Compare Debt Consolidation Loans

Learn how our experts identify and compare the essential factors of debt consolidation loans to find the best option for you. From company profile and loan basics to services and features and customer support, we research everything you need to know to make a decision.
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What every informed consumer needs to know…..

Debt consolidation in its simplest is borrowing money to pay existing loans. This is different from debt settlement services which works by negotiating with your lenders to lower payments or even forgive your debt altogether. While debt settlement looks great on paper the reality is that settling your debts with lenders takes a great deal of time and most of these companies are not interested in forgiving your debt. Debt settlement services also require monthly payments, money which could be better spent on paying your loans.

Debt consolidation offers a straightforward approach to managing your debt situation. Missed deadlines translates to compounding interest on your loan’s principal. By consolidating all your debt into a single account, you effectively stretch your payment period while making it more manageable for you to make those monthly payments.  

How much can I borrow?

The reality is that most people seeking debt consolidation services are those that find themselves with several outstanding loans that run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Higher loan ceilings makes it possible for people to consolidate several loans into one account.

Debt consolidation loans are available through personal loans which offer a simple and easier way of qualifying for a loan compare to traditional banks. It makes this funds available but the responsibility of paying your outstanding loans is up to you.

How long can I pay the loan?

Debt consolidation is a strategy that helps you take control of spiraling debt payments. This is different from other loans such as taking out a car or home loan where people are in a better financial position to make payments. Your ultimate goal is to make payments more manageable. And debt consolidation makes this possible by stretching your current payment structure.

A longer loan period enables you make smaller payments. This essentially buys more time for you to make those payments. A five year loan for example makes it possible for you to make smaller payments rather than face the prospect of missing payment deadlines and higher loan costs in the long run.

Prepayment penalties - Prepayment penalties are fees charged to clients who were able to pay their loan before its maturity date. While charges due to missed payments are understandable, penalizing people for being responsible in paying their debts early is not. Be sure to check this with your lender.

How much is it going to cost me?

Would taking out a new loan actually be cheaper than continuing with your current debt payments? Definitely not. New loans means new interest payments. This even when your new loan is offering lower interest rates compared to your existing loans. Taking out a new loan does not forgive you from paying the original principal and associated interest rates on your loan. What it effectively does is stop you from defaulting on your next payments and further damaging your credit score.

Interest rates - Like any type of loan, the best debt consolidation loans are those with the lowest interest rates. Just don’t expect that you’ll be having the same attractive rates you had prior to your financial dilemma. If you’ve been missing payment deadlines there’s a good chance that this is already reflected in your credit score. And we all know that credit scores have a direct effect on interest rates.

Loan matching and peer-to-peer lending services gives you the best chance of selecting from a wide range of interest rates from different lenders. With a single application, your information is sent to different lenders competing for your business.  

How we Compare Debt Consolidation Loans

Company Profile - 10%
Loan Basics - 30%
Additional Fees - 20%
Qualification - 10%
Application - 10%
Services and Features - 10%
Customer Support - 10%

Company Profile Compared

Banks have traditionally been the source of debt consolidation loans. Credit unions and banks for example are also called Direct Lenders because they are the direct source for such loans. This is why people in the past searching for the best loan rates had to go from one lending institution to the other.

With the advent of internet and how information is shared, some of today’s companies offer Loan Matching services that lets consumers quickly compare multiple debt consolidation loans online. With a single application that can be quickly finished in a few minutes, consumers are instantly connected with multiple lenders.

There is no shortage of companies offering debt consolidation loans. This can certainly be confusing when the time comes to decide. Check for customer reviews as this gives you an accurate assessment on how people generally feel about the company and its services. If the general sentiment is negative then moving on to another company is definitely a better option.

Debt Consolidation Loans with the Best Company Profile:  LoanStart Company ProfileGuide to Lenders Company ProfileEVEN Financial Company Profile
LendingTreeDiscoverSoFi3 Year LoansEVEN FinancialGuide to LendersLightStreamLoanStartLending ClubMoneyTodayUpstartAvantSignature LoansLendingTree
BBB RatingA+A+A+No RatingA-A+A+A-ANo Rating
TrustPilot9.4No Rating9.63.3No Rating8.14.89.79.17.1
CreditKarma1.63.74.9No RatingNo Rating4.8No Rating4.94.6No Rating
Participating States455047 + DC (TN, MS & NV are excludedResidents of some states may not be eligible for a short term cash loan based upon lender requirements50All States50Continental US, Alaska and HawaiiContinental US, Alaska and HawaiiResidents of some states may not be eligible for a short term cash loan based upon lender requirements
Loan Matching Service
Direct Lenders
AFCC
IAPDA
FDIC Insure Trust Account
FTC Compliant

Loan Basics Compared

The maximum loan amount depend on several factors and this vary from lender to lender. These factors can include your credit score, income and loan terms among others.  But before applying for a loan it is important that you determine the maximum amount you can pay back. After all, this is what got you into trouble in the first place.

