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5 Tips for Consolidating Credit Card Debt

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How to Consolidate Credit Card Debt

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[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

If you’re feeling weighed down by several credit card balances, credit card debt consolidation could provide some serious relief from your financial woes.

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    Here’s how credit card consolidation works: You first decide if you want to take out a new loan, open a new credit card, or enroll in a debt management plan (more on that later). Whichever option you choose, you will use it to pay off your multiple balances.

    Then you’ll only have one monthly payment: the loan, the credit card, or the debt management plan. Not only does that simplify your debt payments, but it can also help you save money by making you pay only one interest rate, rather than several.

    The best way to consolidate credit card debt — and whether consolidation will work for you at all — depends on your situation, so you might want to consult a non-profit credit counselor about your best options.

    The following five tips can help you figure out which credit card consolidation strategy suits you best.

    1. Check Your Credit Reports and Scores

    One of the first things you’ll want to do is check your credit reports for accuracy. An error on any of your credit reports could prevent you from qualifying for the debt consolidation help you need, so if you find an error, dispute it.

    You can get your free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. And,’s free credit report summary can help you understand what’s inside your credit report. It also provides you with a free credit score.

    Once you know where your credit stands, you’ll have most of the information you’ll need to help you decide what credit card debt consolidation plan will work best for you.

    2. Get to Know Your Options

    There are several safe and smart ways to consolidate credit card debt, so you’ll want to research them before deciding what’s best for you. Some strategies will be more affordable than others, and your credit card consolidation choices may be limited by your credit standing.

    Debt Consolidation Credit Cards

    If you have good credit, look for a credit card with a low-interest rate. You can transfer high-interest rate credit card balances to a single card with a lower APR and save money on monthly finance charges as you pay down your debt.

    For consumers with good credit, there are several credit card balance transfer, and low-interest rate credit card offers available. You may even qualify for a card with a 0% rate for 12 or 18 months.

    Personal Debt Consolidation Loans

    Personal loans charge simple interest (as opposed to credit cards, which often have variable rates and sometimes have different rates for a credit card balance transfer and purchases on the same card) and they typically have a loan repayment term of three to five years. By consolidating your credit card debt into a personal loan, you’ll have a definite plan for paying off your old card debt.

    You may be able to consolidate your debt with a personal loan from your bank or credit union. But, before applying, be sure to ask about the lender’s credit requirements. Keep in mind that you’ll need excellent credit to qualify for the lowest interest rate on a personal loan.

    Be sure to check out any potential online lenders with the Better Business Bureau before applying for a debt consolidation loan online. And you can verify if a lender is registered to do business in your state by contacting your state Attorney General’s office or your state’s Department of Banking or Financial Regulation.

    Beware of any lender that promises to offer you a loan regardless of your credit. It’s also a good idea to stay clear of websites and lenders that charge you big upfront fees for a debt consolidation loan.

    Debt Management

    If you’re making little to no progress repaying or transferring balances or consider yourself to have a severe debt problem, then you may want to reach out to a reputable credit counseling agency or debt consolidation company. They can talk to you about a  debt management plan and other credit resources that may be available to you as a consumer to help pay off your debt.

    With a debt management plan, you make one monthly payment to a credit counseling agency, and the agency pays each of your credit card lenders. A lender may lower the interest rate on your credit card balance when you participate in a debt management plan. Debt management plans typically last three to five years.

    3. Do the Math

    Credit card debt consolidation may save you money, but it’s often not free. Credit cards may have a balance transfer fee, so you’ll want to make sure that cost doesn’t outweigh the potential benefit of getting a lower interest rate on your debt.

    Promotional interest rates expire — like 12 months of a 0% APR on a balance transfer card — so make sure you can repay your debt within that time frame. Otherwise you may not be saving any money at all.

    The same goes for debt consolidation loans. Ask about any loan origination fees, and make sure the loan payment amount is something that easily fits into your budget. Failing to pay a personal loan as agreed will hurt your credit, so stay on top of your loan payments and work to build up a solid payment history.

