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Facing a stack of bills can feel overwhelming, especially with multiple due dates, amounts, and interest rates to keep track of. One option to more easily manage your bills is to take out a personal loan to consolidate your debt, which will leave you with just one bill to deal with.
Here’s what you should know about how to consolidate bills:
- What is a debt consolidation loan?
- 16 lenders for debt consolidation
- How to consolidate bills with a debt consolidation loan
- Benefits of using a debt consolidation loan
- Debt consolidation loan vs. credit card
- Other options for bill consolidation
What is a debt consolidation loan?
A debt consolidation loan is a type of personal loan that’s used to pay off other debt — leaving you with a single loan to repay over time. Additionally, you’ll have just one interest rate to consider as well as an exact payoff date.
You can use a personal loan to consolidate several kinds of debt, such as:
- Credit cards
- Medical bills
- Payday loans
- Private student loans
- Unsecured personal loans
16 lenders for debt consolidation
If you’re thinking about taking out a debt consolidation loan to manage bills, it’s important to shop around and compare as many lenders as you can. This way, you can find the right loan for your situation.
Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer personal loans for debt consolidation:
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts||Min. credit score||Loan terms (years)|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**||550||2, 3, 4, 5*|
|6.79% - 17.99% APR||$5,000 to $35,000||740||1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|4.99% - 35.99% APR||$5,000 to $35,000||600||2, 3, 4, 5|
|6.99% - 24.99% APR||$2,500 to $35,000||660||3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$10,000 to $50,000||Not disclosed by lender||2, 3, 4, 5|
|7.04% - 35.89% APR||$1,000 to $40,000||600||3, 5|
|15.49% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $36,500||580||2, 3, 4|
|2.49% - 19.99% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||660||2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
(up to 12 years for home improvement loans)
|6.99% - 19.99% APR1||$3,500 to $40,0002||660|
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)
|3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
|18.0% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000||None||2, 3, 4, 5|
|5.99% - 17.99% APR||$600 to $50,000 |
(depending on loan term)
|670||1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|6.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $40,000||640||3, 5|
|5.99% - 18.83% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||Does not disclose||2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
|8.93% - 35.93% APR7||$1,000 to $50,000||560||3 to 5 years 8|
|5.94% - 35.97% APR||$1,000 to $50,000||560||2, 3, 5, 6|
|6.46% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005||580||3 to 5 years4|
Avant offers personal loans from $2,000 to $35,000* with repayment terms ranging from two to five years. If you have poor or fair credit, Avant might be a good choice for a debt consolidation loan.
Check Out: Bad Credit Loans
With Axos Bank, you can borrow $5,000 to $35,000 with terms ranging from one to five years. If you’re approved for an Axos Bank loan, you could have your funds as soon as the next business day.
Best Egg offers personal loans from $5,000 to $50,000 with terms from two to five years. If you’re approved, you could get your funds within one to three business days after successful verification.
If you’re looking for a longer repayment term on a debt consolidation loan, Discover might be a good choice. You can borrow $2,500 to $35,000 with repayment terms ranging from three to seven years.
Just keep in mind that while a longer term could get you a lower monthly payment, you’ll also pay more in interest over time.
LendingClub is one of the few lenders that allow cosigners on personal loans, which could make it a good option if you need a cosigner to get approved. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one might get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.
With LendingClub, you can borrow $1,000 to $40,000 with a three- or five-year term.
LendingPoint specializes in working with borrowers who have near-prime credit — generally meaning credit scores in the upper 500s or 600s. You can borrow $2,000 to $36,500 with terms ranging from two to five years.
If you need to consolidate a large amount of debt, LightStream could be a good option — you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with terms from two to seven years. If you’re approved, you could have your funds as soon as the same business day.
Marcus personal loans range from $3,500 to $40,0002 with repayment terms from three to six years. Additionally, if you make 12 consecutive on-time monthly payments on a Marcus loan, you can defer one payment interest-free.
OneMain Financial might be a good option if you have below-average credit: Unlike many other personal loan lenders, it has no required minimum credit score and will also consider your net income, outstanding debt, and living expenses to determine creditworthiness.
With OneMain Financial, you can borrow $1,500 to $20,000 with terms from two to five years. Keep in mind that larger loan amounts might require collateral.
