loans's secure site

Best for good credit: Prosper personal loans

640
Min. Credit Score
7.95%
Starting APR
$40,000
Loan Amount
You don't need to have a long record of paying off debts to qualify with this peer-to-peer lender. Its minimum credit score requirement is 640, and it doesn't have income requirements. But it comes with an origination fee that starts higher than average. Borrowers with lower credit scores might also get high rates.
  • Accepts DTI rates of up to 50%
  • Fair credit OK
  • No hard credit check for preapproval
  • High maximum APR of 35.99%
  • Origination fee starts at 2.41% to 5%
  • Turnaround may be up to 5 business days
Loan Amount $2,000 – $40,000
APR 7.95% to 35.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 640
Min term 36 months
Max term 60 months
Turnaround Time Up to five business days
Payoff personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate
at Payoff personal loans's secure site

Best for credit card debt: Payoff personal loans

640
Min. Credit Score
5.99%
Starting APR
$40,000
Loan Amount
Payoff specializes in consolidation of credit card debt for borrowers who are new to the process. Its customer service team offers continual guidance throughout your journey of becoming debt free. It can also rework your payment schedule if your financial situation changes. But you must have at least three years of credit history to qualify — and rates can run relatively high.
  • Competitive rates compared to credit card APRs
  • Monthly FICO score updates
  • Top-tier customer service
  • Origination fee of 0% to 5%
  • Tough eligibility requirements
  • Can only be used for credit card debt
Loan Amount $5,000 – $40,000
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 640
Min term 24 months
Max term 60 months
Turnaround Time 2 to 5 days

Best for flexible repayments: Discover personal loans

Varies
Min. Credit Score
6.99%
Starting APR
$35,000
Loan Amount
Discover is one of the few lenders that allows you to change up your repayment date if it doesn't fit your pay schedule. It also lets you return your loan with no interest charge within 30 days of signing your loan documents. But its late fees clock in at a higher-than-average $39, and it doesn't have a grace period.
  • 30-day return policy
  • Free credit score reports
  • Pays creditors directly
  • Low maximum amount of $35,000
  • Hefty late fee of $39 and no grace period
  • No autopay discount
Loan Amount $2,500 – $35,000
APR 6.99%
Interest Rate Type Variable
Min term 36 months
Max term 84 months
Turnaround Time 1 to 7 days

Summary of best debt consolidation loans

Lender APR Best for … Finder rating What sets it apart
Payoff 5.99% to 24.99% Credit card debt ★★★★★ Customer service team that specializes in credit card debt consolidation.
SoFi 5.99% to 18.28% Excellent credit ★★★★★ Perks like financial advising and career coaching to help along your journey of debt freedom.
Prosper 7.95% to 35.99% Good credit ★★★★★ A DTI requirement of 50% that makes it easier to qualify with large amounts of debt.
Upgrade 7.99% to 35.97% Fair credit ★★★★★ Weighs cash flow more than credit score when determining your rate.
Monevo 3.49% to 35.99% Bad credit ★★★★★ Allows you to prequalify with multiple lenders with no credit score minimum.
LightStream Varies Lowering your rate ★★★★★ Rate beat program and a hefty 0.5% autopay discount on top of competitive starting APRs.
Discover 6.99% to 24.99% Flexible repayments ★★★★★ Allows you to change your repayment date if your pay schedule changes.

Should I get a loan to pay off my credit card?

A debt consolidation loan can be a good choice if you think it will take between two to five years to pay off your credit card debt and you want to save on interest.

Personal loan rates are typically lower than credit cards. And having one monthly repayment can make it easier to keep track of your finances. But you generally need to have a credit score of at least 670 or higher to qualify for a low enough rate to make it worth it.

Debt consolidation loan vs. balance transfer credit card

If you have a plan to get out of debt in the next year or so and have excellent credit, a balance transfer credit card might be a better option than a debt consolidation loan. They come with 0% promotional rates that run for up to 21 months, meaning you won’t have to pay interest during this time. But the interest rate that kicks in after is often higher than most debt consolidation loans.

Debt consolidation loans vs. balance transfer credit cards

More debt consolidation loans for credit card debt

These providers also offer personal loans that you can use to consolidate credit card debt.

