Using the same scoring models, scores between 580 and 739 are generally considered to be in the fair to good range. You’ll likely have a better chance of securing a debt-consolidation loan with good terms in this range. Scores of 800 and above are generally considered “excellent” and put you in a better position when applying for a debt-consolidation loan than if your scores were lower.
Failing to protect yourself from fraud. Credit card companies already take measures to reduce fraud, and federal law protects consumers from some effects of credit fraud. However, it's important for you to take steps to protect yourself as well. Review your credit statements every month and monitor your credit report. Take care of cards by carrying only the ones you need in your wallet. Shred statements and receipts that have your account number on them, as well as any credit offers you receive in the mail.
The goal is to negotiate a payment with your creditors that is lower than your full outstanding balance. Paying less than you originally owed may seem like a great deal—until you consider the consequences to your credit, which could be substantial. Additionally, the forgiven debt may be reported as income to the IRS, which means you may have to pay taxes on it.
While all of that can sound pretty attractive to an individual in debt to multiple different creditors, that doesn’t mean that debt consolidation loans are a perfect solution for everyone. Still, debt consolidation loans have been extremely helpful for a lot of people who have found themselves, often through no fault of their own, in extraordinarily high levels of debt.
Each time you open your credit report, you should review it closely for errors. In many cases, these errors can be significant. As many as 25% of all credit reports contain errors serious enough to cause denial on a credit application. Responsibly managing your credit will help you achieve a better credit score, but truly fixing bad credit requires that you to focus on the source of the problem.
Second, credit card debt is considered variable interest debt, which means the interest rate can change. For example, if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, the interest rate on your credit card debt can increase. That means you may pay more money each month to repay your credit card debt. In contrast, a personal loan is a fixed interest loan, so you pay the same, fixed amount each month regardless of changes in interest rates, which is more predictable.
Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs four websites and a YouTube channel on beating debt, making more money and making your money work for you. A veteran of the Marine Corps, he now makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business.