9 of the top firms for consolidating debt

 

You could owe money on many credit cards or on other types of debt, such as what you owe for unanticipated medical expenses or home renovation tasks. Now would be an excellent time to get a personal loan to combine all of your debts into one payment because interest rates have decreased.

If you believe debt consolidation is the best course of action, it’s crucial to compare personal loan types, interest rates, and terms. Fortunately, Credible makes contrasting loan terms and providers simple.

You might reduce your monthly payments and overall cost by taking out a personal loan to consolidate your debt by eliminating numerous interest rates and late penalties. In reality, according to recent statistics from the Federal Reserve, the average interest rate for a 24-month personal loan was 9.63 percent, compared to 16.61 percent for credit cards, in the first quarter of 2020.

To estimate charges, make use of an online personal loan calculator. The top lenders are listed below for your consideration.
Axos Bank is one
If you have strong or great credit, Axos Bank, which provides unsecured loans and a range of terms, could be something to think about. Axos offers quick finance and has no advance fees.

However, those with a sizable amount of debt to refinance might need to continue exploring. Axos has a lower loan cap than some other lenders at $35,000. Additionally, the lender demands a minimum credit score of 740, which may disqualify certain applicants.

Soft credit checks are necessary for Axos’. There is no prepayment penalty and terms can last up to five years.

  1. $5,000 to $35,000 in loans
  2. Years of the loan: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.Reductions: none
  3. Next business day for the money to be received.
  4. LightStream 2.
  5. If you meet the requirements, LightStream, the online lending arm of SunTrust Bank, can offer you a huge loan limit that can help if you have debts up to $100,000. Funding is quick, and the lender doesn’t impose fees.

LightStream does not, however, publish its minimal income criteria, making it hard to determine if you would be eligible. Additionally, residents of Vermont and Rhode Island are not eligible for loans.

A 660 credit score is the minimum requirement for LightStream. The lender does not impose fees or demand a light credit pull. The maximum term is seven years.

  1. $5,000 to $100,000 in loans
  2. Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  3. Reductions: Autopay
  4. Time to get funds: The very same business day.

Marcus
Marcus authorizes prospective borrowers who provide a wealth of information prior to application, which might assist you in determining your eligibility. A credit score of 660 and a minimum yearly income of $30,000 are requirements for borrowers. The lender doesn’t charge fees and offers pretty rapid funding, compared to certain other banks. They also operate in all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories, protectorates, and armed forces abroad.

If you wished to combine your debt with another individual, though, Marcus doesn’t enable joint applications.

Terms are offered up to seven years. Marcus offers loan amounts from $3,500 to $40,000, with no fees.

  1. Loan amount: $3,500 to $40,000
  2. Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  3. Reductions: Autopay
  4. Time to get funds: As little as five days

Happy Money, formerly known as Payoff

If you’ve got several kinds of debt, Happy Money, formerly known as Payoff, maybe a good lender for you. It specializes in debt consolidation, and its loans can only be used for that purpose. The lender offers competitive rates and no prepayment penalty.

If your debt totals more than $35,000, however, you’ll need to find another lender. Happy Money, formerly known as Payoff, is also slower to fund the loan than some other lenders and they charge an origination fee. In addition, loans aren’t available to residents of Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia.

To qualify for a loan from Happy Money, formerly known as Payoff, you need a minimum credit score of 640. Terms range from two- to five-year loans.

  1. $5,000 to $35,000 in loans
  2. Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  3. Reductions: none
  4. Time to get funds: As soon as 2 to 5 business days after verification

 Prosper

Prosper is a unique type of lender. The peer-to-peer platform matches borrowers with investors. Once your loan is listed, investors can commit to funding it. If you don’t receive your full amount after 14 days, no loan is made. One of the biggest advantages to Prosper is that it doesn’t require a minimum income, and the minimum required credit score is just 640.

The downside is that the process can take longer than other lenders. Also, Prosper charges an origination fee of up to 5 percent, and residents of Iowa, North Dakota, and West Virginia cannot apply.

Prosper offers three- and five-year terms. Qualifying does require a soft credit check.

  1. Loan amount: $2,000 to $40,000
  2. Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  3. Reductions: none
  4. Time to get funds: An average of five days after accepting your offer

SoFi

SoFi is another option if you have a large amount of debt. It offers loans up to $100,000 for people with good or excellent credit. SoFi also offers perks to its customers, including career coaching and members-only events. And the lender doesn’t charge fees on its loans.

However, it may be harder to qualify for a loan from SoFi than from some other lenders as the company doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score or income requirements.

Terms are available for up to seven years, which can be a helpful repayment period for large loans. Also, SoFi does require a soft credit check.

  1. $5,000 to $100,000 in loans
  2. Years of the Loan: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  3. Reductions: Autopay
  4. Time to get funds: 3 business days

Upgrade

Borrowers with fair credit might consider Upgrade. The online lending platform requires a credit score of 600, which is lower than some other lenders. Upgrade offers tools that can help you protect or improve your score, such as free credit monitoring, alerts, and financial education.

One of the downsides to Upgrade, though, is that it charges an origination fee of up to 6 percent. Also, customer service is only available by email. In addition, residents of Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont and West Virginia aren’t eligible.

Upgrade offers terms of three or five years. Upgrade does require a soft credit check.