    No matter what credit card consolidation options you’re considering, be sure to ask about any fees you may have to pay and factor those numbers into your decision.

    4. Don’t Forget About Your Credit Scores

    Credit card consolidation can affect your credit in many ways, depending on which strategy you choose. For example, if you’re consolidating multiple balances onto one credit card, you’ll want to avoid maxing out that card’s credit limit because that will hurt your credit utilization rate (how much debt you’re carrying compared to your total credit limit).

    You also may not want to close your old credit cards, as this can potentially ding your credit scores as well. By keeping your old credit cards open, you will not lower your credit utilization. Your credit utilization counts toward 30% of your credit score, and that’s why it’s important to keep that ratio low — under 30% and, optimally, less than 10% of your credit limits, overall and on individual cards.

    Keep in mind a debt management plan may have a negative impact on your credit during the course of the program because your creditors will close or suspend your accounts while in the program, and this can affect your credit utilization.

    Therefore, make sure you are ready to live credit card free for a while. (Not every creditor has to participate, so you may be able to keep a credit card out of the debt management plan if you need it to remain open for travel or business purposes, for example.)

    Once you complete your plan, some of your creditors may re-establish your credit based on your new, debt-free status and the on-time payment history you established through the course of the debt management plan.

    Other ways credit card consolidation can hurt your credit include applying for a new line of credit which will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, adding a new credit account that can lower the average age of your credit history, and getting a new personal loan. All of these things will show that you have a high level of outstanding debt (your scores should improve as your remaining balance shrinks from where it started).

    There are credit score perks, too. Adding a personal loan to your credit history can improve your mix of accounts (it’s good to have a combination of installment and revolving credit, like credit cards).

    And if you make your credit card or loan payments as agreed, you’ll establish a positive payment history, which affects your credit scores more than anything else. (Payment history accounts for 35% of traditional credit scoring models.)

    5. Commit to the Plan

    Transferring credit card balances, paying off credit cards with a personal loan, or enrolling in a debt management plan are only the beginning steps of credit card debt consolidation.

    For it to truly help you get out of debt, you have to stick to the plan, whether that’s paying off your credit card balance within a 12-month promotional financing period or making sure you make payments as agreed for the entire five-year loan term.

    Throughout the process, you can keep tabs on how your credit card consolidation plan is affecting your credit by reviewing your free annual credit reports and viewing your free credit score on

    Lucy Lazarony contributed to this article.

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      • Gerri Detweiler

        It can. However, credit counseling doesn’t usually affect credit scores the way most people think. Credit scoring models generally don’t take into account the fact that an account is being paid through a Debt Management Plan.

        However, accounts that are accepted into a credit counseling agency’s debt management program will be closed. and will be updated on your credit report to show that the account was closed. Closing active credit accounts can have a negative impact on your score. More about that here:

        Does Closing Your Credit Card Account Affect Your Credit Score?

        Over time, paying off your debt this way can have a positive impact on your credit since you’ll be largely debt-free in 3-5 years. So if you find yourself in a situation where it makes sense to get help with your debt, don’t hesitate to get it.

      • Heather

        I have $15,000 in high interest credit card debt. I have good credit and a credit score over 700. Would it be better to get a personal loan from my credit union or transfer the balances onto 0% interest credit card(s)? What factors should I consider for each? Which source would affect my credit score more?

        • Credit Experts

          Heather —
          It’s hard to know the answer because it’s impossible to know your exact situation. A credit score factors in both non-revolving (car loans or mortgages, for example) and revolving (usually credit cards) credit. Diversity of credit has an effect, as do on-time payments and the amount of credit you access versus your credit limit (under 10% is best of all, but under 30% is considered acceptable).

          One idea might be to split the difference and do both. You’ll want to use less than 30% of your credit card limit (thus you’d need a limit of $50,000 on a balance-transfer card to do what you’re considering without dinging your score).

