Are you overwhelmed by how much credit card debt you’re carrying? Is your debt spread across several credit cards? Are you looking for a way to save money, all the while better organizing your debt?
If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to learn more about the best ways to consolidate credit card debt. Here are four options to consider:
1. Balance Transfer Credit Card
The way this works is simple: you transfer multiple credit card balances onto the same card. This leaves you with one balance and one monthly payment, as opposed to several.
There are many benefits of a balance transfer credit card, including a zero percent introductory period which typically lasts anywhere between 12 and 24 months.
The only potential downfall is the balance transfer fee, which is generally in the three percent range of the amount you transfer.
2. Personal Loan
A personal loan is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a loan you can use for almost anything and everything (as long as it’s legal).
Personal loans are commonly used for home improvement projects and other big purchases, such as a wedding or once in a lifetime trip, but it’s also a good option for debt consolidation.
Since a personal loan is unsecured, you’re not required to put up any collateral. However, with this being the case, the interest rate is typically a few points higher than with a secured loan.
With a variety of terms, you can choose a personal loan that allows you to consolidate your credit card debt at a monthly payment that fits your budget.
3. Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit
This is similar to a personal loan in many ways, with the primary difference being that your home is used as collateral. So, if you default on the loan, your lender has the power to repossess the property.
While this is a bigger risk, since you’re putting your home on the line, it does provide access to more money (based on the equity in your home) at a lower interest rate.
4. Borrow From Friends or Family
Some people have no problem asking friends and/or family for money, while others would rather consider any other option before heading down this path.
Whether or not you consider this depends on many factors, such as the strength of the relationship with your friends and family.
The benefit of this arrangement is that you may find someone to lend you the money without charging you interest, thus saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
The biggest risk is that you won’t repay the person on time or at all, which will put a major strain on your relationship.
With credit card debt hitting a record high in the United States in 2018, you may find yourself searching for answers.
If you’re carrying debt on more than one credit card, think long and hard about the four consolidation strategies detailed above.