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Compare credit card consolidation loans

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Want to save money on interest while paying off your credit card debt? Consider a credit card consolidation loan.

Credit cards, while convenient, make it easy to get into and stay in debt. You may be able to reduce the interest and fees you’re paying across multiple credit cards by consolidating them into one account.

There are a few ways you can do this including a balance transfer, a debt consolidation loan, a personal loan or a peer-to-peer loan. You can learn more about your options in the guide below and decide which one is right for you.

Our top pick: Upgrade Personal Loans*

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 620
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $50,000
  • APR: 7.99% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, valid email address
  • Flexible loan options
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Quick turnaround

Our top pick: Upgrade Personal Loans*

Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 620
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $50,000
  • APR: 7.99% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, valid email address
Promoted

How does credit card consolidation work?

A credit card consolidation loan combines your outstanding balances on your credit cards into one monthly payment. The benefit is that you’ll pay off your existing debts with those credit card companies and have a simplified payment process with just one lender. You could possibly save on interest payments too, since credit cards tend to come with higher interest rates than personal loans do.

Credit card consolidation could improve or hurt your credit depending on how you use it. Falling behind and making late payments on your credit cards may have damaged your credit, but consolidating them to one monthly payment could raise your credit score as your payment history improves. On the other hand, taking on a new loan, in general, could cause a short-term drop in your credit score because of the hard inquiry.

Compare personal loans for credit card consolidation

A selection of personal loans you can apply for

Use this table to compare the interest rates, loan amounts and eligibility requirements of top online lenders.

Updated April 23rd, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Minimum Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
5.34% to 35.99%
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
550
$100,000
3.99% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
620
$50,000
7.99% to 35.89%
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
640
$40,000
6.95% to 35.89%
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
680
$100,000
5.99% to 16.24%
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
550
$10,000
34% to 155% (Varies by state)
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
640 FICO®
$35,000
5.99% to 29.99%
A prime lender with multiple repayment methods.
550
$100,000
3.84% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

Compare up to 4 providers

A selection of brokers you can speak to

One way to make sure you’re getting the best rate is to let a broker find a competitive rate for you.

Updated April 23rd, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Minimum Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
550
$100,000
3.99% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
5.34% to 35.99%
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
550
$100,000
3.84% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
All credit types welcome
$35,000
5.99% to 35.99%
Its network of lenders offer affordable loans with reasonable rates.
Good to excellent credit
$50,000
Varies by lender
Receive up to five loan offers in just minutes through LendingTree's simple online form.

Compare up to 4 providers

Credit card consolidation case study

credit card consolidation case study image

In other words, here’s what Matt’s credit card debt is like without consolidation if he only makes minimum monthly repayments:

Credit card one Credit card two Both cards
Balance and rate $4,500 at 19.99% APR $3,200 at 13.24% APR $7,700
Minimum monthly repayment $90 $64 $154
Total repayment $21,527 $6,304 $27,831
Time it takes to pay off 43 years and one month 16 years and 8 months

Here’s how much Matt saves if he takes out a $7,700 consolidation loan at 13.39% APR:

Total repayment Time it takes to pay off Total savings
$11,243 6 years $16,588

What are your options for credit card consolidation?

  • Credit card balance transfer. Card providers usually offer 0% APR for a limited period of time, allowing you to pay off your debt. Keep in mind the card isn’t necessarily free when you factor in purchase APR and annual fees to consider.
  • Debt consolidation personal loan. You can take out a larger personal loan and pay off your credit card balances using the funds. Some lenders also give you the option of paying your creditors directly rather than you having to divvy up the funds yourself.
  • Peer-to-peer loans. Also referred to as P2P loans, these are becoming a popular choice for people looking to pay off their credit cards. Apply for a loan online and it will be funded by one or more “peer” investors.
  • Debt consolidation companies. These companies work by negotiating with your credit card providers to reduce your interest rate or lower your monthly repayments. You make a single payment and the debt consolidation company will distribute the payment across your card accounts.

How can I decide which is the best consolidation method for me?