          You can read more about debt payoff strategies and credit scores here:
          5 Ways To Get Out of Debt: Which Will Work for You?
          How to Build Credit the Smart Way
          Making Sense of Your Credit Score

      • Gerri Detweiler

        There is no magic ratio that is “good” but generally if your balances on any of your cards start creeping above 20 – 25% of your available credit, you may see an impact on your scores. Have you checked your credit scores to see how this factor is impacting your credit? Here’s how to check and monitor your credit score for free. As for the new account, it may have an impact on your score but usually for most people that levels out once the bills are paid on time for a few months. If it will save you a good chunk of money it may be worth it!

      • Deedilly

        Trying to get a little bit of business advice, hope someone can help. We are struggling to make it through our slow months right now. We have about $100,000 in business debt currently active and all in good standing, we have never made a late payment. But we are getting buried with making sure we are paying all of these bills on time while still being able to order products to keep the business fully functional. We are scared we are heading towards bankruptcy or even closure. Would a debt consolidation company be able to help us? Or does it seem we are too far gone? I guess I was hoping with a debt consolidation company we could lower our monthly burden, stretching out our payment to 48-60 months.

        • Michael Bovee

          It is possible to consolidate business accounts, though most policies banks have in this area favor consumer debts.

          How many of the business accounts were personally guaranteed?
          Who are the lenders?

      • Going Crazy

        I have found myself in a debt loop. I got a loan to payoff my credit card debt and then something happened with our house and I racked it back up. So now I’m in this constant loop of trying to get it all paid off but have to use my credit cards because I have used my whole paycheck to pay my bills. I tried doing another little loan but it didn’t help much and now I have that debt too. Where can I go to get a personal loan that will give me the amount I need without telling me I have too much credit card debt when thats the purpose of the loan!

      • Credit Experts

        Have you considered taking out a personal loan and paying off your creditors with that? This tool from can help you explore the option and search for a lender: Personal Loans

      • Gerri Detweiler

        What kind of loans are you talking about? If they are federal student loans, you may be able to get them forgiven due to your disability. If they are consumer debts, you may want to look into bankruptcy. You can likely file by yourself without your husband.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        We’re so sorry to hear what you’ve been through. I will email you with some additional suggestions.

      • Going Crazy

        We have a budget and unfortunately have nothing of value to sell. I have to have a reliable vehicle to go to work and to take the kids to school. Can’t stand the mall, thank goodness!!! We make our own coffee. We save for months to have pizza or a family outing. We are very modest so we only have needs, wants went away when we had my kids. I am looking for a part time job but I want to have one day off a week to spend with my kids and thats apparently a problem for some employers. I’m not giving up and I will win this I just needed to see if anyone had an idea I haven’t already looked into. Thank you!

        • Credit Experts

          Dear Going Crazy —
          Trying to cut the “fat” out of an already lean budget can be almost impossible. Sometimes the solution really is additional income, and it sounds as if you’ve reached that conclusion for yourself. Trimming a budget is much easier when the budget hasn’t already been cut to the bone. Good luck, and we admire your determination.

      • Credit Experts

        Have you considered a debt management plan? It might be your best hope of paying off a debt that large on your income. You can find more information here:
        Is a Debt Management Plan Right for You?

      • Jd086

        Can taking out a personal loan to pay off a credit card hurt my credit score?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Consolidating the debt probably won’t hurt your credit scores over the long run, but there could be a short-term impact from the new loan with a balance. So I can’t guarantee that your scores won’t dip when you do this. If your scores are strong enough to get the lease now you may want to go ahead and do that. If not you may be taking something of a chance – it could go either way. Will Debt Consolidation Help or Hurt Your Credit?

        • Gerri Detweiler


          I doubt that the 10% utilization is creating much of a problem, but since you asked for a suggestion I was trying to provide something you could try. I’m sorry if it frustrated you even further.

          It’s really hard for me to diagnose someone’s credit when I just know a few facts. There are so many different factors that go into the score, and they change every single time the score is calculated that it’s hard to say exactly what’s causing the issue.

      • Gerri Detweiler


        I don’t quite understand your situation but it sounds like you owe about $10,700 in high interest credit card debt. Is that right? If you can get into a debt management plan to pay off all that debt at a lower interest rate, and the monthly payment on the DMP is affordable, I would say go for that and forget about this 22% interest loan which is very expensive.

