Being in debt is normal, whether you want to buy a new car or pay for your education. However, it can quickly lead to high interest rates and can be difficult to manage. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your debt to avoid such situations.
Debt consolidation is a strategy where you combine all of your debt into one payment. As you can imagine, this makes managing your debt much easier. It has a cheaper interest rate than what you pay each month. To top it off, it can also improve your credit score.
Before you embark on debt consolidation, it is important to know how it affects your credit score. This article will discuss the different aspects of debt consolidation and its impact on your credit score. In addition, you will also learn the different ways to consolidate your debt.
Credit repair and debt consolidation
For people who want to improve their credit score, they can get credit repair or debt consolidation. Both are effective in different situations. That’s why it’s important to know when to use each method.
What is credit repair?
Credit repair is a service that will help you improve your credit score. Do this, credit repair professionals will:
- Identify the evidence of any negative element that damages your credit,
- Make sure your credit isn’t affected by the same debt
- Find out the flaws in your credit report
This can have a significant impact on your credit, allowing you to get approved for new lines of credit. Not only that, but you can also qualify for home, business and auto loans. If you have the time, you can restore your credit on your own. However, it is advisable to seek professional advice on this matter.
Credit repair is extremely helpful for people who want to clean up their credit reports. Moreover, those who want an accurate credit report can also benefit from it. Some credit repair companies offer legal assistance as well as credit counseling. They can help you improve your credit in the short and long term.
What is debt consolidation?
Debt consolidation helps you consolidate all of your debts into one easy to manage bill. This can lower your monthly payments.
The process involves the type of account you have, whether it’s a credit card or a federal loan. Debt consolidation can help you better manage your account balances. It is easier to monitor one loan than it is to monitor several.
If you have multiple loans with different interest payment schedules and interest rates, debt consolidation works better. You will save money and simplify your payments by consolidating these loans with lower interest rate.
How Does Debt Consolidation Affect Credit Rating?
There are different ways to consolidate your debt, which will be discussed in a few. Whichever option you choose, it is important that you understand how it affects your credit score.
- Apply for a new credit card
When you apply for a personal loan or a balance transfer credit card, the lender will do a thorough investigation of your credit. This will lower your credit scores by a few points. According to FICO, your credit score may be reduced by less than five points.
- Get a new credit account
When you open a new credit account, it can temporarily lower your credit score. For lenders, new credit is new risk. Therefore, taking out a new loan will cause your credit score to temporarily drop.
- Changing your credit card balance
The way you consolidate your credit card balance can affect your credit utilization rate. These rates are a major component of your credit score.
This percentage is calculated by dividing your card balance by the credit limit on your card. For example, if you have a balance of $ 1,000 on a card with a limit of $ 2,000, the card has a 50% usage rate.
Credit experts suggest that your credit utilization rate should be less than 30%. The ratio is determined for each of your cards individually and for each of them.
Merging your credit card debt with a personal loan can reduce your credit card balance to zero. And, therefore, your credit utilization rate will be 0%. That means you’re not using your credit more often, and that’s not a good sign. Your credit score may improve if your rate was high before the consolidation.
If you get a new credit card and balance transfer offer, your usage rate will be recalculated. This will be based on the balance you transferred and relates to the credit limit of the new card. The transaction may affect your credit if it increases your usage rate. However, if it lowers the rate, it can have a good effect.
Finally, if you pay your contributions by credit card, your utilization rate will decrease. Ultimately, your credit score will improve.
- Apply for a debt management plan
To get approved for a low rate personal loan, you need a good credit rating. If that’s not good enough, a credit counseling service can help you get a debt management plan.
The credit counselor acts as an advisor in this plan. They will help you improve your money management skills. They will also take care of payments to all of your creditors. What happens is you make only one monthly payment to the agency. In return, the agency will split it up and pay your creditors directly.
Debt management plans have no direct impact on your credit score. However, some plans may require you to close your credit cards. And it can impact your credit history and ultimately your credit score.
In addition, it is also useful if you are in arrears with your payment. Credit counselors can negotiate with your creditors to change your payment status. This can have a significant impact on your credit score.
How to consolidate your debts?
Debt consolidation is the process of combining many credit balances into one new loan. However, not all debt consolidations are beneficial. Depending on your credit and savings, there are four ways to consolidate your debt:
- Balance Transfer Credit Cards
This method of debt consolidation allows you to open a new card with reduced interest rates. After that, you can transfer the balances from your high interest rate card to your new card. Essentially, you are paying off one card with another.
This strategy is only useful if it saves you money over time. There are things you should know before transferring your balances. These include:
- Balance transfer fee
- The interest rate for the transfer of balances
- The length of your promotional period
- Your annual contributions
If you lack financial discipline, this is not an ideal option for you.
- Personal loans
When it comes to credit settlement, getting a personal loan is one option. However, this is usually not suggested. Instead of making multiple credit card payments each month, you can make a single payment on your loan.
However, this will only work if you have a good credit rating. If the circumstances are right, you may get a lower interest rate on your loan than on your credit cards.
- Retirement Account Loans
It is not a good idea to use your retirement funds to pay off your debt. However, if you really need it, you can always consider using it.
Your retirement savings are your long-term safety net. For this reason, you need to be careful when using these funds. As long as your plan includes a loan option, you don’t need a credit check for these types of loans.
- Home equity loan
A home equity loan is when you choose to take out a loan against the value of your property. The money you receive can be used to pay off your debt.
However, this method has its risks. Although home equity loans have lower interest rates, if you miss payments there will be consequences. This means that the lender has the legal right to initiate foreclosure on your home. That being said, this should be your last option.
Debt consolidation has both its pros and cons when it comes to your credit score. Transferring a credit card balance, for example, can temporarily increase your usage rate. However, you can take more advantage of the interest savings of a 0% APR percentage offer.
Before choosing the best solution, you should carefully consider your situation and your options. And, whatever you do, keep in mind that debt consolidation is one way to eliminate your debt.