Value of consolidating credit card debt tool

If you are applying for your first credit card, or thinking it’s time to get back in the credit card game after stepping out for a while, it makes sense to check out some of the do’s and don’ts before you get in over your head.

Responsible use of your credit card will help you build a credit history, and quickly give you a credit score that makes you attractive to mortgage lenders, insurance companies, banks and credit unions and other important members of the financial community.

You should strive to pay more than the minimum requirement on your credit card debts.

Consistently making the lowest possible payment will lead to more interest, more time spent in debt and, inevitably, more frustration.

However, in practice, most people who want or need an unsecured loan to consolidate debt do not qualify for an unsecured loan. Lenders want three things in a perfect borrower: Two items on the list, credit history and low debt-to-income ratio, trip up many people seeking a debt consolidation loan. You wouldn't need a debt consolidation loan if you have excellent credit and a low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

If you need a debt consolidation loan then you probably have a high DTI and marginal credit.

Check with your plan administrator to see if you can borrow and to make sure you understand all the rules.

In other p2p loans, an intermediary funds the loan, combines the loan with others, and sells shares in the loans to investors. There is no tax consequence for a 401(k) loan that is repaid.

Two p2p loan resources you may want to explore are and Lending Club. A 401(k) loan is a withdrawal from your account that you repay with a modest interest rate. The risk of a 401(k) loan is the tax penalty you must pay if something prevents you from repaying the loan as agreed.

A cash-out refi or a HELOC requires good to excellent credit, strong DTI, and most importantly, significant equity in the home.

The days of 100% financing are gone; most lenders do not offer cash-out financing above 80% of your home's value.

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