      • Credit Experts

        You need to work to get credit card utilization down below 30% (below 10% would be even better). But high utilization alone should not have brought your score down quite so low. Here’s how to get your free credit score along with a personalized plan for improving it. Because the scores come from information in your credit reports, you should also check those for errors and dispute any information that is inaccurate. Here’s how to get your free annual credit reports.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        Paying off debt in collections won’t help your credit scores in the short term. I would suggest you start by reading these articles and then if you still have specific questions you can post them there. The 7 Biggest Questions About Debt Collections & Your Credit and Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

      • Gerri Detweiler

        If you can get a personal loan to consolidate that debt, and if it is reported to the credit bureaus as an installment loan (not revolving), then you may see your credit scores go up. We wrote more about that here: Will Debt Consolidation Help or Hurt Your Credit?

      • Joshua

        Hi Steven, so I have 3 open accounts with 0 balance and 2 closed accounts. I don’t know why they still open but are you saying that it is actually a good thing to have them there?

        • cait

          Yes it is a good thing to have them open and not use them because your debt to credit availability is there. If you leave those accounts open and do not use them or seldomly use them then quickly pay it off it will only increse your credit. To my understanding that is.

          • jreppoh

            Make sure and use those open cards at least one time a year on something small. Then pay it in full or they may close the card. I just had to do that so spent about 25 dollars and put the card away.

      • Credit Experts

        Steven —
        Be sure that you are dealing with a reputable company. And yes, consolidation can hurt your credit. On the other hand, it can get you out of debt and lower your interest rates. You can read more here:
        Will Debt Consolidation Help or Hurt Your Credit?
        How to Rebuild Credit

      • Anna

        I have about $3200 on one credit card with an APR of 22% and I make monthly payments of $100. Apparently there is no progress in my payments though because I also get charged $80 for interest and credit defense monthly as well. Therefore after everything I basically am left with $20 in total. Whatever I put in, 80% of it comes right out.
        Now, my husband took out a personal loan of $5000 with APR of 36% for our wedding. I was not working at the time and his credit score wasnt all that great so we were desperate. He pays $200 a month and it is a 5 year term which means we will have paid a total of $12000.
        We both have income now and my credit score is pretty fair and when I tried to consolidate the debt above a few months ago I got denied. Reasoning was they wanted to see more effort on our end, more payments put in. Well how do we show progress if it all goes to interest and doesnt make a dent at all? What do you suggest us do? Should I try again?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Can you be more specific about your attempt to consolidate? Who turned you down? Did they give you your credit score and the reason for decline? Or are you saying your current lender didn’t want to consolidate?

      • Bill

        If I’m in a debt management plan, can I still keep one credit card alive, in case I need it for airfare or other situations that require a credit card?

        • Credit Experts

          Ask a financial counselor with the service you use.

      • Anna

        Gerri Detweiler, i tried reposting to you, but can you please answer this –

        I applied at my bank and at a credit union and both declined me. My credit score was provided with a fair rating but then the reason was that the amount of debt between us was too high, roughly 10k. Therefore they wanted to see more effort put in first. We were told to reapply again in a few months time when we had that under control. My payments were always on time and so I dont know how I am suppose to show effort if that amount of debt is always going to be the same due to interest. Hope that made sense.

        • Gerri Detweiler


          Apologies for the delayed reply. We’ve received a lot of questions in the past few days!

          It sounds like you are in a Catch-22 – you can’t pay down your debt without consolidating, and you can’t consolidate until you pay down your debt. That makes me think that you could be a good candidate for credit counseling. A credit counseling agency does not care about your credit scores. Your interest rates and payments will likely be reduced, and you will have a plan for paying back your debt in a reasonable period of time. We talked about that more in this article: Does Credit Counseling Work?

      • Helpme77

        I have $50,000 in credit card debt due to the economy and job loss over the last few years. Currently paying a total of $1600, about $350 over the minimum. Never been late, credit scores between 730 and 760. We’re now self employed and hard to show real income. Suggestions? The 19% to 29% is a killer.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Have you thought about contacting a credit counseling agency? It sounds like you could be an ideal candidate. This article may help: Does Credit Counseling Work?

