Money Matters: Consolidating Your Debts

Wednesday, July 10

A lot of us have debt. And for some people, that debt can be quite high with credit card interest rates going as high as 29 percent because of late or minimum payments.

Gerri Detweiler from says there are ways to consolidate that debt:

1. Check your credit reports and get your credit score. You can get your credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies for free once a year at

2. Take an inventory of your debt. Make a list of the balances you owe on each of the cards or loans you want to consolidate, the interest rates and the monthly payments. Give preference to the highest interest rate loans and cards.

3. Research debt consolidation options. You may be able to consolidate with a loan from your local bank, credit union or on-line lender. Transfer the balance from a high rate card to a low rate one. If get a loan on line make sure you deal with reputable lenders as there are plenty of scammers out there.

4. Pay your loans off as fast as possible. If you can add a little extra to your monthly payments you'll be able to pay off your new loan faster. Then avoid the temptation to use the credit line again, or you'll be back in the hole laden with debt again.

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