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Does consolidating credit cards affect credit score

(Again, the whole point is to transfer high-interest balances to a lower-interest loan.) On a similar note, folks with spotty credit should look long and hard at the terms they’re offered; interest rates can exceed 35 percent for applicants with bad credit.

Pro tip: Limit your search to lenders that use soft credit pulls.

Compare Balance Transfer Cards A personal loan is another common way to consolidate.

Once you’re approved, the lender deposits the money into your bank account, letting you pay off all your balances at once.

These types of loans come with fixed rates and fixed payments, along with a clear payback timeline.

Of course, the interest rate you get can be a deal breaker, so shopping around and comparing offers from multiple lenders is your best strategy.

These plans often require closing your credit card accounts, and if the debt management or credit counseling agency negotiates lower settlements on your behalf, those accounts may be reported to the credit bureaus as “not paid as agreed.” That can hurt your credit score.

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However, these plans are for people who are already struggling with severe debt, so paying off your debt this way is likely to have a positive long-term effect on your credit that outweighs any short-term damage.Compare Personal Loan Rates Homeowners have an additional consolidation option: taking out a home equity loan (HEL) or home equity line of credit (HELOC).Similar to a personal loan, a home equity loan translates to a chunk of money you can use to pay all your debts and with the proceeds of a new, fixed-rate loan.“Over time, your credit score could be helped because you’re eliminating a lot of debt that you’ve had trouble paying off, so it’s freeing up available credit and indicating that you’re becoming less and less burdened by the debt that you owe,” says Mc Clary.While your credit score may take a small hit during the loan application process, reducing your debt burden and lowering your credit utilization ratio can do wonders for your score in the long term — especially if you’re able to accelerate your progress by paying more than the minimum payment whenever possible. Here are four financing options to make crossing the debt-free finish line a little easier.If your total debt payments equal more than 45 percent of your total income, lenders may be hesitant to give you a HEL.That said, home equity loans can be a fantastic consolidation tool.Locking down the best rate typically means that your mortgage debt doesn’t exceed 85 percent of your home’s value.Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) also comes into play.It may be to the benefit of your credit score to leave open your credit card accounts, particularly the oldest ones.Another way your credit could suffer from debt consolidation is if you work with an agency to implement a debt management plan (DMP).

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