          • Helpme77

            Doesn’t your credit report get dinged when signing up with a credit counseling agency?

            • Gerri Detweiler

              Not as much as most people think. You do close your accounts, but it’s not as bad as bankruptcy which most people seem to think it is. (Again, I am talking about credit counseling not debt settlement.)

              • Helpme77

                My accounts are anywhere from 5 to 30 yrs old. Hate to close any since I know that will impact the credit scores. We have over $750k in IRA’s, can we use those as collateral against a personal loan?

              • Gerri Detweiler

                IRAs cannot be used as collateral for a personal loan unfortunately. This is a tough one. Have you tried talking with a local credit union or community bank? They may be able to take your retirement assets into account even if they can’t be used as collateral.

      • tyler

        I only have about 834 dollars in credit card debt but I also have a few bills past due, would it be smart for me to consolidate my debt.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          If you are currently past due it will likely be difficult to qualify for a consolidation loan at a decent interest rate. I doubt a credit counseling agency will help either though they may be able to help you review your budget to get some ideas for ways to tackle that debt (and the consultation should be free or very low cost).

      • Bill C.

        I have approximate $15,000 in high interest credit card debt and just spinning my wheels making minimum monthly payments. My credit is borderline fair/good. Would credit counseling help me pay this off quicker?? I just recently leased a brand new car for 3 years and when the time comes to trade it in or finance it and keep it I want my credit to be okay to do so. What do you recommend for me??

        • Credit Experts

          Bill —
          Assuming you are consistently paying on time (the No. 1 thing you can do to help your credit), take a look at your debt-to-available credit ratio. You want to get that to under 30% (under 10% is even better). Your credit mix is also a factor. If you have the income to make more than minimum payments, though, that is the best way to make an impact. You can read more here:
          Will Debt Consolidation Help or Hurt Your Credit?
          How to Improve Your Credit Score Without Debt

      • Jillian

        What if I am a stay at home mom with previous credit card debt? Will I be able to use our household income to prove we can pay but keep my husband’s credit out of the picture?

      • marcopolo

        I was laid off for 2 years 5 years ago. We walked away from our house 3-1/2 years because we couldn’t afford to live in it. I’ve had steady employment for the past 3 years. But we’ve built up 45,000 in credit card debt. My credit score is currently 625. I have no problem paying pack the full amount I owe to the credit card companies but I would like to consolidate them. What can I do? My parents transferred a house they owned into my name and it’s paid off. Can I use that as collateral?

        • Credit Experts

          By collateral, do you mean securing the loan with the equity in the home? If you go that route, you would be turning unsecured debt into a debt secured by a home, putting the home at risk if you are unable to repay. You may also want to explore talking with a credit counselor about your options for a repayment plan.

      • jenna

        how do i get my credit score higher?

        • Credit Experts

          The best way is to be sure you are paying all your bills on time. And, if you have credit cards, try to keep your balance to less than 30% of your credit limit (less than 10% is even better). We suggest checking your credit score monthly (you can get two scores every 30 days from, along with personalized advice for improving your credit. Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.

      • Softball42

        I have two credit cards, one from a credit union with just over 10% interest and one from Chase with 9.99% interest. I just asked the credit union to increase my credit line to $20k so I can consolidate the two, as I thought it’d be best to keep my credit union account. I have a credit card through Wells Fargo that has an $18k limit, but it’s zero’d out and I don’t use it. Will this hurt my credit score? It’s in the mid-700’s.

        • Credit Experts

          It might hurt your score. About 30% of your score is based on the amount of your available credit you use. If, for example, you have a credit line of $20,000 and you owe $10,000, you are using 50% of your available credit — and that will hurt your score. You want that percentage to be below 30 (and below 10% is even better). Your best bet may be to put a small, recurring charge on the Wells Fargo card and automate payment. That way, you will be using a tiny percentage of that credit line (and that is potentially helpful, so long as you pay on time). For more, see
          Does Closing Your Credit Card Account Affect Your Credit Score?.

