A personal loan is a loan granted to an individual for a variety of personal uses, as opposed to for commercial purposes.It can either be secured by collateral or unsecured, with secured loans typically carrying lower interest rates because they represent less risk to the lender.A HELOC lets you tap into your home’s equity only when you need it, as opposed to borrowing the money all at once.However, since debt consolidation typically relies on borrowing money upfront to pay off existing debts, a HELOC probably makes less sense for debt consolidation than a lump-sum home equity loan.Personal loans are available from banks and credit unions, as well as non-bank lenders (these are companies that specialize in lending as opposed to offering other banking services such as deposit accounts).Increasingly, peer-to-peer lenders are also sources for personal loans.As for the interest rate advantage, be advised that some personal loans incur an origination fee which can add substantially to the total cost.Finally, while being on a finite repayment schedule should help you in the long run, in the near term it may make your monthly payments harder to afford than the more flexible payment terms offered by credit cards.
Most of all, debt consolidation will only work if you build a budget discipline around it — one that ensures you can meet the payment obligations of your new debt and control the rate of spending that led you to build up debt in the first place.
These are networks that match would-be borrowers up with a variety of investors who pool their money to fund loans in order to earn interest.
Pros of using a personal loan to consolidate debt include the fact that personal loan interest rates are generally lower than those on credit cards.
According to data from the Federal Reserve, the average credit card balance is assessed interest at a rate of 14.89 percent, while the average personal loan borrower pays a rate of 9.76 percent.
Also, a personal loan puts your debt on a defined timeline for being paid off, as opposed to credit card debt which can be somewhat open-ended.