Provider APR Finder rating Max loan amount
Marcus by Goldman Sachs 6.99% to 19.99% ★★★★★ $40,000
Get your rate
LendingTree Starting at 2.49% ★★★★★ $50,000
Get your rate
Wells Fargo 5.99% to 24.49% ★★★★★ $100,000 Read review
LendingClub 10.68% to 35.89% ★★★★★ $40,000
Get your rate
Upstart 7.98% to 35.99% ★★★★★ $50,000
Get your rate

What is a debt consolidation loan?

A debt consolidation loan is really just an unsecured personal loan. After you take out the loan, either you or your lender use the funds to pay off other unsecured accounts.

The best lenders for debt consolidation are willing to work with borrowers that have a high debt-to-income ratio — think 50% or higher. And they’ll pay off your creditors directly so you don’t have to.

How else can I consolidate debt?

What rates can I expect?

The average annual percentage rate (APR) on a personal loan is 9.5%, according the Federal Reserve. But it can start around 4% and run as high as 36%.

How credit affects debt consolidation rates

Generally, the lowest rates go to borrowers with an excellent credit score of 740 or higher. If you have good credit, which starts at around 670, you can expect an average interest rate.

Fair credit borrowers with scores above 580 might qualify for rates as high as the 36% cutoff. If your credit score is below 580, you probably won’t qualify for a debt consolidation loan at all.

How does a debt consolidation loan work?

Typically, debt consolidation follows these steps:

1. Shop around

Compare rates, terms and requirements to find a lender that offers a better deal than your current creditors or makes your debt more manageable.

2. Prequalify

Many lenders let you fill out an online form to see what rates and terms you might qualify for — without affecting your credit score.

3. Apply for a loan

When you’ve decided on a lender, follow the directions to complete the application and submit necessary documents.

4. Prequalify

Many lenders let you fill out an online form to see what rates and terms you might qualify for — without affecting your credit score.

5. Repay your new loan

Pay off your debt according to the terms and conditions of your new loan. Payments are typically made monthly, and autopay may help avoid potential missed payments or late fees.

What types of debt can I consolidate?

Generally, you can consolidate any unsecured debts. Here are some of the most common types of debt to consolidate:

The one type of unsecured debt you generally shouldn’t consolidate with a personal loan is student loans. For that, look into student loan refinancing or federal loan consolidation.

Pros and cons of debt consolidation

Debt consolidation might help some borrowers get on track, but the drawbacks can outweigh the benefits in some cases.

Pros

  • One payment. Pulling all of your balances together into one place can relieve the hassle that comes with managing multiple monthly repayments.
  • Save on interest. Debt consolidation loans tend to have a lower APR than other types of debt, like credit cards. Consolidation alone can help you save on interest while you pay it off.
  • Fixed monthly cost. Typically debt consolidation loans come with fixed rates, which means you can predict your monthly bill and work it into your budget. Credit cards usually have variable rates, which can make it hard to make a debt payoff plan.
  • Can boost your credit. Paying off debt and switching from a credit card to a loan can help improve your credit. This is because with a personal loan, you can potentially lower your credit utilization rate if you don’t close or keep using your credit cards.
  • Earlier payoff. Depending on your term and APR, you might find that you’re able to pay off your overall debt more quickly than by keeping them separate.
  • No collateral. These loans are unsecured, so you don’t risk losing any assets if you end up unable to pay.

Cons

  • Does not eliminate debt. By consolidating your debt, you’re simply shifting existing balances to a new form — albeit one that can save you money and time.
  • Hurts your credit if you continue to spend. Debt consolidation won’t help if you don’t make changes to your spending habits. If you continue to accumulate debt, this can lower your credit score.
  • No intro period. Unlike balance transfer credit cards, these loans don’t offer low or 0% interest intro periods.
  • Potentially higher monthly cost. A loan might get you out of debt faster, but to do so the repayments are often higher than the monthly minimum on your credit card.
  • Less flexibility. A credit card’s minimum monthly repayment means that you can choose to pay more, when you can. Sometimes structure is helpful. But if your income is inconsistent, you risk becoming delinquent on the loan, which hurts your credit.

What are the requirements to consolidate debt?

While requirements vary depending on the lender, you generally need to meet the following criteria to qualify for debt consolidation:

  • Credit score of 580 or higher
  • Annual income of at least $24,000
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures
  • Active checking or savings account
  • Over 18 years old
  • US citizen or permanent resident

The rate you get also depends on factors like your income and the amount of debt you have. If your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is more than 43%, you could have trouble qualifying for a loan at all. If that’s the case, consider other debt relief options.

