The average American owns about four credit cards at any given time, and credit card debt is at an all-time high, and it is a significant proportion of the total national debt.
According to a recent study, the average cardholder has $6,200 in credit card debt whose annual interest adds up to $1,162. Maintaining four credit cards can be quite a handful, especially if you focus on an individual card. However, you can manage your credit card payments more efficiently by consolidating your debt such that you can take on the repayments as a single debt rather than four separate loans.
How does one consolidate their credit card debt?
- Balance transfer
You can transfer your credit card debt from multiple cards into one card. You can take advantage of credit union credit cards that offer 0% introductory rates. Some credit union cards do not charge a balance transfer fee which would lower your cost significantly. Some credit union transfer cards charge low interest rates and are ideal for long-term debt consolidation. You have to be a member of a credit union to access such cards, and your balance should not be too large that it cannot fit in one card.
- Debt consolidation loan
You can also consolidate your credit card debt through a debt consolidation loan where you take out one big loan to pay off your high-interest credit card loans. The approach is suited for individuals with larger credit card loans. It also offers numerous advantages. Accessing a debt consolidation loans means you can pay off your other loans faster, and this will boost your credit score. Debt consolidation loans also offer fixed APR, which is lower than credit card charges.
Types of debt consolidation loans
There are different types of debt consolidation loans available to you.
- Personal loans– These are loans that do not require any collateral because they are directly linked to your credit score. Note that the APR for this loan type depends on various factors such as the lender’s preferences and the loan duration.
- Home equity loans– This is a type of loan that requires collateral, and it is usually borrowed against the value of your home. The advantages include lower APR and extended repayment duration. The disadvantage is that sometimes the extended duration means you may end up paying more in interest, thus the need to evaluate it before committing to this option.