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Credit card debt

Credit card debt consolidation. How does it work?

Credit card consolidation is when you merge a number of debts into one, usually by taking out a personal or consolidation loan, or by using balance transfers to move the debt onto a low interest credit card.

If you take out a debt consolidation loan, you pay off your creditors with the money you’ve borrowed, then make monthly payments to pay off the loan.

Be careful to check the interest rate and the terms and conditions. Make sure that you won’t be adding to your debt or taking longer to pay it off.

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Can I consolidate my credit card debt by transferring the balance?

Credit card providers sometimes offer low introductory interest rates or special deals on balance transfers, meaning you might end up paying less.

However, these offers are usually for a limited time period so it's important to:

  • make sure you won't be paying more than you need to once the offer expires
  • read the terms and conditions carefully to make sure you fully understand the deal
  • check for any additional fees, including those that apply to 0% balance transfers.

How can I avoid further credit card debt?

Whether you’ve got a debt consolidation loan or you’re using balance transfers to consolidate credit card debts, you should:

  • always repay the credit card debt on time
  • destroy the card so that you're not tempted to use it again.

If you do keep spending on the card, you risk taking your debt back up to the maximum limit and, in effect, increasing the original debt.

Should I go ahead with credit card consolidation

If you’re worried about repayments mounting up or have a credit card in persistent debt, please consider all of your options and get free and confidential debt advice before committing to something like debt consolidation.

cog iconUse our debt consolidation calculator to find out if this is an option that suits your situation.

Solutions for credit card debt

Always remember that if you have financial problems, you're very unlikely to solve them by debt consolidation. Moving the debt from one place to another is rarely the answer if you cannot afford to pay off your debts.

Other ways to deal with credit card debts include:

  • Debt management plans: Manage your debts and pay them off at a more affordable rate by making reduced monthly payments
  • Debt relief orders: A way to have your debts written off if you have a relatively low level of debt and have few assets

Find out more about our debt solutions.

Our online debt advice tool, can identify the best debt solution for your personal circumstances, and we can help you every step of the way.