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Contributor
I realized that my credit cards got high. I owe about 5500 between 6 cards. I am trying to pay then off as quickly as possible which makes things tough.....
I was wondering if it would be better to get a small personal loan to pay them off at once and just have the loan payment or just continue to pay on them?

3 REPLIES

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mickey06,

Thank you for your comment regarding credit cards and loans. It may be best to speak with a service specialist in order to address your concern. You can reach a specialist by clicking here or by telephone at 1-800-531-8722.

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Whichever one you pay less interest on overall. Get a financial calc and do the math, anyone tells you different there selling you something :)
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If you are serious about eliminating this debt, the first thing I would do it cut up all of those credit cards... maybe keep one for emergencies (TRUE emergencies) but toss the rest. You don't mention why you accumulated this debt or if the $5500 figure is very large for you... everyone's situation is different. But it is in your best interest to pay off high-interest debt first before any discretionary spending or savings plan.

 

Figure out a payment plan. Can you afford $250/month, paying off the debt in a couple of years? $500/month? $100/month? Figure out your number. Be honest with yourself.

 

As far as how to consolidate the debt, most credit cards give decent rates for "balance transfers" along the lines of "0% for 12 months" or "2.99% for the life of the balance..." if you have excellent credit. They do charge a fee for balance transfers, usually around 3%, but that one-time fee is a far cry from the 9.99%, 16.99%, 22.99% that you may be paying (and compounding) right now.

 

If you have poor credit, then you may not qualify for such low-interest rate offers. But it also means that you probably won't qualify for a personal loan. A personal loan may not be a good deal, anyway... it is still high-interest, unsecured debt.

 

Bottom line: Figure out the payment you can afford each month. Consolidate your debt to a low-interest account, if possible. Stick to the plan. And don't accumulate more debt. Everyone's situation is different. If you feel that you need to speak with a credit counselor, then go for it.

 

It is great that you identified the issue now with "only" $5500 in debt. Oftentimes people don't see an issue until they are at much higher multiples.