Is it better to pay off credit card debt with a debt consolidation loan or gradually over two years?

The Planner
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Is it better to pay off credit card debt with a debt consolidation loan or gradually over two years?

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Answers (1)

Answers (1)

Hi The Planner,

 

Thank you for your question. The answer depends on the details. There are a few things you will want to consider when deciding which option is best.

  • What are the fees, terms, and interest rate for the consolidation loan vs. the existing credit card(s)? 
  • Will the consolidation loan help you pay off the debt faster or does it stretch out the payments over a longer time period, which could cost you more in interest in the long-run?
  • Are your credit score and other factors sufficient for you to qualify for the new consolidation loan?
  • Have you considered other options such as a balance transfer (consider fees, terms, interest rates, and of course, ability to qualify)?

Depending on the answers to these questions, it may or may not make sense to pay off the credit debt with a consolidation loan. If it will save you money, help you pay off the debt faster, and you are able to qualify for the loan, then it could be a good option. If not, put together a plan that will allow you pay off the credit card debt within your two year goal. USAA offers a free Debt Manager tool to help you put together a pay down plan. The basic premise is to pay the minimum on all debts except for the one with the highest interest rate. Put any extra amounts you can pay towards the highest interest rate debt until it is paid off in full, then roll that full payment to the next highest rate and so forth, until you reach your goal.

 

You can also check out this infographic, which summarizes the steps to paying off debt faster.

 

Please let us know if you have any other questions, and best of luck becoming credit card debt free! 

 

Mikel