  1. Loan amount: $1,000 to $35,000 ($3,005 minimum in GA; $6,005 minimum in MA)
  2. Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  3. Discounts: Autopay
  4. Time to get funds: Within a day of clearing necessary verifications

 Avant

If you’re just starting your career, Avant is an online lending platform that has modest requirements. To qualify, borrowers need a minimum credit score of 580 and an annual income of $24,000. The lender also offers fast funding and no prepayment penalty

One of Avant’s drawbacks is that it charges an origination fee of up to 4.75 percent. And its services aren’t available everywhere: residents of Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Vermont, and West Virginia aren’t eligible.

Avant offers terms that range from two to five years. Rates here are some of the highest. You can qualify for a discount if you use autopay.

  1. Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000
  2. Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  3. Reductions: Autopay
  4. Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day\s9. Upstart
  5. Upstart is an online lending platform that secures loans through lending partners. The evaluation process includes a soft check of your credit score. The lender also looks at your education, major, and job history, which could be helpful for college students and graduates.

Upstart does have a high origination fee—up to 8 percent. Also, the lender doesn’t offer borrowers any discounts, such as for setting up autopay.

Terms that are offered range from three to five years. Upgrade doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty.

  1. Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000
  2. Loan terms (years): 3 to 5 years
  3. Reductions: none
  4. Money will be available in 1 to 3 business days.
  5. Other potential lenders for personal loans
  6. There are nine additional lenders you can take into account in addition to these for debt consolidation.
  7. However, since Credible does not offer these lenders, it is more difficult to compare their rates to those of partner lenders.

Peoples Bank

HSBC Laurel Road One Main Financial PenFed Credit Union PNC Rocket Loans Discover Earnest
To sum up
Before you sign on the dotted line for a new personal loan, be sure to review the rates, terms, and specifics like fees and benefits.

It takes time to do your research, but Credible makes it simple to compare rates from different lenders. To get rates from various lenders, submit a single form. You can compare offers to find the best lender, and the procedure won’t have an impact on your credit score. You can attempt to pay off debt as quickly as possible by negotiating the best rate and terms.

FAQs on debt consolidation

The following are responses to some common queries about debt consolidation.

How does consolidating debt operate?
Applying for a low-interest loan, a credit card with a balance transfer option, a cash-out mortgage refinance, or another consolidation product is the first step in debt consolidation. Then you’ll use the cash to settle your current high-interest debts.

Credit cards, personal loans, and auto loans are a few examples of these. In exchange, you’ll only have one monthly payment to worry about rather than several. Good credit will probably result in a lower interest rate and better terms, which can make budgeting simpler.

What distinguishes debt settlement from debt consolidation?

Both debt settlement and consolidation are practical ways to deal with unpaid debt. Despite their frequent overlap, there are a few significant distinctions between the two terms:

Debt consolidation combines several existing debts into one loan with a single monthly payment, ideally with better rates and terms. Examples of this type of debt include high-interest credit card balances, medical bills, and auto loans. You may consolidate debt using a number of different strategies, including balance transfer credit cards, home equity lines of credit, and debt consolidation loans.
Debt settlement – In order to negotiate a settlement to pay less than what you presently owe on any outstanding accounts, you often work with a nonprofit credit counseling organization or a debt settlement corporation. There is no assurance that creditors or lenders would accept a settlement you provide if you negotiate with them on your own. Additionally, settling a debt for less than what you owe might harm your credit history if it appears on your credit reports.

What is a reasonable APR for a loan to consolidate debt?

Your credit score and other financial indicators, such as your credit history, work status, and income, will determine the APR for a debt consolidation loan. According to data from the Federal Reserve, the average APR for a 24-month personal loan was 9.41 percent as of February 2022.

Generally, if your credit is decent to great, you’ll get the finest prices a lender has to offer. However, you’ll probably pay a higher interest rate to borrow money if your credit needs some improvement.

What advantages can a debt consolidation loan offer?

If done properly, combining your payments might be a lifeline if you’re battling with a mountain of debt. A debt consolidation loan, a kind of unsecured personal loan, has the following advantages:

simplifies your debt — Managing several payments and due dates may be difficult. A debt consolidation loan consolidates all of your debt into a single, manageable monthly payment.
You might be able to receive a reduced interest rate, which would cut your monthly payment and help you pay off your debt more quickly.
can help you build credit The primary component of your credit score is your payment history. You may gradually establish credit if you return your debt consolidation loan on time each month.

What are the negative aspects of a loan for debt consolidation?

Although debt consolidation provides numerous advantages, there are a few disadvantages you should be aware of:

Managing new credit card payments on top of a debt consolidation loan payment won’t help you get out of debt and can potentially make your position worse if you’re inclined to keep making purchases with your credit cards once you pay them off.
If your credit hasn’t improved since you took out your previous debt, you could not be eligible for a debt consolidation loan with a reduced rate, which wouldn’t end up saving you any money in the long run.
Having bad credit might make it difficult to be approved for a low-interest personal loan for debt consolidation.
Should you take a debt consolidation loan or a balance transfer credit card?
Depends, really. You might be able to acquire a 0% APR introductory offer on a debt transfer credit card for a specific amount of time. You can concentrate on making additional payments toward your debt if you can reduce the total before the intro offer ends. However, you will start to accrue interest at the card’s normal rate, which might be hefty, if you still have debt after the introductory deal ends. You may also pay fees for balance transfer cards, and you normally need strong credit to be approved for one.

Although being approved for a debt consolidation loan can be simpler, you’ll need strong credit to get the lowest rates. Consider applying for a personal loan with a cosigner who has strong credit if you’re having problems being accepted. Just make sure they are aware that if you are unable to pay, they will be responsible for doing so. Since you only have to handle one payment and debt consolidation loans frequently have lower interest rates than credit cards, they might be a suitable choice.

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