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Guides

“Credit Consolidation” — What It is, Reviews & Loans (8 Best Companies 2018)

Linsey Knerl 3/31/18

Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by the amount of money you owe on various credit cards. Minimum monthly payments may be hard to make, or they may not move the needle much on your total debt owed. If you’ve found yourself in the situation of dreading your monthly credit card payments, you may have become curious about credit consolidation.

Here’s a brief explanation of what it is and how it can be used to help you dig out from under debt in a responsible way.

Definition | Reviews | Loans | Nonprofit Counseling

What is Credit Consolidation?

Credit consolidation is also referred to as “debt consolidation.” It’s a program designed to transfer all your credit card balances to one lender, with the goal of reducing your interest rate to one manageable annual percentage fee.

The benefit to this service is that it streamlines your debt payments to take place in one lump sum each month. You don’t have to track down various payment dates and amounts. You can sometimes also lessen the total interest paid, as many programs offer interest rates lower than what you’ve likely been paying through individual credit accounts. This means a shorter payoff time for your total debt and less financial “clutter.”

The Best Credit Consolidation Company Reviews

As you would imagine, no two credit consolidation companies are created equal. You should carefully consider a company’s BBB rating, reputation, and record of results before committing your credit accounts to their care. The best organizations in the industry are those that are equipped to handle any number of debt management needs. They include:

★★★★★
4.9 /5.0 Stars
  • Requires $10,000 or more in unsecured debt
  • Free, no-obligation debt analysis
  • Specializes in credit card and medical debt
  • Also handles debt from personal loans, repossessions, lines of credit, and collections
  • Does not handle IRS, utility, student, auto or mortgage debt
  • Long-term program to relive debt over 24-48 month period
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Better Business Bureau A+
In Business Since 2009
Free Consultation? Yes
Our Expert Review 4.9/5.0 (see review)

National Debt Relief has quickly become one of the largest and most reputable debt relief companies in the country, with thousands of positive customer reviews.

★★★★★
4.7 /5.0 Stars
  • Reduce debt payments up to 50%
  • Over 5 million clients helped
  • Speak with a certified credit counselor
  • Get a free initial consultation
  • Minimum $500 in total debt required
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Better Business Bureau A+
In Business Since 1994
Free Consultation? Yes
Our Expert Review 4.7/5.0 (see review)

Contact Consolidated Credit Counseling to schedule a completely free and confidential debt analysis with a certified credit counselor to determine the best plan of attack for your situation.

★★★★
4.0 /5.0 Stars
  • 100% confidential, no-obligation consultation
  • Specializes in credit card and loan debt over $10,000
  • In business since 2000
  • Options for debt settlement, consolidation, bankruptcy, and tax debt
  • Get a 100% free, personalized savings estimate from a debt professional
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Better Business Bureau (No Grade)
In Business Since 2000
Free Consultation? Yes
Our Expert Review 4.0/5.0 (see review)

CuraDebt has counseled more than 180,000 people since 2000, helping them to pay back credit card, medical, tax, and other unsecured debts.

★★★★
3.9 /5.0 Stars
  • Toll-free assessment: 1-855-299-9573
  • Minimum $10,000 in debt required
  • Learn about your debt relief options
  • AFCC accredited member
  • Resolve debts in as little as 24 to 48 months
  • $2 Billion in debt resolved – #1 in America
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Better Business Bureau A+
In Business Since 2002
Free Consultation? Yes
Our Expert Review 3.9/5.0 (see review)

Freedom Debt Relief is the largest debt relief company in the nation, having just recently hit the $5 billion mark in total debts resolved.

★★★★
3.9 /5.0 Stars
Better Business Bureau (No Grade)
In Business Since 2007
Free Consultation? Yes
Our Expert Review 3.9/5.0 (see review)

Read the full reviews for each of the top credit consolidation firms before you decide.

A Personal Loan for Bad Credit May Be an Option

Traditional debt consolidation is a solid choice for getting your debt under control, but it’s not for everyone. If you would like to keep your credit accounts and the benefits that come with them, you may wish to take out a personal loan with a low-interest rate and use it to pay off your credit accounts.

Our top three personal loan providers below have shown to have excellent loan terms and specialize in approving those with poor credit:

★★★★★
4.9 /5.0 Stars
  • Loans from $1,000 to $10,000
  • All credit types accepted
  • Loan requests can be approved in minutes
  • Get funds directly to your bank account
  • Use the loan for any purpose
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Loan Amount $1,000 to $10,000
Interest Rate 5.99% - 35.99%
Loan Example
Representative example
★★★★★
4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Loans from $500 to $5,000
  • Helping those with bad credit since 1998
  • Compare offers from multiple lenders
  • Simple form & quick funding
  • Get your money as soon as next day
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Loan Amount $500 to $5,000
Interest Rate 5.99% - 35.99%
Loan Example
Representative example
Our Expert Review 4.8/5.0 (see review)
★★★★★
4.7 /5.0 Stars
    • Short-term loans up to $2,500
    • Online marketplace of lenders
    • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
    • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
    • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 customers
    • Not available in NY
    • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
Loan Amount Up to $2,500
Interest Rate Varies
Loan Example
Representative example
Our Expert Review 4.7/5.0 (see review)

A personal loan has the added benefit of giving you full control of your accounts, payments, and negotiations with lenders. This option is not intended for someone with a hard time making payments. It is up to you to apply the funds from your new loan to your credit accounts. There is potential to get further into debt if you’re not careful.

Nonprofit Credit Consolidation Programs Are Not Free

There are plenty of nonprofits that provide credit consolidation for those with credit card debt. Two of the most popular nonprofit credit consolidation programs are currently Christian Credit Counselors and the NFCC.

While these programs can cost less than a for-profit company, this is not always the case. Some companies will add a monthly service fee to your payments, an upfront activation fee, or require a donation made to a nonprofit charity for their overhead fees. They can cost as much as a for-profit when all fees and charges are figured in.

Change Your Spending Habits to Remain Debt-Free

With so many choices available for getting your credit accounts paid off, it can seem like your debt troubles are temporary. With proper changes to your financial habits, this is a possibility! Many who complete a credit consolidation program can maintain healthy spending habits for a lifetime, and are able to begin using credit again after they have completed the program.

It’s vital, however, that you take a good look at how you got into heavy debt in the first place. Use those lessons to change future behaviors, stick to a budget, and start a new journey that uses credit wisely. Enlist the help of a financial planner or another money expert, if needed, until those changes become habit.

About Linsey Knerl
Linsey is a freelance blogger, author and public speaker with a passion for helping everyday families earn more and live better. She shares her expertise for parents who want to start budget-friendly businesses from home at 1099Mom.com.
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