If you’re in debt to multiple lenders, opting for debt consolidation is a good way to regain control of your finances. In simple terms, debt consolidation is a loan to pay off credit cards and is a tactic often used by people who are struggling to keep on top of their repayments. Below, we’ve put together an easy guide to managing credit card debt and explain how debt consolidation may help you.
The benefits of debt consolidation
Taking a loan to pay off credit cards has two primary benefits:
- You assimilate your debt into one monthly payment, making it easier to manage.
- You might save money on your repayments, as the interest rate on your debt consolidation loan might be lower than the combined interest of your other forms of credit.
Why should you consolidate your debts?
Using a credit card is a form of revolving debt. It doesn’t need to be paid over a specific period, and it has no fixed term. In other words, it keeps rolling over until you pay it back. For most people, this means more interest payments and a longer period of time in debt. You can only avoid interest payments if you pay your credit card off in full each month, which isn’t a position that most people comfortably find themselves in. Taking out a loan to pay off credit cards allows you to bring an end to the recurring debt and focus on paying fixed monthly repayments to another lender.
How does debt consolidation work?
Thankfully, debt consolidation is easy to understand:
- You calculate how much you owe on your credit cards.
- When you have your total, use this as your target amount for the loan that you apply for. You will need to consider its interest rate compared to the interest you’re currently paying on your credit cards.
- When you’ve found a suitable loan, apply and receive the money. Then use it to pay off your credit cards.
- You’re then required to pay your debt consolidation loan each month.
Using a personal loan to consolidate debt
Perhaps the easiest option to consolidate debt is to take out a personal loan from a lender like Koyo Loans. This allows you to receive an agreed sum of money that you will need to pay back over a pre-arranged period of time. If you’ve done your research, you should be able to find a personal loan that has a lower rate of interest than you’re currently paying on your credit cards. Often, personal loans are unsecured and are relatively easy to apply for. Applying for a personal loan will also simplify your debt repayments and make your life that little bit easier each month. Alternatively, you could apply for a balance transfer card, but you need to make sure you understand the fees before applying.
Should you pay debt off quickly?
There’s no doubt about it – the quicker you pay off your debts, the less interest you will pay. For instance, if you borrow £1,000 at 10% with a loan term of 3 years. You’ll pay the initial £1,000 plus £300 in interest payments. However, if you borrow £1,000 at a rate of 8% over five years, you will end up paying £400 back. So, don’t get caught out when calculating the rate of interest on your loans, and always try and pay your debts off as quickly as possible. At the very least, you will need to meet the minimum monthly repayments, but it’s best to pay slightly more if you can to keep on top of the amount of money that you owe.
Debt consolidation and your credit score
In the short term, taking out a debt consolidation loan might have a negative impact on your credit score. However, in the long term, it will improve it. Also, remember that credit scores aren’t the only metric used by lenders. Many utilise Open Banking to get a much clearer picture of a borrower’s financial situation before approving or rejecting a loan application. Regardless, you need to make sure you pay your debt consolidation loan off in a timely manner to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact your credit score.
Negotiating credit card debt independently
You should only really think about negotiating your credit card debt when you’re in danger of missing your repayments. You should seek independent advice before doing this, as you don’t want to harm your long term prospects of accessing credit. You might be able to negotiate a temporary reduction in repayments but make sure you fully understand the long term impact of doing so.
Hopefully, you can now see that getting a loan to pay off credit cards can be a useful step for many people. If you feel like a personal loan will help you improve your debt management, get in touch with a lender like Koyo Loans and start your loan application today.