  • What’s your credit score? Whether or not you have good credit will affect the interest rate you’re offered by lenders as well as your chances of being approved. Make sure the rate you’re given will save you money when you consolidate your credit card debt.
  • How much debt do you have? The amount of debt you have may affect the credit you can apply for. Check the allowable limits on different accounts before you apply to ensure you can consolidate all of your debt. Other lenders may not be willing to take on your debt if it’s too large, so take this into consideration as well.
  • Do you want fixed repayments or would you prefer flexibility? Different consolidation methods offer different ways to repay. For example, if you opt for a P2P loan your payments will be fixed, whereas you can make variable payments and pay off more than you owe with a credit card.

Balance transfer credit card vs. debt consolidation loan

A debt consolidation loan and a balance transfer credit card are similar in purpose, but there are some key differences. The most obvious is that a loan generally has equal monthly payments while a balance transfer credit card has variable payments based on a percent of the balance owed.

Balance transfer credit cards are used to transfer one or more high-interest amounts from a different provider. Typically these credit cards have promotional periods that generally last for 6 to 12 months and offer low or 0% APR. A balance transfer credit card’s usefulness is on a relatively tight timeline. After the promo period is up the APR reverts to the standard purchase rate, which can be 20% or more.

Debt consolidation loans are also used to shift debt away from high-APR credit cards. Rather than taking advantage of a short-term promotional period, these are likely to have a lower APR than the non-promotional rate of a balance transfer credit card. A loan may be better when you want to pay your debt off over a longer period of time.
Balance transfer vs. debt consolidation

Compare balance transfer credit cards to consolidate debts

Name Product Intro Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee Recommended Minimum Credit Score
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.24% variable)
See issuer terms
670
Enjoy a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months, then a low ongoing APR of 14.24% variable.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
An 15 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
1.99% for the first 6 monthly billing cycles (then 16.24% to 22.24% variable)
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
1% cash back to the nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations of your choice.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
700
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
740
Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.
0% for the first 12 billing cycles (then 16.24% to 25.74% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.15% to 25.15% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
580
Earn $150 in statement credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.99% to 25.99% variable)
$10 or 2% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
20,000 bonus LifeMiles after first card use
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.99% to 25.99% variable)
$10 or 2% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
40,000 bonus LifeMiles after first card use
9.95% for the first 6 months (then 17.99% fixed)
$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Borrow up to $10,000 and get your credit score back on track.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
No balance transfer fees for the first 60 days (then $5 or 5%)
670
Enjoy a 60 days introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
0% for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
No balance transfer fees for the first 60 days (then $10 or 3%)
670
Enjoy a 0% intro balance transfer APR for the first 15 statement closing dates, then variable.

N/A

3%
670
This card offers the same low rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)
$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
720
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
7.9% for the first 90 days (then 12.15% to 17.99% variable)
None
670
Enjoy perks and save money while gaining points with every purchase.
10.99% for the first 6 months (then 25.24% variable)
3%
580
2% cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.

N/A

$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Establish credit history - with responsible use you may be upgraded to an unsecured credit card.

N/A

$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Helps establish, strengthen and even rebuild your credit.

N/A

$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Get worldwide purchasing power and flexibility as you work to build or re-establish your credit history.
Aspire Platinum Mastercard®
Aspire Platinum Mastercard®
0% for the first 6 billing cycles (then 8.9% to 18% variable)
$5 or 2% of the transaction, whichever is greater
580
Enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 6 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

How can I find the best credit card consolidation loan?

First, get a ballpark idea of how much you need to borrow by adding up your credit card balances. Many lenders have limits to how much debt they’re willing to consolidate, so knowing this ahead of time can help you find a lender that offers what you need. You can do this using our debt consolidation calculator, which can also show you how much you might save by consolidation.

To find the best deal available to you, shop around — you can get started by using our comparison table. Take into consideration features like the minimum and maximum loan amounts, APR range, fees and turnaround time before you apply. You might want to also take a look at online reviews from vetted sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau to look out for any red flags.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, consider prequalifying with a few lenders to see which can offer you the best deal. Your rates and terms might not be exactly what you’d get with the lender, but it’s more specific than a general range of loan amounts.

