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Sure, using credit cards to pay for everything is convenient. But if you run up balances on multiple cards, you can easily get overwhelmed with debt.

But don’t panic. If you’re looking for the best way to consolidate your credit card debt with credit card consolidation — and finally pay it off — you have a number of options.

Your options for consolidating credit card debt

Here’s a look at three of the best ways to consolidate your debt — which allow you to combine your balances and pay off your debt faster.

  1. Take out a personal loan
  2. Transfer your balance to a new card
  3. Tap into your home equity
  4. Bonus: Consider giving your credit cards a timeout

1. Take out a personal loan

If you need some time to pay down your debt, getting a personal loan might be the best way to consolidate credit card debt.

Using a debt consolidation loan, you’re still going to pay interest on what you borrow, but you might qualify for a lower interest rate. Your monthly payments might also be lower since they’ll be stretched out over a period of years versus months. But remember that, typically, longer loan terms usually means you’ll end up paying more in interest over time.

Your bank is a good place to start if you’re looking for a personal loan, but be sure to shop around. You might be able to snag a better deal through a credit union or an online lender. So, make sure you compare offers from multiple personal loan lenders to find the best options for you.

The personal loan companies in the table below compete for your business through Credible. You can request rates from all of these partner lenders by filling out just one form (instead of one form for each), and without affecting your credit score.

LenderRatesLoan Amounts 
avant

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Fixed: 9.95% - 35.99% APR$2,000 up to $35,000**Get Rates

Loan terms
• 2 - 5 years*

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $35,000**

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a resident in the U.S. with a valid Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)

Key benefits
• Fast online process, with e-signed contract
• Receive funds as soon as next business day (if approved by 4:30pm CT, Monday through Friday)
• Options for borrowers with less than perfect credit (most of Avant’s customers have credit scores in the 600 to 700 range)

Avant personal loans review

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

best egg

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Fixed: 5.99% - 29.99% APR$2,000 up to $35,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 or 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $35,000

Loan uses
• Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident Alien
• Can't be a resident of IA, VT, or WV

Time to get funds
• As soon as 1 - 3 business days after successful verification

Key benefits
• Choose your payment date
• You can have up to two Best Egg loans at the same time

Best Egg personal loans review

freedomplus

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Fixed: 5.99% - 29.99% APR$10,000 up to $35,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 2 - 5 years

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, travel, medical expenses, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a resident in the U.S. with a valid Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as 2 business days

Key benefits
• No fees

FreedomPlus personal loans review

lendingclub

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Fixed: 6.95% - 35.89% APR$1,000 up to $40,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $40,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien with a valid Social Security number and physical address, currently residing in the U.S.

Time to get funds
• Usually takes about 7 days

Key benefits
• The amount you pay will never increase

LendingClub personal loans review

Compare rates from these lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!

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lendingpoint

View details
Fixed: 9.99% - 35.99% APR$2,000 up to $25,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 2 - 4 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $25,000

Loan uses
• Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a verifiable Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as the next business day

Key benefits
• Available to "near prime" borrowers with credit scores as low as 585
• Streamlined approval and application process
• No prepayment penalty

LendingPoint personal loans review

lightstream

View details
Fixed: 4.99% - 16.79% APR $5,000 up to $100,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 2 - 7 years

Loan uses
• Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Borrower must reside in the U.S.

Time to get funds
• As soon as the same business day

Key benefits
• 0.50% autopay discount (only available prior to loan funding)
• $100 rebate if you’re not completely satisfied with the LightStream experience and if you fill out a questionnaire telling LightStream how they can improve their services

LightStream personal loans review

marcus

View details
Fixed: 6.99% - 28.99% APR*
(For NY residents: 6.99% - 24.99% APR)
*APR discounts may be available for direct payment of outstanding credit card debt and autopay.
$3,500 up to $40,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 6 years

Loan uses
• Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien with a valid Social Security number and physical address, currently residing in the U.S.

