Consolidation can be an effective strategy when dealing with debt. Personal debt consolidation typically involves taking out a loan to pay off all of your outstanding debt, therefore consolidating what you owe into that one loan instead of trying to balance multiple payments and interest rates. Using a calculator can help determine whether debt consolidation is worthwhile for you.
Jennifer Schell is a professional writer focused on demystifying annuities and other financial topics including banking, financial advising and insurance. She is proud to be a member of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) as well as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).
Savannah Hanson is an accomplished writer, editor and content marketer. She joined Annuity.org as a financial editor in 2021 and uses her passion for educating readers on complex topics to guide visitors toward the path of financial literacy.
Thomas Brock, CFA®, CPA, is a financial professional with over 20 years of experience in investments, corporate finance and accounting. He currently oversees the investment operation for a $4 billion super-regional insurance carrier.
Schell, J. (2023, June 5). Personal Debt Consolidation Calculator. Annuity.org. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/debt-relief/consolidation/personal-debt-calculator/
Schell, Jennifer. "Personal Debt Consolidation Calculator." Annuity.org. Last modified June 5, 2023. https://www.annuity.org/personal-finance/debt-relief/consolidation/personal-debt-calculator/.
It can help you determine whether a consolidation loan will help you save money — along with how impactful those savings might be. Typically, debt consolidation loans are used for unsecured debts like student loans or credit cards.
Debt consolidation isn’t practical for everyone. There are a number of factors to take into account, such as how many different sources of debt you have (such as credit cards), how the interest rates between those different sources of debt compare and what current rate you are repaying your debt.
Juggling these numerous factors can make it hard to create a clear picture of your financial situation. That’s where the personal debt consolidation calculator can help.
By inputting your debt information, you can get a quick answer on whether it is a viable option for you. You can also find out what type of loan you would need and how your debt would change if you consolidated.
Debt consolidation makes the most sense when you can achieve a lower interest rate on the new loan than the weighted average rate charged on existing loans. It is even better when the new loan term is shorter than or equal to the weighted average term of existing loans.
How To Use the Personal Debt Consolidation Calculator
The personal debt consolidation calculator is easy to use.
The first tab covers your existing credit card debt. For each credit card that you owe money on, input the owed balance along with its interest rate. The next tab allows you to input any installment loans.
The final tab is where you input important information for a potential consolidated loan. This tab includes the term length, the interest rate, the loan type and any upfront costs.
After you have entered all of your relevant information, you can press “calculate.” The calculator will provide you with the change in your monthly payment and the total amount you’ll owe if you decide to consolidate.
Understanding Your Results
Evaluating your results can help you determine whether or not to pursue debt consolidation.
When you calculate your information, you’ll be presented with what your new monthly payment would be on your loan compared to your current payment. You’ll also be provided with the total amount you will eventually pay on the consolidated loan.
If you see your monthly payment drop, along with the total amount you owe, a consolidated loan makes sense for your situation.
If your monthly payment or overall total looks like it has increased, then a consolidated loan may not be right for you. You can also go back to your inputs and play around with different interest rates and term lengths to come up with an estimation of what type of loan you would need for debt consolidation to be worthwhile.
The calculator will break down your finances into several charts that will allow you to see the potential results of consolidation. It will also provide a graph that will display your consolidated loan balance for each year.
Tips for Effective Debt Consolidation
Depending on how far your debt is spread and how much you owe, it can make sense to consolidate. Using a calculator beforehand can ensure you are making the right financial decision.
Debt consolidation can also help you stay on top of paying off your debt. Instead of having to balance multiple interest rates and monthly payments, everything that you own can be in one place.
Another factor to keep in mind is that certain debt consolidation loans (like a balance transfer card) have the potential to lower your credit score.
In addition, taking out another loan can result in a hard inquiry on your credit report. The score usually drops by a small amount, and although it will be removed after a year or two, it’s important to keep it in mind.
Jennifer Schell is a professional writer focused on demystifying annuities and other financial topics including banking, financial advising and insurance for Annuity.org. She is proud to be a member of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) as well as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).
Over four years of experience in professional content writing and strategy
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