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Debt consolidation is a debt management strategy that allows you to combine multiple debts into one payment. Managing one account can be easier. Also, higher-than-average interest rates caused by bad credit or credit card debt can help lower your average rate.
One of the most common ways to consolidate debt is to take out a debt consolidation loan – a personal loan that is used to pay off many creditors. While it can be difficult to get this type of loan with bad credit, there are a few actions you can take to increase your chances of getting your loan approved. In addition, there are alternative options to consider.
Someone can get a debt consolidation loan for one of several reasons. The biggest advantages of a debt consolidation loan include:
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Each lender sets its own requirements for borrowers seeking debt consolidation loans. You should be at least 18 years of age and not involved in bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings. Each lender will also look at your credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio to determine how well you can repay the loan.
You will often need a credit score around 650, although there are lenders that consolidate credit debts; these lenders may accept a credit score of 600 or even lower. Keep in mind that the lower the credit score, the higher the interest rate, as borrowers with a bad credit score pose an increased risk of lender default.
Your DTI ratio should also be 45 percent or less, if it’s higher, the lender may have reservations about approving the loan as there’s a chance you’re overburdened and you may have trouble making payments on time. Or you can get approved but at a higher interest rate to protect yourself from the risk of default.
If you’re struggling to get out of debt and think a debt consolidation loan might help, you’ll likely need a mid-600s credit score, a history of timely payments, and sufficient income to qualify. However, each lender has its own requirements. Start with the following steps to help you find the right consolidation loans and increase your chances of approval.
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Lenders make credit decisions mainly based on the terms of the loan. In general, the lower your credit score, the higher interest rates lenders will offer you financing. You will need to meet the lender’s minimum requirements to qualify for a debt consolidation loan. This is often in the average 600 range, although some lenders with bad credit may accept scores as high as 580.
Many banks offer free tools that allow you to check and monitor your creditworthiness. Once you know your credit score, it’s easier to identify lenders who might be willing to work with you. Not only are there lenders that specialize in lending to people with bad credit, but many list credit score requirements on their websites.
Check with your bank or credit card company to see if they offer tools that allow you to check your credit score for free.
It’s rarely a good idea to accept the first loan offer you see. Instead, research and compare loan amounts, repayment terms and fees from multiple sources, including local banks, national banks, credit unions and online lenders. This process may take some time, but it can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
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Online lenders may be the easiest place to start as you can often see your rates through a soft credit check which won’t hurt your credit score. However, it may also be worth checking the offers in your current bank; if you have a good relationship with your bank or credit union, they may be more likely to overlook a sub-par loan.
Su_editorial-insight title = “Takeavai”] Compare loan options from multiple lenders to find the best consolidation loan for your needs. Go to each lender’s website to learn more about their products and eligibility requirements.[/su_editor-insight]
Personal debt consolidation loans are usually unsecured, meaning they require no collateral. If you have difficulty getting approved for an affordable unsecured consolidation loan, you may want to consider a secured loan.
Secured loans require some form of collateral such as a vehicle, home or other property. In the event of insolvency, the collateral must usually be of sufficient value to cover the loan amount. For this reason, getting approved for a secured loan is usually easier than an unsecured loan, and you may even qualify for a better interest rate.
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To increase your chances of getting approved and your chances of getting a lower rate, look for a secured personal loan.
If you’ve tried everything and can’t find a loan that will help you save money, it’s best to hold off and spend some time figuring out a better credit score.
Set yourself a goal of paying your monthly liabilities on time for several months. It’s also a good idea to focus on paying off your credit card balance and eliminating any non-essential monthly expenses like subscriptions and frequent meals out.
“Create a short-term plan that ensures you consistently allocate money to pay off your debt each month,” says Steve Sexton, CEO of the Sexton Advisory Group. “When you gain momentum in a month or two, ask to see your bank or credit union to review your efforts and apply for a loan
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