Credit Consolidation May Not Be The Answer

by Sonya Smith-Valentine

You may be considering taking some or all of your old debt and roll it into a new consolidation loan. You want to refinance debt to a lower interest rate and to lower the total monthly minimum payment. While both of these results can help your overall financial picture, getting rid of older debt can hurt your credit score. A portion of your credit score is determined by the length of your credit history. Open accounts that have a long track record of on-time payments will boost your credit score. Closing them and rolling them into a new loan can drop your credit score significantly, especially if it reduces your overall available credit. If reducing the interest rate you pay on loans and credit cards is the goal, try to negotiate a lower rate with your existing lenders before choosing consolidation.

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