You know how it goes. You’re browsing online shops or strolling through the mall, and you spot a shiny new thing that you are SURE you need and MUST have. You think, “why not? I deserve it…” and out comes the credit card.
Something is always going to catch your eye. Be it a new pair of shoes, a blanket shaped like a burrito, or your dog’s 37th chew toy.
Before you know it, you’re drowning in bills and thousands of dollars in debt. But don’t panic. There are ways out of this mess. And we’re here to help you find them.
Hack # 1. Apply for Debt Consolidation Loan
A personal loan is money borrowed from a lender that can be used for nearly any purpose. One such purpose is paying off debt. A debt consolidation loan is a personal loan that you use to pay off all your existing debts. You then repay the loan in fixed monthly installments over a set period of time. The interest rate on a debt consolidation loan is usually lower than the average rate of your other debts, especially if you have good credit. This means you can save money on interest and pay off your debt faster.
However, not all debt consolidation loans are created equal. Some lenders may charge high fees, impose strict eligibility criteria, or offer unfavorable terms. That’s why you need to shop around and compare different offers before you apply for a debt consolidation loan.
One of the easiest ways to consolidate debt with a loan is to use MoneyLion’s personal loan finder tool to find and compare the best offers for you. MoneyLion connects you with lenders who offer personal loans for all kinds of purposes, including debt consolidation.
You can compare different loan options based on your estimated credit score, income, and desired loan amount. You can also see each loan offer’s estimated monthly payments, interest rates, and fees. This way, you can find the most affordable and suitable debt consolidation loan for your needs.
Hack # 2. Reduce Subscription Madness
Another way to consolidate your debt is to reduce expenses and free up more cash flow to pay off your debt. One of the easiest ways to do this is to stop unwanted monthly subscriptions from draining your bank account.
You might be surprised by how many subscriptions you have that you don’t use or need. These could include streaming services, magazines, gym memberships, online courses, or software tools. While these subscriptions may seem cheap individually, they can add up to a significant amount over time.
To stop unwanted subscriptions, you need to review your bank statements and identify all the recurring charges you’re paying. Then, you cancel the ones that you can live without.
By stopping unwanted subscriptions, you could save hundreds of dollars annually and use that money to consolidate your debt with a lower interest rate.
Hack # 3. Boost Your Income With Side Hustles
The third way to consolidate your debt is to boost your income and earn more money to pay off your debt. One of the best ways to do this is to start a side hustle that can generate extra income.
A side hustle is any activity you do outside your main job to earn extra money. It could be something related to your skills, hobbies, or passions. For example, you could start a blog, sell crafts on Etsy, tutor students online, deliver food with UberEats, or pet sit with Rover.
The key to finding a successful side hustle is to choose something you enjoy doing with a high demand in the market. You must also be consistent and dedicated to growing your side hustle and earning more money.
By starting a side hustle, you can increase your income and use it to consolidate your debt faster.
Extra tip: PUT DOWN THE CARD
Some people go to extreme lengths to keep themselves from swiping, like shredding their cards or locking them in a safe.
It sounds crazy, but it works. These are called “commitment devices,” and they help you stick to your long-term goals, according to Rebecca Rouse, who runs the Financial Inclusion Program at Innovations for Poverty Action, a nonprofit that studies debt repayment.
Now, when we say don’t use your cards, we don’t mean close your accounts. That could hurt your credit. You should use your card for a small purchase every few months—and pay it off right away—to keep the account active and your credit intact.
Editor’s note: Personally, I should probably put my cards in a rocket ship to Mars.
As you can see, there are ways to consolidate debt that everyone can adopt. You’ll be amazed by how much money you can save with just a little planning, a few clicks, and a little help from MoneyLion. Knowledge is the first step, and now you’ve got that covered.
You do have rights! The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects your rights when it comes to when and how a creditor or collection agency can contact you. Find out more about your rights under the FDCPA.
How does credit card debt affect my credit score?
The effects on your credit rating can vary widely depending on your situation. However, factors like having a large amount of total debt and/or having a negative payment history if you’re late or miss payments can have a negative impact on your credit score. If you feel like your credit rating is being brought down by your debt, give us a call to learn about how Credit Builder Plus could help raise your credit score.
Will debt consolidation hurt my credit score?
Consolidating your debt with a personal loan can help and/or hurt your credit score. When you use the loan to pay off your credit cards, you lower your credit utilization, which measures how much of your credit limit is tied up. Lowering credit utilization can help your credit.
On the other hand, applying for a loan typically requires a hard credit check, which can temporarily ding your credit score. And if you turn around and rack up new credit card debt, your credit score could suffer.
Making late payments on your new loan can also hurt your credit score, while on-time payments can help.
Ultimately, if you use the debt consolidation loan to pay off your debts and then pay off the new loan on time, the overall effect on your credit could be positive.