Unanswered Questions

I Can Afford Only The Minimum Payment. Where Can I Get a Debt Consolidation Loan? – Patricia

Because of the volume of submitted questions, I am behind in personally answering every single one. I need your help. I am publishing the question below for you to answer. Please help this person by adding your response and advice in the comments section of the original question. Click here.

“Dear Steve,

3 major credit cards. Total debt approximately 17K. Had no income due to maternity for approximately 3 month, now working again with lower pay. Can’t afford to make more than the mininimum payment right now. Was thinking of a debt consolidation loan to get a fixed monthly payment for a fixed amount of time. Have not used cards in at least 6 months if not more. Considered debt relief, but I don’t have bad credit and I know this would hurt my credit.

Where can I get a debt consolidation loan and is it really the best way out?


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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • Hey Steve,

    Not a problem. That is a great tip on LendingClub. I will have to check them out as a potential resource for my clients. That sort of goes along the lines of not being able to find a traditional lender. Lendingclub would be like an extension of your asking a loan from your friends :-).

    In these tough times people need to get together to help each other out. Looks like that is what LendingClub is all about.

    I share your thoughts on CCCS. I know the failure rates are high because of the fixed payment nature type of the programs. I am sure you know it is difficult if not impossible to give specific financial advice when all you have to go on is a few sentences about a situation.

    That was why I had those questions about why her credit was important. Many times I find that consumers don’t have a specific reason to point to, and realize that their credit is not as important as getting out of the debt before they are completely sunk.

    I appreciate the forum that you have created here to help people out. Keep up the good work. Frankly I am not sure how you can keep up with all of the questions, but you do a great job.
    .-= Damon Day´s last blog ..Debt Settlement – 15 Companies under Investigation in New York =-.

    • Damon,

      I’m actually testing a couple of new posters to help me answer questions I just can’t get to. I have to admit it gets overwhelming.

      Thanks for the kudos. They keep me moving ahead more than anything else.


  • Hello Patricia,

    Unfortunately in this current economic climate it is very difficult if not impossible to get an unsecured debt consolidation loan. There are a few different options but I would need more information about your situation and how important your credit is to you.

    You may be able to get a secured loan if you have great credit and at least 30% equity in some property. However, rolling unsecured debt into a secured debt is not always a good move, especially if it will cost you a few thousand in fees to do it.

    It sounds like if you can barely afford the minimum payments and you are worried about your credit, you should look into a Consumer Credit Counseling program. If you have good interest rates now, then this will not be much benefit. If your rates are high though, a good CCCS company will be able to get them down. You can look at http://nfcc.org to help you locate a reputable CCCS company.

    However, a word of caution as you mentioned your credit. There is no option other than paying off your debt as agreed that will not have an effect on your credit. When you enroll in a CCCS program, it will show up on your credit that you are enrolled.

    What are the specific reasons your credit is important to you? Do you depend on it to earn a living? Do you have a financial issue coming up in the next few years that you will have to have good credit for? Is having a good credit score now more important than paying off your debt quickly?

    If CCCS is not a route you want to take, you can perhaps look into a debt consolidation loan from a friend or a relative.

    I know this isn’t the advice that you were specifically looking for, but it is probably a more realistic option for you in this current economic climate than finding a lender to just cut you a check to consolidate your debt given your circumstances.

    Also if you can somehow manage to pay a little more than your minimums on your debt, then a debt snowball strategy could work.

    Hope some of those suggestions help.
    .-= Damon Day´s last blog ..Unsecured Debt Consolidation Loans – Do they still Exist? =-.

    • Damon,

      First, let me thank you for taking the time to offer your comments to Patricia.

      I used to feel the same way you did about access to debt consolidation loans. I didn’t think they were possible anymore but @mattjabs showed me otherwise. He got one from LendingClub.com. After looking into LendingClub I actually became a lender myself in this peer-to-peer network to see how it worked. I have 32 loans I participated in and the current results are good. None are late or in default and most were for debt consolidation.

      I also interviewed Paul, a LendingClub.com customer so I could learn more about the experience from the borrower point of view. Another similar peer-to-peer network is prosper.com but I have not checked them out.

      I also wanted to clarify one point that you mad about credit counseling and your credit report. This is a technical point but it is good to know. Technically these days the enrollment in the debt management program does not appear on your credit report but the closure of the accounts enrolled by the creditors will. So the end result is the same, it does have an impact.

      After founding and running a large credit counseling group myself for years I do have reservations about the effectiveness of the credit counseling approach under current economic and creditor conditions. You might be interested in reading my article “The Truth About The Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy.” What may surprise you the most is the massive failure rate of the credit counseling approach under todays conditions.


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