Consolidating credit card debt with a loan

You’ll need a good to excellent credit score — above 690 — to qualify for most cards.Make a budget to pay off your debt by the end of the introductory period, because any remaining balance after that time will be subject to a regular credit card interest rate.One benefit is that this loan won’t show up on your credit report.But the drawbacks are significant: If you can’t repay, you’ll owe a hefty penalty plus taxes on the unpaid balance, and you may be left struggling with more debt.Lenders don’t charge fees for paying off your loan early, but they may charge upfront origination fees that range from 1% to 5% of your loan.

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That means you’ll need to pay more than the minimum payment due to reduce the principal and make a dent in your overall debt.

Since both types of loans are secured by your house, you could lose it if you don’t keep up with payments.

» MORE: The good and bad of home equity loans Pros: Back to top If you have an employer-sponsored retirement account, it’s not advisable to take a loan from it, since doing so can significantly impact your retirement.

However, if you’ve ruled out balance transfer cards and other types of loans, this may be an option for you.

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