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Estimated loan offers for $10,000

Personal loans for debt consolidation
Debt consolidation loans allow borrowers to roll multiple old debts into a single new one, ideally at a lower interest rate. Compare loans for debt consolidation and learn about your options for consolidating debt.
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PartnerEst. APR*Est. monthly payment*Min credit score
Earnest
View details
6-12%
Estimated APR*
318
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
None
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon Earnest's secure website
NerdWallet
Pre-qualify before you apply
It's free, won't affect your credit, and will provide exact rates.
Lightstream
View details
5-13.5%
Estimated APR*
319
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
670
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
SoFi
View details
5.5-13%
Estimated APR*
320
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
660
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon SoFi's secure website
BestEgg
View details
7-13.5%
Estimated APR*
325
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
640
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
Goldman Sachs
View details
11%
Estimated APR*
327
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
580
Min VantageScore® 3.0
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
Upstart
View details
13.1%
Estimated APR*
337
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
620
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
Lending Club
View details
13.7%
Estimated APR*
340
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
600
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
Discover
View details
13.99%
Estimated APR*
342
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
660
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon Discover's secure website
Prosper
View details
14%
Estimated APR*
342
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
640
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
Payoff
View details
17%
Estimated APR*
357
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
660
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
FreedomPlus
View details
21.1%
Estimated APR*
377
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
640
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
LendingPoint
View details
22.6%
Estimated APR*
385
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
600
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
Avant
View details
23.12-25.05%
Estimated APR*
393
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
580
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
iLoan
View details
22.5-36%
Estimated APR*
421
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
600
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon iLoan's secure website
OneMain
View details
25-36%
Estimated APR*
427
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
None
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon OneMain's secure website
Ascend
View details
27-36%
Estimated APR*
433
Est. Monthly Payment*3 year loan
580
Min credit score
3 year loan
Check Rateon NerdWallet's secure website
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Amrita JayakumarLoans,Personal Loans

With a debt consolidation loan, a lender issues a single personal loan that you use to pay off other debts, such as balances on high-interest credit cards. You’ll pay fixed, monthly installments to the lender for a set time period, typically two to five years. The interest rate depends on your credit profile, and it usually doesn’t change during the life of the loan.

A debt consolidation loan is a good strategy if you:

  • Can avoid incurring additional debt while you pay off what you owe
  • Can find a loan with a cheaper interest rate than the debt you want to consolidate
  • Have a hard time keeping up with multiple smaller payments

»MORE: Should I consolidate my debt?

If you decide to take out a debt consolidation loan, look closely at:

  • The fees a lender will charge
  • The kind of support the lender offers, such as the option to pay creditors directly
  • Whether you can get a lower interest rate if you have a co-signer

In this article, you can read about:

NerdWallet’s top lenders for debt consolidation

How to compare debt consolidation lenders

How to consolidate debt successfully

Loan vs. credit card to consolidate debt

If your credit is good, you can apply for a 0% interest credit card and transfer your existing balances to it, which could save you money.

However, a balance transfer card requires discipline to pay it off before the promotional rate expires, usually no more than 21 months. The amount of credit card debt you can transfer is limited, typically no more than $15,000. Once the introductory period expires, the rate you’ll see on a balance transfer card is usually higher than on a personal loan. You’ll also have to avoid the temptation of making further charges during that time.

A personal loan offers some advantages.

Fixed payments ensure that you’ll pay off debt on a set schedule. Borrowing limits are typically higher; some lenders offer loans of $50,000 or more.

In addition, a personal loan may improve your credit if you have high credit card balances relative to your limits. Your Credit scores can take a hit if you use all or most of the available credit on your cards. A personal loan balance is treated differently because it’s reported as installment debt; credit cards are reported as revolving debt.

You can get a personal loan from a bank, credit union or online lender. NerdWallet recommends you visit your local credit union first. Most credit unions offer flexible loan terms and lower interest rates than online lenders, especially if you have a low credit score. The maximum annual percentage rate at a federal credit union is 18%.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit unions of 2017

If you decide to use an online lender, personal loans from reputable online lenders typically have APRs that range from 5% to 36%. Consumers with impeccable credit get the best rates. If you have a limited credit history or a poor credit score, expect to pay rates at the higher end of that scale. You can estimate your rate and payments with NerdWallet’s personal loan calculator.

Every lender has its own approval guidelines. The easiest way to compare actual rates is to pre-qualify using the tool at the top of this page or the link below. Pre-qualification will not affect your credit score.

Compare top online lenders for debt consolidation

The table below lists online lenders that are good for debt-consolidation borrowers. NerdWallet has reviewed each of these lenders and rated them according to the consumer-friendly features they offer.

LenderNerdWallet ratingBest for...
Not all lenders do business in every state.
Discover5 stars out of 5Good credit, direct-pay option
Marcus5 stars out of 5Good credit, no fees
FreedomPlus4.5 stars out of 5Good credit, direct-pay option, co-sign loan
LightStream4 stars out of 5Excellent credit, co-sign loan
OneMain Financial4 stars out of 5Bad credit, co-sign loan
Payoff4 stars out of 5Good credit, debt consolidation
Mariner Finance3 stars out of 5Bad credit, co-sign loan

How to compare debt consolidation lenders

The APR is the most important factor in choosing a lender; it determines whether the loan makes financial sense. But also look for these features when comparing lenders:

  • Does the lender help me pay down my debt? Discover and FreedomPlus give good-credit borrowers the option to pay creditors directly, increasing the chances of paying off debt successfully. Not all online lenders have this feature. Payoff, a lender for credit card consolidation, gives advice tailored to your personality and offers periodic nudges to help you stay on track toward your goal.
  • What fees does the lender charge? Most online lenders charge an upfront fee, known as an origination fee, which can range from 1% to 6% of the loan amount you request. Some lenders deduct the fee upfront, which means you won’t get the exact loan amount you requested. Check with the lender before you accept the loan. Discover, LightStream and SoFi don’t charge an origination fee, and Marcus does not charge any fees.
  • Can I add a co-signer? Lending Club, LightStream and FreedomPlus allow co-signers, and FreedomPlus gives borrowers a rate discount for paying creditors directly or adding a co-signer. If your credit score is low, you may qualify for a loan from Mariner Finance or OneMain Financial. Both lenders allow the addition of a co-signer with good credit. However, your co-signer is on the hook for the entire loan amount if you don’t make your payments.

How to consolidate debt

A personal loan to consolidate debt makes sense only if you get an interest rate that’s lower than the one on your existing debt or if it helps you pay off your debt faster.

To use the loan effectively, you also need to make a plan to tackle debt, which includes not using any credit cards that you’re trying to pay off. Otherwise, taking on a new loan to wipe out an old one is just postponing the inevitable.

Though it may sound counterintuitive, have a small emergency fund in place before you tackle your debt, so you’re not forced to use a credit card when something unexpected happens. The good news is that you can start small. Even $500 in the bank can cover many expenses and keep your momentum going.

Amrita Jayakumar is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ajayakumar@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ajbombay

OTHER LOAN OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

Personal loans for bad credit

Where to find secured personal loans

Lenders that accept personal loan co-signers

LEARN MORE

Read all lender reviews

How to get a personal loan

Where to find a personal loan

Personal loan payment calculator

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