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Best Debt Consolidation Loan Companies

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by Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

Debt consolidation companies offer solutions to combine multiple debts–such as credit card bills, home loans or other loans–into one easy-to-manage monthly payment. This debt relief solution may be helpful for consumers with many outstanding debts, especially if they have debts with high interest rates.

Compare Top Debt Consolidation Companies

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National Debt Relief
Read 32671 Reviews

Debt is often reduced by as much as 50%, with most cases settled in 24-48 months. Fees vary between 18-25% of enrolled debt. No upfront fees. $10,000 minimum debt required. Offers debt settlement services, not a loan provider.

Freedom Debt Relief
Read 14292 Reviews

Specializes in debt settlement services only. Debt can be settled in 24-48 months, and fees range from 15-25%. $15,000 minimum debt required. Track progress 24-7 via online dashboard. No-risk debt-relief consultation offered.

Best Egg
Read 1072 Reviews

Best Egg's online application process makes it easier than ever to obtain a personal loan. With their quick and simple 3 step process, you can have the money you need in your account in 1 business day.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services
Read 1173 Reviews

Reduce credit card payments by up to 30-50%. Offers free online financial education webinars and three debt solutions, including debt consolidation. Specialized credit counseling available for military families.

FreedomPlus
Read 363 Reviews

FreedomPlus in an online lender that underwrites consumer loans under the brand Freedom Financial Network, LLC. Its underwriting process gives low-cost loans to borrowers ranging from $10,000 to $40,000.

NetCredit
Read 410 Reviews

NetCredit prides itself on providing a "more personal, personal loan" and offers a 100% commitment to customer satisfaction with a process that is simple, transparent and reliable.

GreenPath Financial Wellness
Read 434 Reviews

Minimum required debt is $10,000. Free counseling and financial education provided. Average monthly fee is about $36, and no fee is charged until debts are settled. Debts are usually paid off in 3-5 years.

LoanMe
Read 511 Reviews

LoanMe provides personal loans in as little as four hours. We strive to make the process quick and easy to yield needed funds for one-time purchases or debt consolidation.

CountryWide Debt Consolidation Loans
Read 16 Reviews

CountryWide Debt Relief has several options for debt relief, including debt settlement, debt consolidation and consumer credit counseling services. They help people facing financial hardships, including people facing bankruptcy.

Liberty Lending Group
Read 56 Reviews

This company gives consumers the opportunity to choose from several different in an online marketplace. With no hidden fees, no prepayment fees and fast approval, you’ll be able to find a fixed-rate personal loan in no time.

CashCall
Read 512 Reviews

Cashcall offers consumers personal loans, small business loans and mortgage loans online via a quick and streamlined application process. Cashcall's corporate headquarters are located in Orange, California.

Credit Direct
Read 73 Reviews

Credit Direct offers unsecured loans up to $40,000 and an online application. They are licensed in California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas.

United Debt Counselors
Read 96 Reviews

United Debt Counselors is a debt settlement company that helps with credit card debt. They can reduce the interest you’re paying and may be able to negotiate a debt settlement this is much lower than your current balance.

Ovation Credit Services
Read 323 Reviews

Monthly credit monitoring offered. No-risk refund policy with a first-work fee of $89 and a recurring $59 monthly payment that can be cancelled anytime. Results are often seen in first 90 days.

Compare top personal loans for debt consolidation

When looking to take out a debt consolidation loan, there are a few things you want to consider, the fees and rates of the loan chief among them. For a debt consolidation loan to be worth your time and provide real relief, you need to ensure the interest rates are lower than your existing debts or you’ll end up paying more in the long run to pay off your debts. When selecting our top picks for this list, we looked at APR and fees along with credit score requirements, loan maximums, repayment terms and customer satisfaction to provide some worthwhile choices.

Best for large loans
FreedomPlus

  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Loan amount: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Estimated APR: 6–30%
  • Loan Term: 2–5 years

What we like: Loans are available from $7,500 up to $40,000 with an online application and approval process. Funds are available as soon as 48 hours after approval. We like that the company shows straightforward rates on their website with transparent APR, terms and origination fees. There is no pre-payment required.