      • Michelle

        I have about $10-11,000 in credit card debt. I am thinking about consolidating, however, after doing some research I’m not sure I want to go that route. I have a good creadit score and I do not want to hurt my credit score by having to close accounts, etc. However, I feel like I can’t make any progress with my credit cards due to interest, and I’m trying to avoid opening anymore credit cards that would have low or no interest. I’ve thought about taking out a bank loan to pay my credit cards off. Does this seem like it would be the best option for me? Do you suggest any other options?

        • Credit Experts

          That is for you to decide. You do have to weigh the certainty that your credit score would take a hit (and some time to rebuild) against the advantage of a program that will allow you to make progress and pay off your debts. A bank loan is another option. You could check on the interest rate . . . but you should do this knowing you will not run up credit card balances again. Otherwise, you end up in an even worse situation than you are in now.

      • Autumn Jefferson

        If I consolidate my debt am I still eligble for student loans?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          I don’t see why not…?

      • Starfire Apache

        Yes it does! I tried this about 20 yrs. ago! I consolidated my debts into one amount! I also had my interest rates reduced by the loan company. I discovered that any money that was shaved off my debt in any way whether by lower interest rates or by taking settlements were considered charge-offs and demolished your credit rating. It took me over 30 yrs. to regain any credit worthiness at all!

        • Nichole Hollingworth

          Something doesn’t sound right. If they lowered or settled your balances – then that makes sense – and still not sure if something should be charged off if the creditor agreed to accept a lower amount. And, if the creditors agreed to lower interest rates – not sure why that would be considered a charge off. Debt consolidation 20 years ago is not done the same way as it is now, there is many new regulations in place to protect you.

      • Adam

        hello. I have 5 Credit cards with an overall debt of 3800. I feel overwhelmed trying to keep track of all my cards and car insurance and living expenses. Should I take a loan out for 4000 and pay off my cc and make 1 easy payment/

      • Mack

        I just purchased a home (284K debt) and have two small CC’s (under 2K each) that I put at a high utilization after I purchased the home. Also, I took out a $5,500 loan from my credit union to help with some home improvement. I’ve been making my payments on time and paying more than the interest rates on the CC’s. Aside from this debt, I have a car loan through my credit union that I have been paying on time for over a year and student loans.

        With that being said, I went to apply for a personal loan to be added to my 5,500 loan for $3,500 to pay off the CC debt and eliminate the high interest rate payments (saving me over $100 a month), but was declined due to increase of debt. So I guess my question is, how is someone to pay off other debts if credit unions are judging your debt off a mortgage payment? My debt to income has not changed since the original loan and I have a “fair” credit score according to a credit simulator. I just purchased a home which wiped out my savings, so what is my best option here?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          The credit union is probably taking all your debt into consideration, not just the mortgage. And with a personal loan, new mortgage, credit cards, car loan and student loan, it sounds like you have quite a few bills you’re handling. It’s understandable you want to get your interest rates down, though, and it’s good you’re trying to be proactive about the process. Just because one lender turned you down doesn’t mean they all will. But you do want to be careful about applying for loans with multiple lenders as the inquiries can impact your scores. You might want to try one of the other options mentioned in the article before you give up. If you get turned down by multiple lenders, though, then you may want to at least talk with a credit counselor to see if they have suggestions.

      • Charlotte

        I have 5 CC’s, combined debt of $13,000. The utilization of these CC’s are over 30%. My overall utilization is around 45%. One card is at 70% because it was used for medical bills ($5000). This has been on deferred interest for the past 6 months and this offer is due to expire in August, which will give me a lot of extra interest charges. I need to do something to move the $5k off the credit card and am wondering how a debt consolidation loan would impact my score. I can’t balance transfer anything. Would it be better to just put $5000 on a loan? The other problem I have is that I also need to get a car loan ($6k) in August. I’m concerned about too many things hitting my report but I don’t really have a choice. Recently, one of my CC companies reduced my CL but after a conversation, they reinstated it. I’m anxious to clean up my report. My score is in low 700s. What should I do?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          A personal loan may be a smart move for that debt if you can qualify for a decent interest rate. (No guarantee of course, but it might actually help.) We wrote about that option here: Will Debt Consolidation Help or Hurt Your Credit?