Payoff personal loans range from $5,000 to $40,000 and are specifically designed for credit card consolidation. Additionally, Payoff offers free FICO score updates and will work with you on payments if you lose your job.
Learn More: Credit Card Consolidation Loans
If you only want to consolidate a small amount of debt, PenFed might be a good option — you can borrow as little as $600 up to $35,000 with terms ranging from one to five years.
Keep in mind that while you don’t have to be a PenFed member to apply, you’ll have to join the credit union if you are approved and choose to accept the loan.
Prosper offers personal loans from $2,000 to $40,000 with three- or five-year terms. Keep in mind that because Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender and investors must commit to funding your loan, it could take longer to get your funds.
On average, the process takes three to five business days from start to origination.
SoFi is another lender that offers large personal loans — you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms ranging from two to seven years. If you’re approved, you’ll also have access to several perks, such as unemployment protection, career coaching, and investment advice.
With Upgrade, you can borrow $1,000 to $50,000 with three- or five-year terms. Upgrade also offers free credit monitoring and educational resources that could help you build your credit over time.
If you have little to no credit history, Upstart could be a good choice — in addition to your credit score, it also considers your education and job history to determine creditworthiness. With Upstart, you can borrow $1,000 to $50,0005.
How to consolidate bills with a debt consolidation loan
If you’re ready to take out a personal loan for debt consolidation, follow these four steps:
- Research and compare lenders. Be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your situation. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender.
- Pick a loan option. After you’ve shopped around and compared lenders, choose the loan option that best suits your needs.
- Complete the application. Once you’ve chosen a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.
- Get your funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so the funds can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval. You can then use the funds to pay off your old bills.
Benefits of using a debt consolidation loan
There are several potential benefits of using a debt consolidation loan, such as:
- Lower monthly payments: If you take out a debt consolidation loan and opt for a longer repayment term, you could get a lower monthly payment — lessening the strain on your budget. Just keep in mind that choosing a longer term means you’ll pay more in interest over time.
- Lower interest rate: Depending on your credit, you might qualify for a lower interest rate on a debt consolidation loan compared to what you’ve been paying. This could save you money on interest charges and might even help you pay off your debt faster.
- One payment due date: Paying off your old debt with a debt consolidation loan will leave you with just one loan and one payment due date to manage.
Debt consolidation loan vs. credit card
- 0% APR introductory periods: Some credit cards — such as certain balance transfer cards — offer 0% APR introductory periods. If you can repay your balance by the time this period ends, you won’t pay any interest. But if you can’t repay your balance by the time this period ends, you could be stuck with some hefty interest charges.
- Higher interest rates: Credit card interest rates are often higher than personal loan rates — meaning you could end up paying more in interest by consolidating debt with a credit card. Additionally, credit cards often have variable rates, which could increase in the future depending on market conditions.
- Potential fees: Depending on the card, you might have to pay fees, such as annual fees or balance transfer fees. However, keep in mind that personal loans sometimes come with fees, too — for example, many personal loan lenders charge origination fees.
No matter which type of consolidation loan you choose, it’s important to consider how much that loan will cost you over time. This way, you can prepare for any added expenses. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan.
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Other options for bill consolidation
A debt consolidation loan or credit card aren’t your only options for consolidating your bills. Here are a few other alternatives to consider:
- Home equity loan: This type of loan lets homeowners tap into the equity of their homes. If you’re considering a home equity loan vs. a personal loan, keep in mind that home equity loans often come with lower interest rates than personal loans. However, because a home equity loan is secured by your house, you risk losing it if you can’t make your payments.
- Home equity line of credit: This is another potential way to access the equity of your home. Unlike a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a type of revolving credit — meaning you can repeatedly draw on and pay off your credit line, similar to a credit card. Just remember that you could lose your home if you default on a HELOC. You could also consider an unsecured personal line of credit — while it would likely come with a higher interest rate, you wouldn’t risk losing collateral.
- Student loan refinancing: If you’re specifically planning to consolidate student loans, refinancing your student loans is likely a better option compared to a debt consolidation loan. In fact, most personal loan lenders don’t allow their loans to be used for student loan consolidation. Additionally, refinanced student loans often come with lower interest rates than personal loans.
Keep Reading: Personal Loan vs. Line of Credit: How to Choose
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% APR with terms from 12 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.