Get a personal loan today

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Are you swamped with too many credit card bills? Or worse, struggling to get out of debt?The average credit card interest rate is 17.66%, making it an expensive way to carry debt from month to month. The average personal loan interest rate, on the other hand, is 10.70%, according to the Federal Reserve.While balance transfer credit cards offer low or 0% APR promotions, they typically require good to excellent credit to get approved. What’s more, your interest rate will spike once the promotion is over, which can put you right back where you started if you’re not careful.While the best personal loans require good to excellent credit, you can still get approved if your credit is less than stellar. And if you qualify for a lower rate than what you’re currently paying, a set monthly payment and repayment term can help you save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in interest.The long-term savings of using a personal loan for credit card consolidationLet’s say you have $15,000 on a credit card with a 20% interest rate. If you consolidate that balance with a personal loan over five years, your monthly payment would be $357, and you’d pay $6,411 in interest over the life of the loan.While that might sound like a lot of interest, it’s more than $2,400 less than what you’d pay if you were to keep the balance on the card and pay it off over the same period. To see the potential savings for your situation, use a personal loan calculator.You could potentially increase your interest savings by using a balance transfer credit card with a 0% APR promotion. But with a large balance like this, it may be impossible to eliminate the full amount before your 0% APR promotion is up.What’s more, balance transfer credit cards have a low minimum payment and no set repayment term. This means that if you’ve had trouble maintaining control over your spending and monthly payments, it’ll be difficult to break that habit.With a personal loan, on the other hand, the set repayment term means there’s a visible light at the end of the tunnel. Even then, you can pay off the balance early if you want.Our favorite personal loan optionSoFi is an online lender that offers personal loans at low rates and with impressive benefits. Borrowers can receive between $5,000 and $100,000 and pay off the debt over three to seven years.Fixed rates range from 6.79% to 15.49%, and the lender doesn’t charge any fees whatsoever. If you’re just shopping around, you can check your rate on the site with just a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score.If you choose to go with SoFi, you’ll also get access to special member benefits, including:
A 0.125% interest rate discount on future SoFi loans.
Career services, including one-on-one coaching.
Unemployment protection that temporarily pauses your payments.
Community experiences, including dinners, happy hours and more.
Waived fees for SoFi Wealth and access to free guidance from financial advisors.
Even if SoFi doesn’t offer you the best rate, the perks of being a SoFi member may make up for it.Who can qualify for SoFi personal loans?SoFi has a minimum FICO credit score requirement of 680 and typically requires an above-average income to get approved. You also need to be currently employed, have sufficient income from another source or have an offer letter for a job you plan to start within 90 days.While other lenders may limit applications to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, SoFi also allows visa holders to apply.If you’re not sure if you qualify based on those criteria, go through the lender’s prequalification process to see if any offers come up. If not, you can get personalized rates with other lenders based on where you live, your credit score and your income.The bottom lineA personal loan can be a great way to consolidate and pay off credit card debt because they offer a more structured repayment plan than a balance transfer credit card. Also, personal loans charge lower interest rates, on average, than credit cards.Keep in mind, though, that your interest rate will depend on the lender and your creditworthiness. If your credit is in good shape and you have a solid income, SoFi offers a great combination of low rates, no fees and exclusive member benefits.If you check your rate and don’t get an offer, though, check to see what kind of rates you might qualify for with other top personal lenders.Whatever you do, avoid delaying a decision. The Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate four times in 2018 and expects to raise it twice more in 2019. This rate affects lenders’ prime rate, which means you can expect interest rates to rise throughout the year.By checking your rate with SoFi or getting a personalized rate with other lenders now, you can lock in a lower rate and start taking advantage of the savings before they shrink.This post contains references to products from one of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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