Just like any type of loan, interest rates play a huge role in determining the amount of payments you make. While a good credit score translate to lower interest rates, people applying for debt consolidation loans have less than ideal credit scores. With this in mind, people could still get the best rates available by simply comparing loan offers from different loan providers.

Loan terms is another factor that should be considered when applying for a debt consolidation loan. Short term loans for example have lower interest rates. However, this translates to bigger monthly payments. Longer loan terms on the other hand have higher interest rates. This is because of the time needed for the loan providers to recover their money. Longer terms however mean lower monthly payments. This is because the principal loan amount is paid over a longer period.

Other factors to consider include processing or origination fees. The amount of fees collected is also subject to the loan provider. Loan fees are deducted only when the loan is received. Be wary of loan providers who charge fees prior to loan approval.

Debt Consolidation Loans with the Best Loan Basics:  Guide to Lenders Loan BasicsEVEN Financial Loan BasicsDiscover Loan Basics
LendingTreeDiscoverSoFi3 Year LoansEVEN FinancialGuide to LendersLightStreamLoanStartLending ClubMoneyTodayUpstartAvantSignature LoansLendingTree
Minimum Loan Amount$1,000$2,500$5,000$300$1,000$1,000$100$1,000$1,000$1,000
Maximum Loan Amount$35,000$35,000 $100,000$10,000$100,000$40,000$10,000$50,000$35,000$35,000
Loan Terms3 mos - 15 years 36 - 84 months3, 5, or 7 years6 Months - 5 Years24 - 84 months 3 - 5 years6 mos - 5 years 3 - 5 Years2 - 5 Years6 months -60 months
APR5.99%-35.99%6.99%-24.99%Fixed Rates - 5.95% – 14.24%; Variable Rates - 4.84% – 10.64%4.99%-29.95%4.83%-35.99%5.99%-33.34%4.99%-29.95%4.89%-29.99%9.95%-36.00%Up to 35.99%
Interest Rate8.50% - 18.0% 6.99%Starts at 4.8% VariesVaries Not Stated29.95%Not StatedNot StatedNot Stated
Origination Fee$2,000NoneNoneNot StatedVaries1%-6%Not Stated1%-6%0.95%-3.75%Not Stated
Late Payment FeeYes$39YesNot StatedVaries$15 or 5% greater of the unpaid installment amountNone$15 or 5% greater of the unpaid installment amount$25 (Refundable with good behavior)Not Stated

Additional Fees Compared

The costs of taking a debt consolidation loan does not only include interest payments. This can also include fees associated with closing out your loan. Be sure that you check this out with the lender to get a clearer picture of how much a loan is going to cost you.

Just like any type of business, lenders take great care in ensuring that they get the most out of the money they invest in. So while paying off your debt is highly ideal for both the lender and you, it also means that the lender won’t be making the same amount of money if loans are pair early. Prepayment penalties are charges made to borrowers who manage to pay their loans early. Look for lenders who don’t charge prepayment fees.

Debt consolidation loan borrowers are people who find themselves having difficulty making payments on their existing loans. This is different from a person who is taking out a home loan for example who is generally more financially capable of making payments. In the unfortunate event that you find yourself missing payments, lenders are most likely to charge late or missed loan payments. Be sure to discuss this with your lender and learn how much this would cost you.

Debt Consolidation Loans with the Best Additional Fees:  LendingTree Additional Fees3 Year Loans Additional Fees
LendingTreeDiscoverSoFi3 Year LoansEVEN FinancialGuide to LendersLightStreamLoanStartLending ClubMoneyTodayUpstartAvantSignature LoansLendingTree
Upfront Fees
Consultation Fees
Fees and ChargesN/AYesN/AN/AN/A$7 Check Processing Fee and $15 Unsuccessful Payment FeeYesN/A $15 Unsuccessful Payment FeeN/A
Pre-Payment Penalties

Qualification Compared

Debt consolidation is a financial strategy that allows people who find themselves unable to pay their existing debt to restructure their debt into a single account. Debt consolidation makes debt payments easier by allowing you to work with a single company. It gives you the option of paying existing loans that are past its maturity date and stop recurring interest payments.

Qualifying for a debt consolidation loan depends on several factors which are similar to those in any type of loan. But because you are in a less than ideal position financially, opt for lenders who can extend loans to borrowers with a poor credit score.

  • Credit Score
  • Employment history
  • Additional sources of income

With debt consolidation you are now able to make smaller payments with lower interest rates and more time to make those payments. Debt consolidation is just one of the debt-relief strategies that can be employed for those who find themselves struggling with debt payments.

