Peer-to-peer marketplace lenders, such as LendingClub, Prosper (a lending partner), Upstart and Peerform, connect individuals with money to lend with applicants who need a loan. They typically offer more flexible lending options and have lower requirements for approval. Often, they have some of the lowest starting APRs available. However, they also have some of the highest APRs.
Check whether you’re applying for a secured or an unsecured loan: If it’s a secured loan (backed by an asset such as your car) and you fail to make your payments, the lender can repossess the item. Unsecured loans, on the other hand, aren’t backed by this kind of collateral, but often come with higher interest rates. Make sure you consider the trade-offs before you apply for the loan.
After you consolidate your debt, you'll hopefully be a little less overwhelmed by the balance you owe and the monthly payments to that balance. You might have been able to get a more favorable interest rate through a new consolidation loan - or maybe you opted for the loan-free debt relief route. Either way, you'll only have one monthly payment rather than several. This can be the difference between getting on top of your debt and letting it drown you.

Could get hit with a penalty APR or deferred interest charges if you miss a payment or don’t pay off the balance during the promotional period	Home can be foreclosed on if you default on payments	Can negatively impact credit. Some companies may use predatory practices. May have to pay taxes on the amount of debt reduced or fees with the debt relief company

There are many reasons to start on the path to credit repair. The biggest reason is that credit affects you every day. It affects the interest rates you pay on credit cards and loans, including mortgages, and can result in higher security deposits for rentals. It can also affect what you pay for insurance rates and what credit limits you qualify for. Good credit can also mean financial freedom where you don’t have to depend on cosigners to help you make purchases and secure loans.
The time it takes to repair your credit can vary widely, depending on a number of factors – from how many mistakes you have to fix to what you want to accomplish once your credit is fixed. Since people often repair their credit with a specific goal in mind – like buying a house or negotiating an interest rate with a creditor – it’s important to know how long the process can take so you can plan ahead effectively.

If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the credit reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You also can ask the credit reporting company to give your statement to anyone who got a copy of your report in the recent past. You’ll probably have to pay for this service.
Type of lending company. Debt consolidation loans are offered by private banks and peer-to-peer marketplace lenders. Traditional banks are typically more well-established but can have higher qualification requirements and costs. Often, traditional banks require a minimum FICO credit score of 600. Some have prepayment penalties and a 1 to 5 percent origination fee. It’s a good idea to look for lenders that offer no prepayment penalties or origination fees.
Unfortunately, not all companies are completely focused on helping you, so you need to be careful to avoid credit-repair scams. Also, not all information can be disputed, and the information that can be, you can do yourself by following these steps. This includes being proactive with your own due diligence and carefully reading any and all contracts before signing.

If you are struggling to make the minimum payments on more than one account, debt consolidation may be able to give you some breathing room. If your various accounts all have harsh interest rates associated with them, it's very possible that a new debt consolidation loan can offer a more attractive rate that's less aggressive. Consult with an expert before committing to debt consolidation!
The CFPB alleged that the companies — Prime Credit, IMC Capital, Commercial Credit Consultants and Park View Law, along with several executives of the firms — charged home mortgage seekers and other clients illegal advance fees, misled customers about what they could actually do for them and failed to adequately disclose the limits on their advertised "money back guarantees." The companies "attracted thousands of customers through sales calls and their websites," the bureau said, "at times targeting consumers who had recently sought to obtain a mortgage loan" or refinancing. The bureau alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The defendants neither admitted nor denied the bureau's allegations but agreed to the settlement.
Interest savings: If you have multiple sources of debt with high annual percentage rates, you can save on total interest if you get a debt consolidation loan with a lower rate. For example, if you consolidate two credit card balances with APRs of 16.24 and 23.99 percent into a debt consolidation loan with a 15 percent APR, you will save on interest. “Rates can be considerably lower than credit card interest rates, so you’ll save money in interest fees,” says credit expert John Ulzheimer, formerly of Equifax and Experian. “Second, loans have a finite amortization period, generally not longer than a few years. You can’t say the same about credit cards.”
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