Debt Consolidation Guide

Is debt consolidation right for you?

Whether you're drowning in credit card debt or scrambling to pay student loans, debt consolidation can help get your finances back on track. By combining several debts into one, you may be able to reduce monthly payments, pay less in interest and pay your debt off faster.

But debt consolidation isn't for everyone. This guide will help you understand which types of debt can benefit most from debt consolidation and which solution might be right for you. You'll also learn how debt consolidation can impact your credit score.

Choose an article to get started, or try our Debt Consolidation Calculator to see how much you could save.

Consolidate debt the right way

There's no one-size fits-all solution to debt consolidation. What works for someone else might not be the best choice for you. That's why it's important to understand your options and make an informed decision based on your unique financial situation.

If you have credit card debt, medical debt or other types of unsecured debt, your debt consolidation options include personal loans, balance transfer credit cards and home equity loans. If you have student loan debt, you may be able to consolidate with a special consolidation loan specifically designed for student loans.

This section of our Debt Consolidation Guide will help you understand and compare different debt consolidation options and see which one is right for you.

Choose the best option for you

If you know debt consolidation is right for you, it's important to shop around and compare different solutions. Whether you want to use a personal loan, home equity loan or balance transfer credit card, consolidating debt is most effective when you find a great deal with a low interest rate.

In this section of our Debt Consolidation Guide, you can compare the best balance transfer credit cards, find the best home equity lenders for debt consolidation, and learn the 7 things you need to know if you're ready to consolidate your student loans.

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Top debt consolidation options

Consolidate debt with a credit card or personal loan

If you're not a homeowner or don't have equity in your home, you can still consolidate your debt. Learn more about debt consolidation using a balance transfer credit card or personal loan:

How to use home equity for debt consolidation

Debt consolidation is the #1 reason people take out a home equity loan. But is a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) right for you? Find out:

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I want to consolidate:

Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt can be consolidated using a personal loan, a 0% APR balance transfer credit card or a home equity loan. The key to consolidating credit card debt is finding an interest rate that's lower than what you're currently paying. Personal and home equity loans tend to have much lower rates than the typical credit card. If you do choose a 0% balance transfer card, make sure you understand exactly how long the interest rate will stay at 0%.
Student Loan Debt
If you have multiple student loans, consolidating will give you the convenience of a single monthly payment. Some lenders may offer consolidation loans at a lower interest rate than your current loans. Refinancing with a different lender can also help you consolidate and lock in a lower interest rate. Keep in mind that if you consolidate or refinance, the terms of your student loan may reset, which could result in an increased overall cost over the life of the loan. To learn more, see our student loan consolidation FAQs.
Medical Debt
If you have multiple medical debts, consolidating can help you stay current by giving you one convenient monthly payment. If your medical provider doesn't offer a payment plan, or if the monthly payments are too high, a personal loan could be a good option. Personal loans offer lower interest rates than credit cards and could help you avoid bankruptcy due to high medical bills. You could also use a 0% APR credit card if you can pay off your medical debt before the interest rate increases.