Time to get funds
• About 1 - 4 business days, given approval and bank account verification

Key benefits
• Tailored monthly payment options designed to fit your budget
• After making 12 or more consecutive monthly payments, you can defer one payment as long as you have made all your prior payments in full and on time1

Marcus personal loans review

1 After making 12 or more consecutive monthly payments, you can defer one payment as long as you have made all your prior payments in full and on time. Marcus will waive any interest incurred during the deferral and extend your loan by one month (you will pay interest during this extra month). Your payments resume as usual after your deferral. Advance notice is required. See loan agreement for details.

payoff

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Fixed: 5.99% - 24.99% APR$5,000 up to $35,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 2 - 5 years

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation and credit card consolidation only

Residency
• Borrower can't reside in DC, DE, IA, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, NE, NV, OH, OK, VA, VT, WA, WI, or WV

Time to get funds
• As soon as 2 - 5 business days after verification

Key benefits
• Free FICO score updates
• If you lose your job, they’ll work with you on payments
• Offers scientific personality, stress, and cash flow assessments to help you get a better understanding of your personal finances

Payoff personal loans review

prosper

View details
Fixed: 6.95% - 35.99% APR$2,000 up to $35,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $2,000 to $40,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. resident with a bank account and Social Security number

Time to get funds
• On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer

Key benefits
• All loans through prosper are unsecured (no collateral required)
• Loan review process usually completed in 7 business days or less

Prosper personal loans review

upstart

View details
Fixed: 7.99% - 35.89% APR$1,000 up to $50,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $50,000

Loan uses
• Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Residency
• Borrower can't be a resident of CT, CO, IA, MA, MD, VT, or WV

Time to get funds
• Within a day of clearing necessary verifications

Key benefits
• Free credit monitoring
• Free educational resources that can help borrowers

Upgrade personal loans review

upstart

View details
Fixed: 8.89% - 35.99% APR$1,000 up to $50,000Get Rates

Loan terms
• 3 - 5 years

Loan amount
• $1,000 to $50,000

Loan uses
• Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Residency
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a verifiable Social Security number

Time to get funds
• As soon as 1 - 3 business days

Key benefits
• Can apply for a second loan after making six on-time monthly payments ($50,000 maximum principal on all loans)

Upstart personal loans review

Compare rates from these lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!

Get Rates Now

All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream payment example | Read more about Rates and Terms

Compare Personal Loans

2. Transfer your balance to a new card

Many credit cards offer promotional deals like a introductory 0% APR on balance transfers — if you transfer your debt in a certain amount of time.

This can be a real money saver, but only if you’re able to get the card paid off before the promotional rate expires. If you can’t pay it off before then, you’re just going to be stuck paying high credit card interest rates all over again.

Keep in mind, though, that some cards charge a balance transfer fee on the amount you’re transferring over — typically around 2% to 3% of the total amount. So make sure you factor in the amount of the transfer fee to ensure it’s worth it.

3. Tap into your home equity

You could leverage your home’s equity to pay off your credit cards once and for all. With a home equity loan or line of credit you can lock in a lower interest rate and give yourself more flexibility when it comes to payments.

If you feel secure in your job or have a steady stream of income, tapping into your home equity could be the best way to consolidate credit card debt. But using your equity to pay off your debt is risky because you’re putting your home on the line as collateral.

If you can’t pay off the loan or line of credit, the lender could seize your home and sell it. You have to decide whether you’re comfortable taking that gamble before you commit to borrowing against your equity.

Read more: Best Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation

Bonus: Consider giving your credit cards a timeout

It’s important to ensure you don’t get stuck in a rut when it comes to your debt. After you’ve consolidated your credit card debt, you don’t want to end up running your balances up again.

It’s fine to use your credit cards if you’re responsible with them, especially since you can earn rewards for travel or cash back, but make sure you’re always paying each balance in full every month to avoid paying interest.

If you can’t pay your balances in full, try not to keep all of your credit cards on you at all times. If you do, you’ll always be tempted to use them (or overuse them). But make sure you keep the accounts open since closing them down could hurt your credit report.

Dealing with debt is always hard, but it’s good to know you have options. Credible simplifies your personal loan search by letting you compare rates from top personal loan lenders in minutes without affecting your credit score.

Ready to find your personal loan?
Credible makes it easy to find the right loan for you.

  • Free to use, no hidden fees
  • One simple form, easy to fill out and your info is protected
  • More options, pick the loan option that best fits your personal needs
  • Here for you. Our team is here to help you reach your financial goals

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Checking rates won’t affect your credit

Rebecca Lake contributed to the reporting of this article. 


About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 3.99% - 35.99% APR with terms from 24 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.

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About the author
Jamie Young
Jamie Young

Jamie Young is a Credible authority on personal finance. Her work has been featured by Time, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, CBS News, and more.

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