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Where Do I Go for a Debt Consolidation Loan?

Through the years, this is probably the question that I get the most. I have debt, and I need to consolidate it. Let me answer this question in three ways:

When debt consolidation is not an option

What you want to avoid

What are legitimate places to get a debt consolidation

When Debt Consolidation Is Not an Option


The whole idea of debt consolidation is to get a lower interest rate than you are paying right now. You don't get debt consolidation for the convenience of combining debt into one payment. If you can't lower your interest rate or the cost of the debt, then don't go through the process.


What you want to avoid


You want to avoid the debt consolidation companies that say they are going to fix your problem. The majority of the time, you create a bigger mess. I write extensively about these companies in my book Deceptive Money. A legitimate debt consolidation loan is a lending institution that loans you the money at an interest rate with a pay-off date.


What are legitimate places to get a debt consolidation


You can try crowdfunding places like www.lendingtree.com or www.prosper.com. Both will loan money. However, you need a decent credit score. My favorite lending institution is www.penfed.org. This is the credit union for the Pentagon. There are a few ways that anyone can join the credit union. They have always had either the best rates or close enough from credit cards, to personal loans, to car loans, to mortgages...

Unfortunately, to get a legit debt consolidation requires a good credit score. This is the catch 22 for those in debt. The journey that got them into debt, most of the time, harms their credit score. The advice is to call ahead and talk to someone at the loan companies I have suggested and tell them your credit score. You can generally get an idea if it is possible. If this is not an option, put together your debt consolidation plan, as I illustrate in Deceptive Money.