Credit Card Debt? These 4 Sites Could Help You Pay It Down Faster
So, you have thousands of dollars in credit card debt, and the burden of paying off all that — and interest — is gobbling up your income.
Instead of financially treading water making minimum payments and paying maximum interest, make the smart move, and take out a debt consolidation loan. It’s a personal loan, usually at a lower interest rate that you can use to pay off your high-interest credit cards.
In the long term, you can save a ton of money, but first you have to shop around for a loan.
Sound difficult? It doesn’t have to be. Instead of spending hours scouring the internet, you can go window-shopping at an online marketplace that’ll help pinpoint the best loan for you.
We recommend you try more than one site and see what kind of results you get. Heck, try them all if you want. It won’t take long, and you have nothing to lose: Seeing your options won’t cost you anything, and it won’t hurt your credit score.
4 Marketplaces for a Credit Card Debt Consolidation Loan
To start, you’ll need to know your credit score, but that’s super easy. Just sign up for Credit Sesame, a free credit-monitoring service that helps you keep track of your credit. It’ll immediately show you your credit score, and it’ll offer you personalized tips to better manage your credit.
Here are four different options for places to find a loan online. At the end of this article, you’ll find a chart comparing them at a glance.
Compared to Credible, Fiona allows you to borrow more money and borrow it for a longer period of time — if that’s what you want to do.
You can borrow up to $100,000 and spend up to seven years paying it back. That’s more money and time than you can get from any of these other three lending marketplaces.
Fiona’s lending partners include Avant, Best Egg, Freedomplus, Lending Club, LendingPoint, LightStream, Payoff, Prosper, SoFi and Upgrade.
You’ll need a credit score of at least 620. Interest rates range from 3.84% to 35.99%.
Once you fall behind, you may find yourself getting crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. You’ll never catch up that way. You’re spending so much on interest, you’ll never pay off your balances.
If you’re financially treading water like this, it might be worth consolidating and refinancing your debt.
By refinancing an existing loan, you’re taking out a totally new loan, which comes with new terms and (ideally) a lower interest rate. By consolidating your existing loans, you lump all your debt into one big payment, so you’re only making one payment and dealing with one interest rate per month.
Make sense but don’t know where to start? Credible is an online marketplace that offers consumers personalized loan offers. It’s best for borrowers who have good credit scores (think: around 640 or higher), and it lets you quickly compare rates without visiting a bunch of sites.
Rates start at 5.34%, and you can check yours by entering a loan amount here (up to $100,000) and comparing your personalized options in under 90 seconds.
Unlike those others, Upstart is a lending platform that manages the process from pre-approval through servicing your loan.
Founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart is a lending platform that’s striving to change the personal loan game. Rather than solely focusing on your credit score to determine your borrowing power, it looks at other factors, too, including your education and employment history.
Upstart tends to be especially helpful for recent grads, who have a short credit history and a mound of debt.
Many lenders judge consumers based only on their credit history. But Upstart believes this leaves out an entire segment of the population — even though they’re totally qualified.
When it comes to the length of the loan, Upstart offers three options: three, five or seven years. The company says its average three-year loan has a 16% interest rate*, with 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed.
What can you do if you have a sudden, unexpected expense, like car trouble?
If you have an unexpected financial need, a personal loan might be the way to go. Take a moment to check out your options from SoFi*, which offers personal loans and other services aimed at helping young professionals achieve financial independence.
You can do it all online. In a couple of minutes, you can find out what interest rate you’d qualify for — with no commitment and no effect on your credit score.
Borrow up to $100,000 for three to seven years at interest rates ranging from 7.33% to 15.49%. You’ll have access to live customer support seven days a week.
Comparing Your Options One More Time
Seeing your quotes from each of these platforms takes 5 minutes, tops, so you can easily try out more than one. Each conducts a soft inquiry on your credit, meaning it won’t affect your credit score at all.
Once you actually apply for a loan, the lender will perform a hard inquiry on your credit, which will ding your credit temporarily.
Here’s the chart we promised you:
|Interest rate||3.84% to 35.99%||5.34% to 35.99%||8.92% to 29.99%||7.33% to 15.49%|
|Term||Two to seven years||three months to 10 years||Three, five or seven years||Three to seven years|
|Loan amount||$1,000 to $100,000||$1,000 to $100,000||$1,000 to $50, 000||$5,000 - $100,000|
|Minimum credit score||580||640||620||680|
*The average three-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart Platform will have an APR of 20% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on three-year rates offered in the last one month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
*Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
All loans are made by Cross River Bank, an FDIC insured New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, equal housing lender.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He knows a lot about credit card debt from personal experience.