Debt Consolidation Calculator

Our calculator can help you compare ways to consolidate debt and estimate your savings with a consolidation loan.

NerdWalletJul 27, 2020
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The debt consolidation calculator below can help you decide if consolidation is right for you. The calculator will suggest the best way to consolidate your debt and estimate your savings with a debt consolidation loan. You can also compare loan options based on your credit score.

Debt consolidation calculator

How to use the debt consolidation calculator

Step 1: Enter the balances, interest rates and monthly payments you currently make toward your unsecured debts, like credit cards, personal loans and payday loans.

Don't include secured debts like car loans or low-rate student loans here. There are better ways to manage those debts. (Learn more about auto refinancing and student loan refinance options.)

Click "I'm done" and look at the calculator results, based on the figures you entered:

  • Total balance: The sum of all your debts or what you owe in total.

  • Combined interest rate: Your average weighted interest rate for all the debts you put in the calculator.

  • Total monthly payment: The amount you're paying monthly toward these debts, including interest.

  • When you'll be debt-free: The amount of time until you are debt-free, based on your current balance and monthly payments.

Step 2: Choose your credit score range to see your debt consolidation options, including personal loans. You’ll see typical annual percentage rate ranges offered by lenders, along with alternative options for bad credit.

Lenders that offer direct payment to creditors send your loan proceeds directly to your creditors, simplifying the debt payoff process.

Drag the sliders below the table to enter an estimated rate and the loan term you want (in years) for the new loan.

Step 3: Look at the comparison between your current debts and the new debt consolidation loan.

Debt consolidation makes the most sense when your new total payment is less than your current total payment and you save interest costs.

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation rolls your existing debts into one, ideally with a lower interest rate and shorter payoff time, saving you money and time until payoff. This is often accomplished with a debt consolidation loan, but there are other ways to consolidate debt depending on your specific situation.

Ways to consolidate debt

  1. Debt consolidation loan: These loans, usually from an online lender, credit union or bank, provide a large amount of money to pay off multiple debts, leaving you with one monthly debt payment.

  2. Balance transfer credit card: This option transfers credit card debt to a balance transfer credit card that charges no interest for a promotional period, typically 12 to 18 months.

  3. Home equity loan: If you own your home, you may be able to get a loan based on the equity in your home to pay off your other debts, but you risk losing your home if you don’t keep up with payments.

  4. Retirement account loan: If you have a savings or employer-sponsored retirement account, you could take out some of that money to pay off your debts. The downsides are less funds for your retirement, and if you can’t repay the loan, you’ll owe penalties and taxes.

  5. Debt management plan: This option combines several debts into a single monthly payment at a lower interest rate than most credit cards or loans, but it typically includes startup and monthly fees, and it often takes three to five years to repay the debt.

Which lender is right for me?

NerdWallet has reviewed more than 30 lenders to help you choose one that’s right for you. Below is a list of lenders that offer standout debt consolidation loans.

Lender

Best for

NerdWallet star rating

Credit bracket

Discover

Flexible payment options

Excellent

SoFi

Free financial advising

Excellent

Marcus

No fees

Good

LightStream

Low rates

Good

Payoff

Paying off credit card debt

Fair

Upgrade

Direct payment to creditors

Fair

Upstart

Borrowers with no credit history

Bad

Other debt payoff options

See the best personal loan rates: Your debt consolidation loan rate is based on your creditworthiness, finances and other information about you. Compare the best personal loan rates to see what you can expect from a lender.

Use a 0% balance transfer card: Choose from the best 0% APR balance transfer cards to pay off your debt with no interest during the promotional period.

Take the DIY approach: If your debt is less than 15% of your annual income, you could tackle it yourself with the debt avalanche or debt snowball method.

Ask for help: Nonprofit credit counseling agencies offer debt management plans that will help you pay off credit card debt in three to five years.

Readers also ask

You may see a temporary dip in your credit scores after applying for a debt consolidation loan because lenders require a hard credit pull. However, your credit scores should rebound if you make on-time payments and avoid running up new debt.

Interest rates on mainstream debt consolidation loans typically range from 6% to 36%. You must have strong credit to qualify for rates at the low end of that range.

You can use your credit cards after debt consolidation; however, it’s best to use them sparingly and pay off balances in full to avoid paying interest and running up more debt.