If you’ve run up high balances on credit cards, for instance, a loan for consolidating debt can lower your interest costs now and help you get out of debt faster. If you owe $7,500 across credit cards with an average APR of 25%, for example, interest charges alone will be $156 per month. Consolidate these debts into a lower-interest personal loan with a 13% APR, however, and you’d immediately cut interest costs nearly in half to just $81 per month.
Assess your current debt total by listing out your debts, including credit cards, student loans, car loans and any other accounts. Track your spending to see where your money goes each month, identifying areas where you may be able to cut back. Compare your debt payment obligations and your spending to create a budget and determine how much you can realistically pay on your debt each month.
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:
Depending on your creditworthiness, you may be able to receive a lower interest rate on a debt consolidation loan than you are currently paying on your debt, saving you money on monthly payments and overall interest. Another option for lowering your monthly payment is with a long loan term. However, a longer loan term means you may pay more interest total.