What to know before applying for a debt consolidation loan

Look up the following numbers to help you decide which lender to go with — or if debt consolidation is a good idea.

  • Payoff amount. Reach out to your creditors and ask about the payoff amount, or how much you will owe if you paid off your balance by a specific date. This tells you how much you need to borrow.
  • Total annual income. Include government benefits, income from investments, alimony and child support — lenders consider this when calculating your DTI ratio.
  • Credit score. Check your credit score based on a soft credit check so you can find a lender that you can qualify with.
  • Current interest rates. If you don’t know if off hand, look up the interest rates you’re paying on your current accounts — and aim for a loan that’s less expensive.
  • Monthly budget. Calculate how much money you have coming in and how much you typically spend to see how much you can afford to repay each month.

When is debt consolidation a good idea?

A debt consolidation loan can be a good idea in following situations:

  • You want to pay off debt over several years. If your plan is to get out of debt right away, a balance transfer credit card could help you save the most.
  • You owe less than 50% of your income. If you owe more, you likely won’t qualify and might benefit from other solutions.
  • You have fair credit or higher. Your options are limited if you have a credit score below 580.
  • You have regular income. You need to prove you have the money to pay off the loan before you get approved.
  • You have a plan to stay out of debt. It could hurt your credit if you end up in more debt after consolidating. Make sure you have an emergency fund and budget to avoid this.

When isn’t it a good idea?

Debt consolidation generally isn’t a good idea when your debt is worth more than half of your income or you have bad credit, bankruptcies or foreclosures. You likely won’t qualify — and even if you did, you’d get a high rate and monthly repayments that may fall outside of your budget.

It also won’t help if you don’t have a plan to reduce your spending — unless your debt is from a one-time emergency expense. If there’s nowhere left to cut back, other options like credit counseling could be a better choice.

What if I’m denied a debt consolidation loan

How much can I save with a debt consolidation loan?

How much you personally could save with a debt consolidation loan depends on your current debt load and the interest rate and term you can qualify for with a new personal loan.

To help give you an idea, we put together an example of how much you could save by consolidating three debts with a fixed-rate personal loan.

Graphs showing how you could save over $15,000 with a debt consolidation loan.

Will a debt consolidation loan improve my credit score?

Yes, consolidating debt can often improve your credit. And the lower your score the more impactful it will be. A 2019 TransUnion study found that some 85% borrowers with poor credit saw a 20% increase or more after consolidating debt — only 15% of borrowers with the highest credit scores saw this kind of increase.

Generally, it won’t hurt your credit unless you continue to rack up debt. The new FICO scoring model — which most creditors use — will penalize borrowers who consolidate debt and then continue to rack up credit card bills.

9 alternatives to debt consolidation loans

Consider these alternatives if you’re not sure a debt consolidation loan is right for you:

  • Balance transfer credit cards. Save on interest with a 0% promotional rate — as long as you can pay off your debts during the first year or so.
  • Secured personal loans. Qualify for a lower interest rate and face more relaxed requirements by backing your loan with collateral.
  • Home equity loans and lines of credit (HELOCs). Back your loan with your home to qualify for lower rates — but you risk losing your house if you default.
  • Student loan refinancing. Student loans generally aren’t eligible for debt consolidation — instead, you have to take out a new loan with a refinancing provider.
  • 401(k) loans. Get a low rate when you borrow from your 401(k) — but you’ll pay heavy taxes if you leave your job before paying it back.
  • Credit counseling. Set up a meeting with a professional credit counselor to go over making a budget and exploring your options.
  • Debt management. Hire a company to negotiate down your rates and adjust your repayment terms — for a fee.
  • Debt settlement. Hire a company to negotiate down your balance, which you’ll pay off with a one-time fixed fee — but watch out for scams.
  • Bankruptcy. File for Chapter 13 to have a court lower your debt and give you a repayment plan — or Chapter 11 to completely wipe out your debts.

Bottom line

Finding the right debt consolidation loan for you depends on your unique situation. The best lender for someone with excellent credit might not be the right fit for other borrowers. You can learn more about how it all works by reading our guide to debt consolidation loans.

Find more personal loan providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Monevo personal loans
3.49% to 35.99%
None
$100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Fiona personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Good
$100,000
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
LendingTree personal loans
Starting from 2.49%
Good to excellent credit
$50,000
Receive up to five loan offers in just minutes through LendingTree's simple online form.
SoFi personal loans
5.99% to 18.28%
680
$100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
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