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Business News/ Money / How to consolidate credit card debt with a personal loan? Here are 5 important steps to follow
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How to consolidate credit card debt with a personal loan? Here are 5 important steps to follow

Using a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt can be a strategic approach to debt management and could lead to potential savings.

Settling credit card debt with a loan.Premium
Settling credit card debt with a loan.

Combining your credit card debt into a personal loan is a tactic that can streamline your payments and potentially lower your interest expenses. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how it works:

Review your credit score and credit report

Understanding your credit score is crucial for gauging your eligibility for a personal loan and the interest rates available to you. Aim for a score exceeding 700 for the best terms. Additionally, check your credit report for any inaccuracies that might negatively impact your score.

Your payment history carries the most weight in determining your credit score. Aim to pay your credit card bills and loans on time and in full whenever feasible. Additionally, maintain a low credit utilisation ratio, which compares the amount of credit you’re using to your total credit limit; keeping this ratio below 30% can positively impact your score. Avoid applying for too much credit simultaneously, as each new application triggers a hard inquiry on your credit report, leading to a temporary score decrease. Space out your credit applications accordingly. Lastly, regularly review your credit report for any inaccuracies and dispute them promptly to prevent potential score drops.

Assess your borrowing requirements

Determine the loan amount necessary by calculating your total credit card debt. Borrow only what is essential to prevent further debt accumulation. Collect your credit card statements, specifically the most recent ones for all the cards you plan to settle. Locate the "statement balance" or "current balance" on each statement, representing the total amount due on that card. Calculate your total credit card debt by summing up the current balances from all your credit card statements.

Shop around and compare different personal loan options

Search for lenders that provide attractive interest rates and terms compatible with your financial plan. Take into account details such as origination fees, prepayment penalties, and the duration of the loan. Numerous online lenders provide competitive rates and a simplified application process. Credit unions typically offer lower interest rates and fees than conventional banks. Explore personal loan options from your current bank or other major banks.

Use the funds from the loan to settle your credit card balances

Generally, personal loans come with lower interest rates compared to credit cards. Settling your credit card debt using the loan can lead to long-term savings on interest charges. Consolidating multiple credit card bills into one monthly payment for the personal loan streamlines your debt management and lowers the chance of missing payments. Clearing your credit cards entirely enhances your credit utilisation ratio, a key element in determining your credit score.

Ensure you make regular and timely payments towards your loan

Making payments on time is crucial for establishing a strong credit score. It demonstrates to lenders that you are a trustworthy borrower, contributing to a positive credit history. Late payments can substantially lower your score, making it essential to avoid them. In addition to boosting your credit score, making payments on time assists you in effectively handling your debt and steering clear of additional interest expenses. It’s a win-win situation for your financial health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Explain credit card debt consolidation.

Credit card debt consolidation means obtaining a personal loan to settle your current credit card debts. This streamlines your payments into a single monthly installment, typically with a lower interest rate compared to what your credit cards charge.

Q. Does credit card debt consolidation suit everyone’s needs?

Consolidation can be beneficial for those who are financially disciplined and eligible for favorable interest rates. However, it may not be the optimal choice for individuals who find it challenging to control their credit card expenditures.

Utilise debt consolidation as a strategic tool, assessing its advantages and disadvantages thoughtfully, and seek guidance from a financial advisor if necessary before deciding on the same.

Q. What information should you have before applying for credit card debt?

Don’t rely solely on minimum payments; aim to clear your debt completely. Account for future interest by considering any waiting period before loan disbursement and adding an estimated interest buffer to your loan amount. Refrain from unnecessary borrowing; stick to the amount necessary to settle your current debt to avoid increasing your financial obligations.

Q. What minimum credit score is required for a personal loan?

Typically, you’ll require a strong credit score (usually above 670) to be eligible for a personal loan with the most attractive interest rates.

Q. What effect will taking out a personal loan have on my credit score?

Seeking a loan may lead to a temporary decrease in your score, but making timely payments can notably enhance your credit score over time. When you apply for a loan, lenders conduct a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can result in a minor decrease in your credit score, usually by a few points. This dip is temporary and often recovers within a few months. However, the significant benefit comes from making timely repayments. Here's how it works.

 

 

 

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Published: 23 Apr 2024, 11:14 AM IST
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