What to consider: With a quick and easy online approval process, you want to make sure you’re also making a wise financial decision. We recommend seeking credit counseling before applying for a debt consolidation loan to ensure it’s the right move for your financial situation.

Who’s it best for: Those who need to take out a larger loan, up to $40,000.

Best for good credit
Countrywide Debt Consolidation Loans

  • Minimum credit score: Good to excellent
  • Loan amount: $5,000+
  • Estimated APR: 5.99%–35.89%
  • Loan Term: 12–48 years

What we like: Countrywide Debt Relief offers debt consolidation loans with repayment terms between 12 and 48 months. Their application and approval process is online and easy to follow with a quick turnaround time. We recommend checking out their “proven results” page to see case studies and understand their process and results.

What to consider: Countrywide Debt Relief offers two debt consolidation options: a debt consolidation loan and a debt consolidation program. The debt consolidation loan requires a good credit score and ability to make consistent payments. If you don’t qualify for a loan, you may qualify for their debt consolidation program, which is open to those of all credit scores and those whose debts currently outweigh their assets.

Who’s it best for: Those with good credit. If your credit is less than stellar, other debt management options are available through Countrywide Debt Relief.

Best for short-term loans
CashCall

  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Loan amount: Up to $10,600
  • Estimated APR: 36–139%
  • Loan Term: Up to 7 years

What we like: CashCall offers personal loans for debt consolidation with a loan term of up to seven years, which is the longest loan term available on our list. The online application process is quick and easy. All documents can be signed digitally, and they claim a funding time of as little as four hours.

What to consider: CashCall has a high origination fee and higher than average APR rates for their loans. You can repay your loans early without penalty and save on some of those costs, but if you want to take advantage of a long loan term, you may end paying more in interest than you would if you kept your original debt accounts open.

Who’s it best for: People who need loans from $2,600 (this is CashCall’s minimum loan requirement) to $10,600 and expect to be able to repay the borrowed amount relatively quickly.

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What is a debt consolidation loan?

Debt consolidation is a form of debt refinancing designed to simplify the debt repayment process. In some situations, it can reduce the total amount paid (by reducing interest rates), and generally gives borrowers more time to repay the amount owed by providing a longer repayment term. A lot of people use a debt consolidation loan to pay off credit cards.

Debt consolidation can be done via a balance transfer credit card, through a credit counseling agency or by taking out a home equity loan or personal loan for debt consolidation. A personal loan typically has a lower interest rate than credit cards. The repayment terms can be stretched out to about 30 to 60 months, so you can take advantage of lower monthly payments for an extended period of time. Borrow only the amount you need so you don’t fall into an even worse position.

When using a personal loan to consolidate debt you’re still paying everything that you owe, but you’re simplifying your payments and protecting your credit. One new loan will pay off your other debts, and then you’ll be left with a single payment every month. Debt consolidation loans are available in various amounts through banks, credit unions, private lenders and other financial institutions. The amount you pay and the availability of loans will depend on factors including the total amount of debt owed and your credit.

Can you get a debt consolidation loan with bad credit?

You can still get a debt consolidation loan with poor credit, but it will be harder. Also, your interest rate will be higher, and higher interest rates could mean you aren't saving much money, which could defeat the purpose of consolidating your debt. When you're choosing a loan provider, consider the full amount of interest you'll pay over the life of the loan. Opting for a shorter term would increase your monthly payments but will also reduce the amount of interest and fees you'll pay over time.

If you have already consulted your local credit union and tried other financial options like a lender or loan finder service and are having trouble securing a debt consolidation loan, consider seeking help from a counseling agency. Credit counseling agencies offer counseling programs that can help people with bad credit who are having trouble finding a loan.

How do debt consolidation loans work?

Debt consolidation uses a personal loan to consolidate multiple debts into a single loan. Debt consolidation loans work for a lot of consumers struggling with debt. Debt consolidation is a debt relief program that allows you to take out one new loan to pay off some or all your outstanding debts. It streamlines paying multiple debts with one single payment at a reduced interest rate and lowers monthly payments. It might cover home equity loans, personal loans, student loans or credit card debt. The program typically allows three to five years to eliminate debt through repayment.

