You’ll likely qualify for a loan or balance transfer credit card with competitive rates.
You might’ve racked up debt when your credit score wasn’t the best. Now that you have a good credit score over 680, you’re in a good place to consolidate your debt and save money on interest.
Advantages of consolidating debt with a good credit score
A good credit score can net you some of the most lucrative rates on consolidation loans, plus grant you access to coveted balance transfer credit cards featuring 0% promotional APRs. Since debt consolidation rolls your existing debts into a single payment, a consolidation loan or balance transfer credit card can save you more money than if you paid your debts individually.
Compare debt consolidation loans for good credit
Should I get a balance transfer card or a loan when I have good credit?
Both are suitable options for people with good credit. Balance transfer credit cards often offer low or no APR for a period of time on the debt you transfer to the card. Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer personal loans to pay off debt, often with competitive, low rates.
Balance transfer credit cards
Balance transfer credit cards can offer competitive rates on your transfer. Many cards offer a lengthy 0% APR intro period, saving you on interest while you pay down your debt. This could be a solid option if you have debt on multiple credit cards with high APRs. But you generally can’t transfer debt between cards with the same provider — like between two Chase cards.
Debt consolidation loan
To qualify for a debt consolidation loan, you’ll typically need a low debt-to-income ratio in addition to having good credit. Your interest rates and loan amounts are based on your creditworthiness, meaning you’re looking at ideal terms if you have good credit.
Compare balance transfer credit cards for good credit
How do I compare options?
Review your circumstances — financial and otherwise — before choosing the best option. Consider the following:
- Your total debt. If your debt is particularly high, there might not be a consolidation loan available that can cover the cost of all of your debts. In this case, you might split your options between a loan and a balance transfer card to get a lower rate.
- Potential fees. While balance transfer cards can offer 0% intro APRs, some charge transfer fees that depend on your transfer amount. Consolidation loans generally charge an origination fee or flat fee — often a percentage of the amount you’re borrowing.
- Your repayment plan. Both balance transfer cards and loans offer limited terms, so planning your monthly payments accordingly can get you out of debt before your term is up. Failure to make your payments on time can cost you fees and could end a balance transfer card’s promotional period.
Which option is better for my credit score?
It’s understandable to be concerned about how consolidating your debt could affect your credit, especially when you have a good credit score to maintain. Applying for both consolidation loans or balance transfer cards can affect your credit, though not always negatively. Consider:
- Hard inquiries. Applying for a card or loan often results in a hard inquiry. This can hurt your credit in the short term, though usually for no longer than a year.
- Credit utilization. Paying off several of your credit cards can improve your credit score by lowering your credit utilization. Closing these accounts, however, could negatively affect your credit, since your overall utilization rate will go up.
- Your credit mix. Having various types of credit open helps your overall credit score. If all your debt comes from credit cards, a consolidation loan can improve your credit score.
- On-time payments. Making payments on time is essential for your credit score. Missing even one payment on your new account could harm your credit.
How can I consolidate debt without hurting my credit?
To consolidate without hurting your credit, make on-time payments and have a clear idea of your payoff date. Additionally:
- Focus on your new loan. Opening new accounts or continuing to use existing ones can quickly get out of hand after you’ve consolidated. Avoid overextending and focus on paying off your consolidated debt.
- Pay during your intro period. If you qualify for a balance card with a 0% APR intro period, try paying off your debt in full before the end of the period.
- Do the math. While debt consolidation can make your repayment easier, make sure the cards or loans you qualify for will actually save you money in the long run.
If you have good credit, debt consolidation can help you pay off your debts faster while saving on interest. Compare balance transfer cards against your options for consolidation loans to find the best solution for you.