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A lender may lower the interest rate on your credit card balance when you participate in a debt management plan.Debt management plans typically last three to five years.Failing to pay a personal loan as agreed will hurt your credit, so stay on top of your loan payments and work to Credit card consolidation can affect your credit in many ways, depending on which strategy you choose.For example, if you’re consolidating multiple balances onto one card, you’ll want to avoid maxing out that card’s credit limit, because that will hurt your credit utilization rate (how much debt you’re carrying compared to your total credit limit).(Not every creditor has to participate, so you may be able to keep a credit card out of the debt management plan if you need it to remain open for travel or business purposes, for example.)Once you complete your plan, some of your creditors may re-establish your credit based on your new, debt-free status and the on-time payment history you established through the course of the debt management plan.Other ways credit card consolidation can hurt your credit: Applying for a new line of credit results in a hard inquiry on your credit report, adding a new credit account can lower the average age of your credit history and a new personal loan will show that you have a high level of outstanding debt (your scores should improve as your remaining balance shrinks from where it started). Adding a personal loan to your credit history can improve your mix of accounts (it’s good to have a combination of installment and revolving credit, like credit cards).Here’s how credit card consolidation works: You first decide if you want to take out a new loan, open a new credit card or enroll in a debt management plan (more on that later).Whichever option you choose, you will use it to pay off your multiple balances.
You may be able to consolidate your debt with a personal loan from your bank or credit union.
Credit card debt consolidation may save you money, but it’s often not free.
Credit cards may have a balance transfer fee, so you’ll want to make sure that cost doesn’t outweigh the potential benefit of getting a lower interest rate on your debt.
For it to truly help you get out of debt, you have to stick to the plan, whether that’s paying off your credit card balance within a 12-month promotional financing period or making sure you make payments as agreed for the entire five-year loan term.
Throughout the process, you can keep tabs on how your credit card consolidation plan is affecting your credit by reviewing your free annual credit reports and viewing your Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser.