Compare home equity loan rates Fuse/Getty Images Also called a “signature loan,” a personal loan is an unsecured loan.
Unlike a credit card, it features fixed, equal monthly payments, says Mc Clary, of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Drawbacks: Before applying, ask about balance-transfer limits and fees, says Celeste Collins, executive director of On Track Financial Education & Counseling.
You close all card accounts and make 1 monthly payment to the agency, which pays the creditors. Advantages: You’ll get lower interest rates (not balances) and an end to over-limit and late fees, Mc Clary says.
Also, agencies will work for low- or no cost, if you’re struggling.
Don’t leave yourself without emergency funds just to consolidate debt. But if you quit or get fired, the entire 401(k) loan becomes due immediately, Collins says.
Roth individual retirement account: There’s no penalty for borrowing what you’ve deposited in your Roth IRA.
Geber86/E /Getty Images When you’re consolidating card balances, it pays to move slowly and methodically.
While you’re at it, weigh the alternatives and ask a lot of questions.
Some points to consider: Savings account: Borrow from savings and it isn’t lost interest you worry about.
It’s about competing needs for that money, says On Track Financial’s Collins.
So you’re trading the discomfort of card bills for the possibility of losing your home.