Debt consolidating

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You can get your free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies — Trans Union, Equifax and Experian.

And, Credit.com’s free credit report summary can help you understand what’s inside your credit report. There are several safe and smart ways to consolidate credit card debt, so you’ll want to research them before deciding what’s best for you.

Here’s how credit card consolidation works: You first decide if you want to take out a new loan, open a new credit card or enroll in a debt management plan (more on that later).

Whichever option you choose, you will use it to pay off your multiple balances.

But, before applying, be sure to ask about the lender’s credit requirements.

Keep in mind that you’ll need Be sure to check out any potential online lenders with the Better Business Bureau before applying for a debt consolidation loan online.

The same goes for debt consolidation loans: Ask about any loan origination fees, and make sure the loan payment amount is something that easily fits into your budget.Keep in mind a debt management plan may have a negative impact on your credit during the course of the program because your creditors will close or suspend your accounts while in the program, and this can affect your credit utilization.So make sure you are ready to live credit card free for a while.Failing to pay a personal loan as agreed will hurt your credit, so stay on top of your loan payments and work to Credit card consolidation can affect your credit in many ways, depending on which strategy you choose.For example, if you’re consolidating multiple balances onto one card, you’ll want to avoid maxing out that card’s credit limit, because that will hurt your credit utilization rate (how much debt you’re carrying compared to your total credit limit).And if you make your credit card or loan payments as agreed, you’ll establish a positive payment history, which affects your credit scores more than anything else.

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