How Do I Get Out of Debt? I Got Stuck on Credit Cards in College and Still Trying to Dig Out. – Sarah

“Dear Damon,

I’m 33 years old and have about $15,500 in credit card debt. Like many college students in need of cash I naively got sucked into getting credit cards many years ago and now have 5 credit cards in which I’m only able to pay the minimum amounts due each month.

Although I have sometimes managed to lower the APR’s on the various credit cards – most of my APR’s are 18-26% which I know is ridiculously high. My income is such that I don’t have “extra” money or savings which I’m hoping to rectify slowly by taking more responsibility for my financial situation. So at the moment I’m “paycheck-to-paycheck” and I feel that figuring out how to better manage this credit card debt will help prevent me from getting even deeper into debt and help my overall financial situation.

My question is – what is the best way to consolidate all 5 credit cards so I can make just 1 monthly payment with a low APR?

I’ve been told to apply for a personal loan from my bank and pay the debt off that way. Is this a good idea? What are my options?

Thanks very much,

Hello Sarah,

If you have at least a 660 fico score you can apply for a debt consolidation loan with Lending Club (LendingClub.com). In these economic times, I have found it is often easier for consumers to have success with their service when they have been turned away by traditional banks. If you have a good credit score you can certainly try a traditional bank or a local credit union as well.

If an actual consolidation loan is not obtainable, you can look into the services of a consumer credit counseling organization. They can contact the creditors on your behalf and get your rates lowered, as well as put together a plan where you will make one payment over 3 to 5 years until the debt is paid. This option will show up on your credit report that you are enrolled in a DMP program so you need to be aware of that.

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Please let me know if neither of these options will work for your circumstances.

Damon is a talented independent debt coach that provides in-depth assistance and consultations for people struggling with debt. If you want a personal debt coach to help you through a difficult situation or want assistance to find secret discounts offered by debt settlement companies I think Damon Day is an excellent person to contact for advice and assistance. He can be reached directly at DamonDay.com

If you have a debt related question you’d like to ask, just use the online form.

Damon Day is a talented Debt Coach who offers fee based consultations to consumers as an alternative to the typical free debt relief consultations which are nothing more than thinly veiled sales pitches lacking any real information to help a consumer make a good decision. You can learn more about how he can protect you from getting ripped off at DamonDay.com

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