I made a bad loan decision. The money was needed ASAP, but now that things seem ok I realize the APR is going to make me pay almost 8 times the loan amount. I would consider refinancing, but not sure the bank would consider me since I can appear over extended. Question: In this case, should I get a cash advance from credit cards (with significantly lower APRs) to pay this loan off?
Thank you for reaching out to us in Community. I would recommend giving our Financial Improvement Team (FIT) a call. FIT helps members with Debt Management, budgeting and building and maintaining good credit. If you would like to speak to this team, please call (800) 245-9360 between the hours of 8am-6pm central time. Best of luck to you!
While paying off the high-interest loan with lower-interest credit cards might work, be careful you don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
Banks and credit scoring look at personal loans and credit card debt differently. While a high balance on a personal loan doesn't necessarily kill your score, high balances on credit cards will. Credit utilization (the balance owed on a credit card versus the card credit limit) can kill your score if it creeps upwards of 30%. High utilization can kill your score and cause lenders to panic and start slashing your credit limits -- this causing utilization to spike even higher.
To make it worse it worse, utilization on just individual cards isn't all that is considered. They also look at combined balances versus combined credit limits.
So so while transferring your loan debt to lower-interest credit cards might be good, make sure you aren't utilizing more than 30% of your card limits (individually and globally) in doing so.