      • Jen Lyons

        It may not make sense but that is the way it’s factored into your credit score, which is the end result here. Cutting up the card to avoid using it may help if it’s a temptation. The scores are comprised of debt to income ratio, but also credit worthiness and longevity, among many other things. If you have $100k in open to buy credit, and only $5k in debt, that helps your score. Also, it shows that lenders have extended this amount of credit to you. i.e. Creditworthiness. Additionally, your score factors in length of credit. They want to see how long you’ve kept that credit, expecting a good relationship with the lender and you’ve shown responsibility. Old schoolers used to close the accts and be done with it. This is the new way of the credit score. It is an education in itself.

        • jreppoh

          Yes you are so right, I was one of them. I at the time thought I knew everything. Wish we had the new credit card laws then. I had to rebuild and never filed BK. I’m back over 700. Yea!

      • Emma

        Hi, my name is Emma, I’m in need of desperate help. I have about 30K in CC debts its an accumulation of 10 years plus, i was wondering if i can find a good cc consolidation to help me pay my debt in one bill. Thanks, appreciate it.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Emma – It sounds like credit counseling would be a good next step for you. They may be able to help you reduce your interest rates and monthly payment, and get you into a single monthly payment. These articles may help: Does Credit Counseling Work? and How to Pick a Good Counseling Agency

      • Meli

        I have been approved for a 30K Loan which would clear all my credit card debt…would that give me a better credit score if had a 30K loan and no CC debt (Giving me 45k in available credit?) Or should I continue to pay off my credit cards as is….(I’m paying minimum on 3 until I pay the fourth one off and then higher payments towards the next card with minimum on the remaining two and so on)

        • Credit Experts

          Meli —
          It might help if it reduces your interest rate, has affordable payments AND if you have eliminated the problem that resulted in the credit card debt. The two biggest things that will help are paying on time and keeping balances low relative to credit limits.

      • Pattyanne

        I recently took out a debt consolidation loan to pay off my credit cards and have just the one bill – however, the loan didn’t quite cover my credit cards… I also opened two new balance transfer 0% credit cards to help cut the interest of the leftover credit card debt… I still don’t quite have enough to wipe it all into 3 bills – plus, I have a previous personal loan I have 2 more years of paying… what would be the best way to distribute these funds, and balance transfers… so that I’m cutting my interest payments, upping my cashflow so that I’m not
        living on credit cards for my groceries – and paying off all my debt off within the 3 year lifespan of the newest loan… should I include the previous loan and whatever credit cards that can be covered by these
        funds and transfers or should I leave out the first loan and just go ahead and pay/transfer all credit cards – making it two loans and two balance transfer credit cards?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          It’s really hard for me to say without knowing all the details. It sounds like you’re still juggling and struggling with all these debts and that your cash flow is still very tight.

          Have you considered at least talking with a credit counseling agency so they can go over your budget with you and offer you some suggestions? Many offer free budgeting counseling and you don’t have to enroll in a DMP unless it offered you significant benefits. Are you open to that idea?

      • Ryan

        Hi, I have 3 cc with a total balance of $7400. I want to consolodate these 3 into 1 card and have 1 payment. I can pay this off in 4-5 months. What are the steps to get this consolidated?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Have you considered a personal loan to consolidate these? That might be a good option for you…You’ll find more information about
          debt consolidation loans here.

      • nancy

        can you recommend a reputable credit counseling agency in area 94945

      • Gilbert

        I was denied a consolidation loan because my debt-to-income ratio is too high. But that is why I want the loan to begin with–to pay off the credit cards and reduce my monthly expenses. What can be done in this situation?

        • Credit Experts

          Gilbert —
          It can feel like a Catch-22, can’t it? We wrote about a similar scenario here: Can You Consolidate Your Debt With Bad Credit?. The best option might be a debt management plan, which is described in the post.

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