How to avoid scams

  • Research. Make sure the lender is accredited and licensed to do business in your state. License numbers should be visible in the footer of the website and in the Terms and Conditions.
  • Stay away from “guaranteed approval.” Lenders can’t guarantee that you will qualify for a loan without knowing your particular situation and personal information.
  • No upfront fees. Be wary of having to pay any fees to apply for a debt consolidation loan, you should never have to with a legitimate lender.
  • Take note of initial contact. You should always be the one to initiate contact, unreliable lenders are more likely to be insistent in their search for borrowers.
  • Beware of companies claiming to offer loan debt consolidation. Many of the companies that advertise this way instead offer debt management and settlement services.

How to avoid a personal loan scam

When should I hold off on consolidation?

Consolidating your credit card debt isn’t always the right move. Consolidate at the wrong time and you could actually lose money. You might want to hold off on consolidating or consider other options when:

  • You qualify for a higher APR. This is a red flag that your personal finances are not strong enough to handle a new loan, even if it’s a debt consolidation loan. You might actually end up losing money if the new APR is high enough.
  • You’re about to get another loan. Lenders run a hard credit check that temporarily hurts your credit score when you apply for a loan. So, if you have plans to buy a new house, car or even get funding for your small business you might not qualify for the most competitive rate if you recently took out a debt consolidation loan.
  • Your debt is more than half your income. In this case, you likely won’t be able to qualify for a debt consolidation loan from a reputable lender. Instead, you might want to consider other options like signing up for credit counseling.

Pros and cons of credit card debt consolidation

Pros

  • Fewer payments to keep track of. By rolling several different balances into one you should be able to manage your repayments easier.
  • Fixed terms. A fixed term means you can’t get away with paying the minimum and ignoring your balance. Consolidation can put you on the path to debt freedom.
  • Improve your credit. Taking on a new type of credit, paying down your credit card balance and making on-time repayments all have positive effects on your credit score.
  • Potentially lower rates. Credit cards typically have higher APRs than personal loans, meaning that you can save.

Cons

  • It doesn’t wipe out your debt. Debt consolidation is only useful in some situations. If you can’t get a lower rate or qualify for affordable repayments, debt consolidation won’t do you much good.
  • You could pay more in interest. A lower rate can help, but if you sign up for a long-term loan to get the lowest monthly repayments, you could actually end up paying more in interest.
  • It doesn’t fix bad habits. In the end, debt consolidation doesn’t get to the source of the problems: Credit card spending. In addition to debt consolidation, you might want to learn how to budget or consult a financial advisor to help you stay on track.
  • You could lose some assets. If you decide to back your loan with collateral, you risk losing that if you’re unable to pay off the loan.

5 tips to beat the credit card debt trap

Debt tends to stick around once you’ve picked it up. Use these tips to avoid getting into debt in the first place.

  1. Only spend what you have. Spending more money than you know you can pay back in the near future can make your credit card balance balloon. Make sure to reduce your spending during the next billing cycle to pay off any months that you drop more cash than you have. Can’t resist the temptation? You might be better off sticking with a debit card.
  2. Avoid interest. Pay off your credit card balance in full each month. The longer you take to pay off your balance, the more difficult — and expensive — it becomes thanks to mounting interest.
  3. Don’t spend everything you earn. Spending your last dollar can leave you vulnerable to piling on debt. Make and stick to a monthly budget to help manage your money.
  4. Save up. Unexpected expenses could come along and hurl you into a pile of debt. Be prepared by cutting out room in your budget to make a deposit into a high-interest savings account each month.
  5. Pay your bills on time. Protect your credit score by never being late on payments. You may need to get another credit card — or take out a loan — in the future, you can get lower, less risky interest rates.

Bottom line

Once you’ve decided to consolidate your debt you’ll need to choose the best way to do so based on your financial situation. Your plan to financial freedom can be supported by consolidation tools, but they need to be used well. Take your time and compare providers once you’ve narrowed down what you want to use. Doing so will help you get the most out of your consolidation and get you on your way to fully overcoming your debt.

Have more questions to ask before you consolidate your credit card debt?

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