Do debt consolidation loans hurt your credit score?

When taking out any new line of credit, your credit score may suffer in the short-term. However, taking out a personal loan for debt consolidation should not have a long-term negative effect on your credit, provided you make your payments consistently and don’t default on the loan.

Credit scores are impacted by your credit utilization ratio (the amount of credit you owe compared to how much credit is available to you). Closing credit card accounts can reduce your available credit and thereby raise your credit utilization ratio. A higher credit utilization ratio can hurt your credit score. For that reason, you might want to leave your credit accounts open, after they are paid off. Just remember not to take on additional debt.

How do I qualify for a debt consolidation loan?

Specific debt consolidation requirements may vary by lender, however qualifications are likely to include the following:

  • Proof of income
  • Credit history
  • Unsecured debt exceeding $5,000

While there is no official credit score minimum to qualify for a debt consolidation loan, debt consolidation lenders usually set a minimum credit score of 580 to 640 (or “fair” to “good”).

How to get a debt consolidation loan

Getting a loan for debt consolidation requires careful preparation. Consider the following process to help you get the best debt consolidation loan for your specific situation:

  1. Analyze your debt portfolio
    Take an inventory of each loan and credit card balance you have and prepare a budget and payment plan. Your budget will help you calculate how much of a monthly payment you can afford. Your payment plan will remind you to set aside the needed funds for your payments.
  2. Know the type of loan you need
    Your credit counselor or debt consolidation lender will help you identify the type of loan that you qualify for and have the best chances of paying off. If you've weighed your debt relief options and decided to take out a loan, you'll need to choose between a secured loan or an unsecured loan. Secured loans have collateral and tend to have lower interest rates, while unsecured loans have no collateral and higher interest rates. Your credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio will factor into your decision between a secured vs. unsecured loan:
    • Secured debt consolidation loans are loans that are secured by an asset or property, such as a home, building or other real estate property. Some banks also accept your personal savings as collateral. Other lenders may consider chattel mortgages on movable property, such as cars, trucks, vans or mobile homes, to secure the loans they grant. Secured personal loans can be easier to get than unsecured personal loans, but they’re riskier. Only apply for one if you feel confident you will be able to make consistent monthly payments. Otherwise, you risk losing the asset.
    • Unsecured debt consolidation loans are loans that aren’t backed by an asset or personal property as collateral. Personal loans, credit card debt, medical bills, payday loans and student loans fall into this category. Approval and interest rates are mainly based on your credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio. You generally need to have a good credit score to be approved for an unsecured personal loan for debt consolidation, though interest rates of unsecured loans are typically higher than those of secured personal loans.
  3. Find the right lender

    Shop around and compare rates and terms. Know what lenders consider before approving a debt consolidation loan. Lenders are in a business of their own, and they want to protect their interests to be able to continue serving consumers who need their help. They will require:

    • Proof of income to ensure that you have the financial means to pay the loan
    • Credit score and credit report to check your credit and payment history
    • Adequate collateral if you need a larger loan

Debt consolidation loan rates

Interest for both unsecured and secured loans can carry fixed or variable rates. If you’re worried about rising interest rates on your long-term loans, you will want a fixed rate. Variable interest rates depend on a benchmark set by banks periodically. This means interest rates on loans may rise or fall. Variable-rate loans have lower APRs than fixed-rate loans. Consumers are also protected from extreme rate fluctuation by a cap that limits how much your rate can rise over a specific period and the life of the loan.

Interest rates vary by lender and are based on several factors such as credit score, the loan amount and the term. Your credit score generally holds the heaviest weight. Debt consolidation loan rates can range from 4.5 percent for excellent credit to 36 percent for poor credit. Many lenders require a minimum credit score of 580 to receive a debt consolidation loan.

Estimated debt consolidation loan rates

Credit scoreScore RangeAPR EstimateAPR Average
Excellent730–8504%–20%14%
Good680–7306%–29%18%
Fair610–6807%–31%22%
Poor300-61014%–37%28%

Before taking out a loan for debt consolidation, make sure to analyze your debt portfolio, know the type of loan you need and find the right lender.

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Debt consolidation reviews

Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.

