Best of

Credit Card Consolidation Loans: Best of December 2019

Steve NicastroOctober 18, 2019

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Credit card consolidation loans combine multiple credit card balances into a single loan at a fixed rate. Compare personal loans for credit card debt consolidation.

Summary of Credit Card Consolidation Loans: Best of December 2019

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Payoff

Payoff

on Payoff's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.99 - 24.99%

640

on Payoff's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.99 - 28.99%

660

on Goldman Sachs's website

Lightstream

LightStream

on LightStream's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.49 - 17.49%

660

on LightStream's website

Upstart

Upstart

on Upstart's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.14 - 35.99%

580

on Upstart's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.98 - 35.89%

600

on Upgrade's website

Lending Club

LendingClub

on LendingClub's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.95 - 35.89%

600

on LendingClub's website

FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus

on FreedomPlus's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.99 - 29.99%

640

on FreedomPlus's website

Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Credit card consolidation loans

8.01 - 16.30%

660

on Laurel Road's website

Earnest

Earnest Personal Loan

on Earnest's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.99 - 17.24%

680

on Earnest's website

Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.99 - 24.99%

660

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Payoff

Payoff

on Payoff's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.99 - 24.99%

640

on Payoff's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.99 - 28.99%

660

on Goldman Sachs's website

Lightstream

LightStream

on LightStream's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.49 - 17.49%

660

on LightStream's website

Upstart

Upstart

on Upstart's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.14 - 35.99%

580

on Upstart's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.98 - 35.89%

600

on Upgrade's website

Lending Club

LendingClub

on LendingClub's website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.95 - 35.89%

600

on LendingClub's website

FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus

on FreedomPlus's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.99 - 29.99%

640

on FreedomPlus's website

Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Credit card consolidation loans

8.01 - 16.30%

660

on Laurel Road's website

Earnest

Earnest Personal Loan

on Earnest's website

Credit card consolidation loans

5.99 - 17.24%

680

on Earnest's website

Discover

Discover® Personal Loans

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Credit card consolidation loans

6.99 - 24.99%

660

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Our picks for

Credit card consolidation loans

Payoff

on Payoff's website

Payoff

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $35,000

on Payoff's website


Min. Credit Score

640

Key facts

Payoff’s debt consolidation loans are used solely for the purpose of paying off credit card debt.

Pros

  • Low starting rates.

  • Competitive rates among similar lenders.

  • No late fee.

  • Offers online educational resources.

Cons

  • No co-sign or secured loan option.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Charges origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 640.

  • Minimum credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum annual income: $40,000.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: less than 50%.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 5%.

Disclaimer

This does not constitute an actual commitment to lend or an offer to extend credit. Upon submitting a loan application, you may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income, assets, and financial condition. Your interest rate and terms for which you are approved will be shown to you as part of the online application process. Most applicants will receive a variety of loan offerings to choose from, with varying loan amounts and interest rates. Borrower subject to a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Refer to full borrower agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

Read Full Review
Marcus by Goldman Sachs

on Goldman Sachs's website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99 - 28.99%

Loan Amount

$3,500 - $40,000

on Goldman Sachs's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Marcus offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation, and appeals to borrowers with fair to good credit.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Flexible payment options.

  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Requires good credit.

  • No co-sign option.

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama; 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico).

  • Valid U.S. bank account, Social Security number or tax ID.

  • 660+ credit score.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 6 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36-month loans are generally lower than rates for 72-month loans). Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Read Full Review
Lightstream

on LightStream's website

LightStream

Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

5.49 - 17.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates for almost any purpose, including credit card consolidation.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Co-sign option.

  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.

  • No minimum income specified.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com which, may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan at 12.8% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $168. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved. SUNTRUST, LIGHTSTREAM and the LightStream logo are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust Bank.

Read Full Review
Upstart

on Upstart's website

Upstart

Upstart

Min. Credit Score

580

Est. APR

6.14 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

on Upstart's website


Min. Credit Score

580

Key facts

Upstart offers direct payment to creditors and may be an option for fair-credit borrowers.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.

  • No secured or co-sign option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.

  • Max debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,001. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan on Upstart will have an APR of 20% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. The average APR on Upstart is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

Read Full Review
Upgrade

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

Upgrade

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

6.98 - 35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

on Upgrade's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

Upgrade directly pays creditors for credit card consolidation, and may lend to borrowers with fair credit scores.

Pros

  • Credit health tools.

  • Hardship plans.

  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans used to pay off credit cards.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum annual income: None, but most applicants earn more than $30,000.

  • Minimum monthly free cash flow: $800.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.

  • Unavailable to borrowers in: Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont or West Virginia.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.5% - 6%.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. You may be required to have some of your funds sent directly to pay off your credit cards. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. Personal loans issued by WebBank, Member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade's Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

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Lending Club

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

Lending Club

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

6.95 - 35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $40,000

on LendingClub's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

LendingClub offers a balance transfer loan to help borrowers consolidate credit cards. It sends your loan proceeds to up to 12 creditors to simplify the process.

Pros

  • May offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Joint loan option.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges late fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 600.

  • Minimum credit history of three years.

  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40% for single applications, 35% combined for joint applicants.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% - 6%.

  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of payment after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

*All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long-term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: 595 Market St suite 200 San Francisco Ca 94105. **Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between Jan. 1, 2018, and July 20, 2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.

Read Full Review
FreedomPlus

on FreedomPlus's website

FreedomPlus

FreedomPlus

Min. Credit Score

640

Est. APR

5.99 - 29.99%

Loan Amount

$7,500 - $40,000

on FreedomPlus's website


Min. Credit Score

640

Key facts

FreedomPlus offers direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation, and is an option for borrowers with good to excellent credit.

Pros

  • Low starting rates.

  • Co-sign option.

