Next, estimate your monthly spending habits for other expenses such as gas, groceries and entertainment. Create a limit, based on your income, of what you can spend in each of the different categories of expenses. For example, if you tend to spend $400 a month on groceries, try to stick to $300 a month on groceries by making changes like buying generic brands, using coupons, and resisting impulse purchases.
Your credit score depends partly on your credit card utilization ratio — that’s how much of your available credit you’ve used. Using a personal loan to pay off all or some of your credit card debt could improve your credit score because it will improve your credit utilization ratio. One thing to note is that when you consolidate your debt, your credit score may go down for a time because of the hard credit check the lender makes during the application process.
U.S. News examined lenders and lending partners that offer personal loans for consolidating existing debt. The research was based on each company’s eligibility requirements, loan terms, fees, repayment methods and additional features. U.S. News limited the analysis to lenders with an online application that offer loans in most of the U.S. so the lenders profiled are accessible to most consumers.