Debt consolidation loans enable you to manage your most pressing debts quickly and efficiently. Lendstart reviews reputable debt consolidation lenders and allows you to quickly see the loans they provide along with the main benefits to each.
What to consider when choosing a debt consolidation service?
There are several things you should look for before signing up with a debt consolidation service.
Most debt consolidation companies will ask for a partial upfront payment. Upfront payments vary widely between debt consolidation companies. If the upfront payment is unaffordable for you, then it’s a non-starter.
Some debt consolidation companies don’t have any upfront charges at all. Check for upfront payment requirements while comparing services.
Certified debt specialists
Expertise is important when it comes to solving your debt problems. Certified debt specialists do all the heavy lifting for finding you the right solution. The best debt consolidation companies will offer a free consultation with certified debt specialists.
Online reviews include professional reviews such as those you’ll find on Lendstart. But you can also check for business reviews on platforms like the Better Business Bureau. Both resources will give you insight into how customers feel about the pros and cons of each company.
Like all loans, debt consolidation loans come with interest charges. Interest rates will vary between providers, while also considering your personal credit history.
Compare interest rates between different debt consolidation lenders before you sign up.
Longer loan terms will result in lower individual payments. But you might end up paying more in the end if you take a longer-term loan. Look into the loan terms each debt consolidation company offers. Then, choose the company with the most manageable loan terms.
Fees and penalties
Lending and debt consolidation products may carry different fees and penalties. Consider the fees that each company charges for loan applications and more.
Best debt consolidation loan rates in 2021
Accredited DR specializes in helping borrowers with multiple high-interest debts. Instead of just giving you a loan, they will also negotiate with your debtors on your behalf. If your debtors are hassling and you’re worried about bankruptcy, Accredited DR will help you find a better solution. They know that debt consolidation will lower your credit score, so they’ll work with you to find the best solution during consultations.
If you value high-quality professional help and strong customer support, Century is the best debt consolidation lender. They’re one of the largest debt consolidation companies and they’ve helped their 250,000+ customers with over $1.3 billion in debt. Part of their 3-step program includes a free assessment with a certified specialist. They won’t even charge you any money unless they can resolve your debt.
After a free phone consultation with Freedom DR that includes a complete debt evaluation with a debt expert, borrowers can decide whether to enter into a program that helps with outstanding debts for less than the total amount owed. For those who owe debts that are in collections or who want to eliminate credit card debt and close accounts, this type of debt elimination plan offers a single point of contact with a company that works with all creditors.
ClearOne offers a variety of debt consolidation solutions including credit counseling, debt consolidation loans, and counseling about bankruptcy options. There are no upfront fees, and the company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They offer a personalized debt plan including potential savings to help borrowers decide the right course of action.
Debtmerica is best at understanding the financial stress their clients are under. They specialize in alternative solutions and making the process as easy as possible. That’s why they offer a free consultation, a money-back guarantee, no upfront fees, and affordable monthly payment plans. Even if you don’t have the minimum $10,000 debt to be eligible for their services, their specialists will help guide you through other alternatives like credit counseling.
Things to be aware of when it comes to debt consolidation
Before you start reaching out to debt consolidation companies, there are a few things you should know.
Debt Consolidation Loans Are not Always the Best Option
Good debt consolidation companies will tell you the same thing. That’s why an initial free consultation is standard practice in the industry.
Are you wondering why each debt consolidation company has a “minimum debt” that you need for them to work with you? That’s because comprehensive debt consolidation services are labor-intensive and will cost you. Then, your credit score will also take a small hit during the debt consolidation process.
If you have a lot of high-interest debts you are struggling with, the fees charged by debt consolidation companies are more than worth it. But sometimes they may direct you to other alternatives that they deem are more appropriate for you.
Debt Consolidation Isn’t Your Silver Bullet
Debt consolidation can save you money and keep you financially afloat. But once you’ve consolidated your debt, you need to exercise restraint and avoid using credit cards or borrowing with high interest. Without an actionable long-term plan, debt consolidation will only give you temporary relief.
Not All Debts Should Lead to Debt Consolidation
Some debts, like credit card debt, can be well-remedied by debt consolidation loans. But sometimes, it’s better to work directly with your debtors. For example, medical debts are often eligible for reduction or elimination, which you can handle faster and for less money on your own.
If you owe medical debts or want a loan to pay the IRS, you have simpler, more affordable options. The IRS allows you to make low-interest payment plans based on your income and current financial situation.
Try to investigate your options for affordably paying these expenses and negotiating before resorting to debt consolidation.
Reputation Is Important
Unfortunately, like other financial service sectors, debt consolidation attracts a lot of scammers.
Suffering from debt is stressful, but you can’t allow that to lead you to rash decisions. It’s crucial to take the time to compare debt consolidation companies and review them. Only work with the companies with histories of helping customers shake off their debt.
Watch out for debt consolidation companies that make huge promises. Other red flags include:
Total upfront fees
High-pressure and aggressive sales tactics
A lack of transparency regarding fees
No presence online and no real contact information
The benefits of a debt consolidation loan
A debt consolidation loan enables you to immediately pay off your debts. If you have serious credit card debt, this is especially important. But having multiple high-interest debts of any time means time is of the essence.
You don’t need to wait forever and allow your debts to grow and your credit score to continue its freefall. Debt consolidation loans allow you to stop those problems in their tracks.
Simplify Your Financial Situation
Debt consolidation loans simultaneously combine all your pesky little debts into one more easily defined debt.
You have one loan, one interest rate, and one repayment schedule. That means you don’t need to keep track of several payment due dates, interest rates, and so forth. Handling multiple debts requires you to expend mental energy coming up with a sensible strategy to repay. Debt consolidation gives you fewer opportunities to miss your payment.
Lower Interest Rate
Now that you have one simple loan, you should also save money with a lower interest rate. Credit card interest is infamously high, normally averaging around 19.99%. By paying that off with a debt consolidation loan, you can just worry about one loan that costs you less to repay.
Your debt consolidation loan’s interest rate will vary based on your lender, your credit score, and other factors. But it will typically end up costing you a lot less than your credit card payments are costing you.
Save Your Credit Score
Debt consolidation services will hurt your credit score a little bit. But if they save you from growing personal debts and you can repay the loan, the effect on your credit score will be a net positive.
Successfully paying loans back on time will boost your credit score. Because debt consolidation loans make it easier to repay on time, they are a great resource for saving your credit score.
FAQ - debt consolidation comparison
How can I consolidate my debt?
You can consolidate your debt with a debt consolidation loan. You need to choose your lender and go through the loan application process. Once approved, your lender will give you a lump-sum loan to consolidate the rest of your debts.
How do you choose a debt consolidation loan service?
Compare debt consolidation companies using the information we’ve gone over. Remember to consider upfront costs, professional certifications, online reviews, interest rates, loan terms, and all fees and penalties.
How to qualify for a debt consolidation loan?
Loan qualifications are based on your credit score and other aspects of your financial history. Debt consolidation companies also typically place requirements for the minimum amount of debt you need to qualify for their loans. Make sure you review each lenders’ requirements.
What is the interest rate on debt consolidation loans?
Interest rates for debt consolidation loans are based on your credit history. Debt consolidation companies will perform a soft credit pull to assess your borrowing qualifications. This combined with the other information you submit on a loan application will determine your interest rate.
How will debt consolidation affect my credit score?
Yes, debt consolidation loans affect your credit score. If you pay your other loans off with a debt consolidation loan, you will see an improvement in your credit score. Timely repayments for your debt consolidation loan will have further positive effects.