6 Best Debt Consolidation Companies in 2018

6 Best Debt Consolidation Companies in [current_year]
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Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: June 19, 2018
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

When it comes to hiking up an incline, most of us won’t think twice about our ability to scale a small hill. But many of us would balk at the idea of making it over a mountain without a guide or the right equipment.

In the same way, many of us likely feel capable of handling a little bit of debt ourselves, but facing down that proverbial mountain of debt alone is a lot more intimidating.

Debt relief and consolidation companies can be a good source for the help and advice you need to overcome large debts that otherwise may seem insurmountable. And for consumers with smaller debts, personal installment loan providers can offer the tools you need to conquer your debt on your own.

Debt Relief Companies | Personal Loan Providers | Advice

Best Debt Relief Companies to Help You Consolidate

Although you don’t need a debt relief company to consolidate debt, it can be extremely helpful for those facing a large debt, multiple debts, or a combination of different types of debts. An experienced debt relief company can make the process easier and less stressful.

Given that some debt relief companies may specialize in areas other than consolidation, the first step to choosing a company is to narrow your list down to those who offer consolidation help. Our expert-rated companies below all offer a free initial consultation to determine your options.

  • 100% confidential, no-obligation consultation
  • Specializes in unsecured debts over $10,000
  • In business since 2000
  • Options for debt settlement, consolidation, and tax debt
  • Get a 100% free, personalized savings estimate from a debt professional
  • Click here for sign-up form, terms, and details.
       
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Free Consultation? Reputation Score
(No Grade) 2000 Yes 9.0/10

Once you have a short list, you’ll want to investigate the reputation of each company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), your local consumer protection agency, and/or the state Attorney General. You may also want to read consumer reviews from people who have actually used the company.

Since most debt relief companies offer a free consultation, you can even call in to get a feel for the customer service. If the phone agent is pushy or otherwise makes you uncomfortable, you’ll know to steer clear of that company.

You should also avoid debt relief companies that make grandiose promises and guarantees. Debt relief companies can’t generally guarantee a certain outcome, loan size, or interest rate, and any such promises should raise a red flag.

Best Personal Loans for Consolidating on Your Own

While hiring a professional debt relief or consolidation company can certainly make the process easier, especially if your debt situation is complex, you may not really need a specialist consolidation company to successfully consolidate your personal debt.

Simple debt consolidation is possible by taking out a personal loan with a lower interest rate than your current debts and using that loan to pay off high-interest debt. If you use an online lending network, like our picks below, you can easily compare rates and fees to find the best deal.

   
★★★★★

4.9

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $10,000 5.99% - 35.99% 3 to 72 Months

See representative example

In essence, online lending networks are companies that have dozens to hundreds of lending partners from around the country. When you fill out an application on the network’s website, your information is run against all of the lenders in the network’s database.

Depending on the specific network you use, you’ll then be presented with up to four compatible loan offers from the lenders that best fit your needs and qualifications.

If you choose an offer, you’ll be redirected to the lender’s independent website to complete the loan process. It’s the individual lender, not the lending network, that will provide your funds and handle your loan repayment.

Advice for Making the Most of Debt Consolidation

Regardless of which route you take — whether you go with a debt relief company or DIY consolidation with a personal loan — make sure you do your research before committing to anything. Being informed before you start the process will ensure you’re not sold anything you don’t need.

You should start your research by pulling your own credit reports — which you can do for free once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com — so that you can see all of your debts and get an idea of your current credit situation. Checking your own reports won’t hurt your credit score in any way.

Once you know where you stand, it’s time to do a little math (don’t worry, it’s nothing a calculator can’t help with). You’ll want to begin by listing out all of the debts you wish to consolidate, including noting the balances and interest rates of each, as in the chart of credit card debts shown below.

Table of Hypothetical Debt Balances & APRs

To get the most benefit out of consolidation, you’ll need to find a loan with a lower interest rate than you’re being charged on any of your existing debts. For example, if you have debts with APRs as laid out in the chart above, you’ll want a loan with an APR below 17.99% for the best results.

You should also add up all of the balances for the debts you wish to consolidate to ensure you get a loan large enough to cover them all. In the above example, the hypothetical consumer would have a total of $8,766 in debt to consolidate.

Don’t forget to include any origination fees that could impact your overall loan size or your ability to consolidate all of your debts. Origination fees generally range from 3% to 5% of the loan size and are often taken out of the loan at the time it is dispersed.

Get Your Debt Under Control with Consolidation

As exhilarating as traversing a mountain peak can be, it’s a lot less enjoyable when you don’t have a guide or proper equipment to get you to the top. And the same can be said for scaling a mountain of debt.

Unfortunately, while it may take millennia for actual mountains to form, your personal debt can grow from a molehill into a mountain in the proverbial blink of an eye, quickly becoming something that feels insurmountable without help.

Many consumers can find the help they need to consolidate their debt into a more manageable commitment by hiring a reputable debt relief company. And others still find the tools they need to do it themselves with a good personal installment loan.

Whatever path you take to overcome your debt, be sure you go forward responsibly by paying all of your debts on time and as agreed. When used wisely, your new consolidation loan can help you pay down debt and build a positive payment history at the same time.