Lenders who offer the best debt consolidation loans go the extra mile to help community members achieve their financial goals. While debt consolidation loans are designed to move wide-ranging debts into one monthly payment, some are more consumer-friendly than others.
Great Features Only the Best Debt Consolidation Loans Offer
If you have made the decision to bring credit cards and other outstanding loan and bill balances under one umbrella, it’s crucial to examine the terms and conditions often offered by debt consolidation loans. After conducting some due diligence, you may discover only the best debt consolidation loans deliver the following.
1: The Best Debt Consolidation Loans Offer Low Annual Percentage Rates
One of the common reasons consumers consolidate debt involves saving money. To keep more of your hard-earned cash, it’s critical to leverage a debt consolidation product that offers a lower interest rate.
To determine whether you are selecting the best option to fulfill your financial needs, consider running your existing balances and interest rates through a debt consolidation calculator. Then compare your existing payoff plan against those of a debt consolidation product such as a home equity loan, personal loan, or low-rate credit card.
If the interest rates offered on your new debt consolidation loan are not quite as low as you would like them to be, improving your credit score could make a difference. Request a free copy of your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Higher scores generally lead to lower interest rates, so be sure to correct any errors and clear up existing issues.
2: The Best Debt Consolidation Loans Feature Minimal Lender Fees
The best debt consolidation loans apply only minimal fees in an effort to support borrowers’ goals of achieving financial independence. Despite the fundamental reason for seeking this solution, for-profit institutions too often weigh them down with additional costs, unlike not-for-profit credit unions which charge minimal fees. Below are commonly tacked-on fees borrowers come across.
Home Equity Loans: A percentage of a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) may be assessed as an origination fee. After that, it’s not uncommon to be charged approximately a $350 appraisal fee, $50 credit report fee, $200 title search fee, $50-$200 notary fee, $50 recording fee, as well as a charge for document preparation. Be sure to check with your trusted local lender for their fees.
Personal Loans: The average fees included in taking out a personal loan include a $50 application fee, a 2-5 percent pre-payment penalty, late fees of up to $50 or 5 percent, and an origination fee of up to 6 percent of the loan. Be sure to check with your trusted local lender for their fees.
Credit Cards: A low-interest credit card may be a viable consolidation option if it isn’t bogged down with fees. But the average extra charges generally include annual fees between $95 and $500, late penalties of $40, and 5 percent balance transfer fees, among others. Be sure to check with your trusted local lender for their fees.
3: A Set Date You Will Be Out of Debt
If runaway spending put you in a position to need a debt consolidation loan, it may be prudent to choose a closed-ended solution. Using a HELOC or low-interest credit card to pay off balances, leaving only one monthly payment, is a solution. But if you are likely to use these flexible borrowing options and rack up more debt, they might not be the best choice for your financial situation.
Consider discussing a fixed-rate home equity loan or personal loan with a defined repayment period. Limit any credit card use to only necessary spending and celebrate your improved financial well-being when the last installment of your debt consolidation loan is made.
4: Multiple Repayment Terms
While financial institutions strive to create unique products, be on the lookout for scenarios that allow you to customize your repayment period. Keep in mind that shorter repayment periods typically reduce interest costs but raise the monthly installment while longer repayment periods allow cash-strapped borrowers to lower monthly expenses and free up money for leisure enjoyment. The best debt consolidation loans offer enough flexibility and repayment term options to meet your needs.
5: Additional Debt Support
Lenders who offer the best debt consolidation loans do so knowing borrowers are in a difficult financial situation. Any corporation can underwrite a loan and show you to the door. But trusted local lenders who care about community members invest in debt support programs.
Before signing off on any loan, consider whether the lender offers programs such as debt and budgeting coaching, credit report reviews, homeownership coaching, or student loan coaching, among others. Lenders that invest in these types of programs and provide a resource center truly have your back.
CCCU Debt Consolidation Loan Options Can Help
If you are considering a debt consolidation loan, CCCU can help you find the best solution for your unique financial situation. when you visit any of our branch locations.