All credit scores are based on the contents of your credit reports. Any errors in those reports can cause undeserved credit-score damage. They can also indicate fraud. So check your reports, dispute any errors you find, and take steps to protect yourself from identity theft if necessary. In particular, look for collections accounts, public records, late payments and other bad credit-score influencers.
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There may be more attractive alternatives if you can’t qualify for a personal loan with good terms. If you qualify for a debt consolidation loan with bad credit, Detweiler explains, they are probably going to be higher-cost loans, and they may not make financial sense to consolidate. Detweiler says that zero percent APR credit card offers can be a good choice, and that consumers should also look at consolidating just part of their debt instead. While most people want to consolidate all their debt into a single payment, sometimes you have to start by consolidating the highest-rate debt, she advises, and consolidate remaining debts after you pay that off.
Seek help if you want it. You can dispute credit report errors yourself, but for some people, the process is stressful. If you feel overwhelmed, you can hire a credit repair company or law firm to help. Note that a professional credit repair firm will charge a fee for its services. A good credit repair company will never promise a “300-point jump in your scores!” In fact, that’s illegal. Instead, the company should be upfront about what they can do and will take payment only after they’ve helped resolve your situation.
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The accents change as calls are coming in from all over the country but the problems are the same: the plates they had kept spinning for so long have smashed on the floor and they need help to sort through the pieces. To better understand the underlying causes of Britain’s debt crisis, the Guardian was allowed to listen to calls but not to report any personal details or experiences.
Beyond that is creditor information, which makes up most of your reports. This includes different accounts you have—loans, credit cards, etc.—and their status (open/closed, in collection), balances, credit limits and payment details. It can also include dates of missed payments or late payments and when the accounts were sent to collections. It’s this information that’s used to determine your credit scores, which are broken down into five major areas:
Secured debt consolidation loans. Secured debt consolidation loans are typically available at brick-and-mortar financial institutions, including banks and credit unions. They use collateral, such as home equity used to secure a home equity loan, and generally have better interest rates than unsecured ones. If you have the collateral and can meet the requirements, a secured loan may save you money on interest as you pay down your debt.