Is it Wise to Apply for a Loan to Erase Your Credit Card Debt?

If you find yourself considering to get a loan to pay your credit card debt, it may be time to take action to relieve the financial stress.

Options you choose will depend on whether you need help managing your debt over the long term or need a short term boost in income to pay this month's higher credit card statement.

Personal Loans

If you have multiple credit card accounts with balances on each account plus high interest rates, you may seek a personal loan to pay off those debts. The interest rate on a personal loan may be as low as 7% compared to APR on credit cards that are often 20% or more in the current market.

A signature loan is an unsecured personal loan. It will have a specific term of months for repayment and a fixed rate of interest. The monthly payment will be the same each month and you can save thousands of dollars over the cost of paying off credit cards by making a minimum payment each month.

Consolidation Loan

There are loans designed specifically for the purpose of consolidating credit card debt into one fixed monthly payment. The interest rate will not be as low as for a personal loan perhaps but will be significantly lower than the APR on your revolving credit account.

There are companies that advertise widely as experts in helping you consolidate credit debt. This is a field that is in high demand today and it is common to find misstatements, unfulfilled promises and outright scams.

Thus, it is crucial to carefully investigate any consolidation company or offer you are considering. Many of these companies say "yes, we can help you" but can leave you in worse debt than you started with.

Payday Loans

Sometimes you need to get a loan for your credit card bill just for one month. If you face this problem on occasion, payday loans (not same as high risk loans) offer a solution.

These are not inexpensive loans nor are they a long term solution to credit card debt. A payday loan company is basically providing you with an advance on your next paycheck.

A payday loan must be repaid in full in 2-3 weeks. This may be done by going to the payday loan office or by allowing the company to process the check you write when you obtain a loan.

The positive aspect of a payday loan is the speed in which you can access the cash. There is no waiting period and no credit check. You are loaned money if you have a steady job, a bank account and a home address.

A payday loan is limited to a maximum of $300-500 in most states. The annual percent rate on such a loan is excessive and often over 300% per annum. This has caused much concern among financial experts and legislative bodies and yet the interest rate paid for a 2-3 week loan may be worth the cost in some cases.

If you have a good credit rating but find yourself short on money to pay your credit card bill this month, a payday loan may be the solution you need. You can borrow $200 to pay your credit card bill on time and prevent any damage to your credit rating that a late payment would cause.

You will repay about $240 in two weeks to the loan office but will save a $35 late fee and a possible increase in the APR of your credit card due to a late payment.

Summary

Anyone can have a temporary cash flow problem once in a while but if it happens often, you may be accumulating debt that will lead to more serious money problems in the future.

If you choose a personal or family loan or a debt consolidation loan to pay your credit card bill in full it is best to stop using the cards altogether.

You have only moved the debt from one place to another but the zero balance on that next credit statement may tempt you to go shopping. Resist that urge and put the cards away until your debt is paid in full.