Cambridge Credit Counseling was established in 1996 and works to provide credit counseling, debt management programs and financial literacy education to clients across America. It is a non-profit company and specializes in credit, housing, reverse mortgage and bankruptcy counseling and debt reduction services.

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Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief is a credit advocacy and debt resolution company that has resolved over $4 billion in debt for its clients. Freedom Debt Relief has over 900 highly-trained professionals at their company. Their individualized approach first reviews every customer’s personal situation to determine whether they are the best fit for the company. If the company can’t help the consumer, they refer them to a more suitable agency.

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Consolidated Credit Counseling Services

Consolidated Credit has been in business for over 20 years and has helped over 5 million people eliminate debt. The company offers a wide range of debt assistance programs including debt management, credit improvement, avoiding foreclosure and bankruptcy plans. Consolidated Credit also offers a strong counseling and financial education component.

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GreenPath Financial Wellness

Established in 1961 as Michigan Credit Union League, GreenPath debt solutions has grown into a full nonprofit financial services organization. The company has offices across the country and helps more than 200,000 people annually.

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CountryWide Debt Relief

CountryWide Debt Relief is a 30-year-old debt settlement company that educates its clients about options to avoid bankruptcy. The firm is a proactive company that negotiates with debtors, coordinates repayment and teaches clients about improving their credit scores.

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Pacific Debt Inc

Founded in 2002, Pacific Debt Inc. was created to address the rise of consumer debt in the United States. Since its founding, Pacific Debt has settled millions of dollars in consumer debt each month by offering counseling and solutions that put the customer first.

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National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief helps consumers find relief from burdensome debt with their debt settlement services. They offer alternatives to bankruptcy along with educational resources for people who are considering filing for bankruptcy.

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Century Support Services

Century Support Services is a debt settlement company that was founded in 2012 with headquarters in Pennsylvania. Century Support Services helps consumers reduce their debt by negotiating with companies to forgive a significant amount of unsecured debt.

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New Era Debt Solutions

New Era Debt Solutions has been offering people debt relief options since 1999. It provides debt settlement programs for multiple types of unsecured debt, including credit cards, personal lines of credit, repossessions, judgments and private student loans.

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Accredited Debt Relief

Accredited Debt Relief works with several debt relief partners to help clients take control of their financial futures. Accredited Debt Relief reviews different debt relief programs and makes sure to match clients with the debt solution right for them.

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United Debt Counselors

United Debt Counselors (UDC) is a debt settlement firm that helps people who have high credit card balances with high interest rates. UDC helps you combine all your debt into one bill with a lower interest rate, so you can pay off your debt earlier than if you did nothing.

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Elite Financial Services

Elite Financial Services is a debt settlement company that can help consumers eliminate debt in as little as 12 months. They only charge consumers a fee once they have successfully settled their debts, which can ease the financial burden of debt settlement.

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Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. is a nonprofit credit counseling organization that helps Canadians eliminate their debt responsibly. Their educational resources guide consumers to handle their current debt and learn money management skills that can prevent debt in the future.

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Family Credit Management

Nonprofit Family Credit Management, a credit counseling agency has been in business for more than 20 years. The company has helped over 100,000 people get out of debt.

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CreditAssociates

This company is a debt settlement advisor that can help you reduce the amount of money you owe. They work directly with creditors to get their clients lower overall payments so they can be debt-free in as little as 24-36 months.

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ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

Clearpoint Credit Counseling is a non-profit, education-focused credit counseling firm committed to teaching consumers better money management skills. Founded in 1964, the firm offers budget, debt and housing advice. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and has more than 40 branches nation-wide.

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Money Management International

Money Management International, founded in 1958, is a non-profit, full-service credit counseling agency in the U.S. Their services include professional financial guidance, credit, bankruptcy and housing counseling, as well as education and debt management services.

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InCharge Debt Solutions

InCharge is a 501 (d) (3) non-profit organization offering free and impartial debt relief solutions to consumers struggling with debt. In business since 1997, InCharge’s Certified financial counselors have helped 1.2 million people with credit card debt and people facing bankruptcy and foreclosure.

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Profile picture of Barbara Friedberg
Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.