  • Directly pays creditors for debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • May charge origination fee.

  • Minimum loan amount of $7,500.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 640.

  • At least $40,000 in annual income.

  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40%. Average borrowers have a DTI of 20%.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.0% - 5.0%.

  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of amount due, whichever is greater.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99% APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For example, a four-year, $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

Read Full Review
Laurel Road Personal Loan

on Laurel Road's website

Laurel Road Personal Loan

Laurel Road Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

8.01 - 16.30%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $45,000

on Laurel Road's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Laurel Road is an option for borrowers with strong credit, and it allows applicants to apply with a co-signer.

Pros

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

  • Co-sign option.

  • Autopay discounts.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.

  • Lacks flexible payment options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Minimum income: None specified.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: Not disclosed.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Prepayment fees: None.

  • Late fees: 5% or $28, whichever is less.

Disclaimer

Read Full Review
Earnest

on Earnest's website

Earnest Personal Loan

Earnest

Min. Credit Score

680

Est. APR

5.99 - 17.24%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $75,000

on Earnest's website


Min. Credit Score

680

Key facts

Earnest does not directly pay creditors for debt consolidation, but it has low rates and no fees for good-credit borrowers.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Flexible payments.

Cons

  • No co-sign or secured loan options.

  • Requires permission to scan checking account.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 680.

  • Proof of consistent income.

  • No open collections accounts.

  • Live in the District of Columbia or a state other than Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada or Rhode Island.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application. Earnest offers personal loans with fixed interest rates between 6.99% APR and 18.24% APR for three, four, or five year terms. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 07/03/2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility. The information provided on this page is updated as of 07/03/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of- service, e-mail us at [email protected]st.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our personal loan product.

Read Full Review
Discover
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Discover® Personal Loans

Discover

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

6.99 - 24.99%

Loan Amount

$2,500 - $35,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

Discover is ideal for consumers with good to excellent credit who want to consolidate high-interest debt, and it offers direct payment to creditors.

Pros

  • Free credit score access.

  • No origination fee.

  • Option to directly pay creditors.

  • Flexible payment options.

Cons

  • Charges late fees.

  • No refinancing option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score required: 660; borrowers' average score is about 750.

  • Minimum gross income required: $25,000, but typically much higher.

  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not provided.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

Disclaimer

This is not a commitment to lend from Discover Personal Loans. Your approval for a loan is determined once you apply and is based on your application information and credit history. Your APR will be between 6.99-24.99% based upon creditworthiness at time of application. Not all applications will be approved.

Read Full Review

How to get a credit card consolidation loan

Here are a few steps to help you get the credit card consolidation loan process started.

Know your balances and rates: Add up what you owe on the credit cards you want to consolidate, sorted by total balances and interest rates.

Aim to consolidate cards with rates that are more than the annual percentage rate you can get on a consolidation loan, to save on interest. For example, if the rates on your credit card balances are between 15% and 30% APR, look for a consolidation loan of less than 15% APR.

A loan’s APR is its interest rate plus all fees, including origination fees. Personal loan APRs range from about 6% to 36%, depending on your credit score, annual income, debt-to-income ratio and where you get a loan.

Estimate your savings: Use a debt consolidation calculator to understand how much you can potentially save by consolidating.

The calculator shows your credit card’s combined APR, and you can view how different rates and loan terms impact your payment and savings.

Compare loan features: When shopping for loans, compare features as well as rates. Some lenders offer direct payment to creditors, which means they send your loan proceeds to your credit card issuers, simplifying the debt consolidation process.

Other features that may be important to you include free credit score monitoring, credit health tools or hardship programs that temporarily suspend payments if you lose your job. Time to funding is another consideration if you need a loan fast.

Pre-qualify and apply: Pre-qualifying with lenders lets you preview the rates and loan terms you may receive, with no effect on your credit score. It also makes it easier to compare loans from multiple lenders.

After pre-qualifying and comparing options, you can formally apply for a personal loan.

Get approved and funded: Debt consolidation loans can take one day to a week to get funded, depending on the lender.

If the lender directly pays your creditors, check to ensure the payments are applied to your balances. If direct payment isn’t offered, you’ll need to pay off each credit card with the money deposited to your bank account.

Get ready to make your first new loan payment, which will likely be one month after funding.

» MORE: Bad credit? How to get a debt consolidation loan

Credit card refinancing vs. debt consolidation

Refinancing credit card debt is similar to consolidation, but instead of getting a personal loan to pay off your credit cards, you get a low-interest credit card and transfer the balance from one or more existing credit cards onto the new card.

Refinancing is often called balance transfer, and many balance transfer credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR for a period of 12 to 18 months. Like personal loans, you'll need good or excellent credit to qualify.

Unlike debt consolidation loans, there is no set repayment term on a credit card (just a minimum payment requirement), and rates are often variable instead of fixed.

Balance transfers work best if you have a small balance to consolidate ($15,000 or less), and only if the interest savings outweigh any fee required to carry out the transfer. Aim to pay off the balance in full before the zero-interest promotion expires and the APR resets to its normal, higher rate.

What to do after consolidating credit cards

Plan your payments: If you didn't opt for automatic payments at loan closing, doing so now makes for convenient and on-time monthly payments, helping you avoid late fees. Auto payments are one way to manage your loan payments.

Stick to a budget: The new loan payment should fit into a budget that allocates income toward your needs, wants, savings and debt. Budgeting can help you change your spending habits, spot areas to cut back and boost your cash flow.

Avoid new credit card debt: You’ll have a lot more spending power on your credit cards after consolidating them, and there may be some temptation to use them. Track your spending carefully and aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30% on each card.

» MORE: How debt consolidation can go wrong

Last updated on October 18, 2019

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Credit Card Consolidation Loans: Best of December 2019