If you are having problems qualifying for lower interest rates please check our Top Ten List of Credit Repair Services.

Debt Consolidation Loans with the Best Qualification:  EVEN Financial QualificationDiscover QualificationLendingTree Qualification
LendingTreeDiscoverSoFi3 Year LoansEVEN FinancialGuide to LendersLightStreamLoanStartLending ClubMoneyTodayUpstartAvantSignature LoansLendingTree
Proof of Income
Credit History
Financial Stability
Equity
Minimum Credit Score639+Not Stated680+Not StatedVaries660639 and below620600Not Stated

Application Compared

A credit check plays a large role in helping lenders determine the maximum loan amount and interest rate. With the nature of debt consolidation loans as a financial instrument to help pay existing loans, interest rates are definitely higher compared to other types of loans. This is because borrowers are considered high risk thus the higher interest rates.

Faced with this reality, lenders may lower their minimum credit score requirements accordingly. Loan matching services in general offer a simple online application process that require little information from debt consolidation borrowers. This information is then submitted to multiple lenders and borrowers are given results based on matching lenders.

Applying for a debt consolidation loan may require simple information such as your personal details, Social Security Number, address, checking and financial information. Borrowers are also required to be US citizens or at least permanent residents to qualify.

Initially applying for a debt consolidation loan can be done by submitting information online. However, some lenders may require hard copies or fax documentation in order to proceed with your loan application.

Debt Consolidation Loans with the Best Application:  Guide to Lenders ApplicationEVEN Financial ApplicationLendingTree Application
LendingTreeDiscoverSoFi3 Year LoansEVEN FinancialGuide to LendersLightStreamLoanStartLending ClubMoneyTodayUpstartAvantSignature LoansLendingTree
Online Application
Response TimeA few minutesA few minutes15 minutes Within few MinutesJust a few minutes Within few MinutesA few minutesWithin 24 hoursWithin 24 hoursWithin few Minutes
Direct Deposit
18+ Years of Age
US Citizen or Permanent Resident
Social Security Number
Home Address
Email Address
Checking Account

Services and Features Compared

People applying for debt consolidation loans are under enormous stress to make payments on their previous loans. And any type of help in terms of the services that a lender can provide makes this a little bit easier.

Online application that can be done in minutes, loan consultants, direct deposits are just some of the services which makes the whole process less stressful. Most lenders in our Top Ten list offer a convenient online application process which can be accomplished in a few minutes. Loan Matching services for example give you the option of comparing loan offers from multiple lenders. This helps borrowers make better informed decisions in terms of selecting the best loans with the best rate.

Debt Consolidation Loans with the Best Services and Features:  EVEN Financial Services and FeaturesLightStream Services and FeaturesDiscover Services and Features

Customer Support Compared

A little bit of assistance can go a long way in applying for a debt consolidation loan easier. Customer support from these companies are available in a variety of channels which includes emails, online chat or help lines. Some lenders even have dedicated loan experts that help you through the process of applying and getting approved.

Since most lenders have an online application portal, sensitive personal and financial information is shared online. Check the lender’s website if it is secured with encryption. The company’s privacy policy can also give you an idea on how it uses your personal information. Some lenders may use your information in their marketing campaigns or even share it with other companies. The result is an endless barrage of phone and email marketing offers.

Debt Consolidation Loans with the Best Customer Support:  EVEN Financial Customer SupportMoneyToday Customer SupportDiscover Customer Support
LendingTreeDiscoverSoFi3 Year LoansEVEN FinancialGuide to LendersLightStreamLoanStartLending ClubMoneyTodayUpstartAvantSignature LoansLendingTree
Email
Phone
Loan Consultant

Full Debt Consolidation Loans Comparison

Company ProfileLoan BasicsAdditional FeesQualificationApplicationServices and FeaturesCustomer Support
LendingTree9.010.010.010.010.09.010.0
Discover9.010.09.010.09.09.510.0
SoFi9.010.09.09.510.09.010.0
3 Year Loans8.710.09.59.59.58.510.0
EVEN Financial9.010.08.010.010.010.010.0
Guide to Lenders Personal Loans9.010.09.09.010.08.08.0
LightStream Debt Consolidation Loans8.59.08.09.09.010.010.0
LoanStart Personal Loans9.09.09.08.09.09.09.0
Lending Club8.09.58.09.09.09.09.0
MoneyToday8.09.08.09.09.09.010.0
Upstart7.010.07.09.09.09.010.0
Avant7.09.07.09.010.08.09.0
Signature Loans7.08.07.09.09.08.09.0
LendingTree Debt Consolidation0.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
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