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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

9 Best Debt Consolidation Loans & Credit Cards in 2021

Best Debt Consolidation Loans

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Updated: February 19, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

When it comes to finding the best debt consolidation loans and other options, a solid strategy is key. In the article below, we’ve compiled some of our top picks for personal loans and credit cards to consolidate debt.

Many of the most successful chess players plan their moves out several rounds in advance, with contingencies already considered should their opponent not move as predicted. This ensures they’re not making rash moves that could cost them a piece — or the game.

The same strategy should apply to most personal finances. If you have your moves planned out in advance — i.e., have a workable budget — with well-thought contingencies in place, it’s much easier to stay on track.

But, once you’re off track, of course, the whole game changes. That’s where debt consolidation comes into play; with a good consolidation loan or balance transfer offer, you can get your interest rates under control — and get yourself back into the game.

Personal Loans | Credit Cards

Top Providers for Consolidating with Personal Loans

Depending on how much debt you have to consolidate — and the state of your credit — the most affordable way to consolidate may be through a personal installment loan. Personal loans tend to have lower interest rates than regular credit cards, which can help make repayment easier.

The APR you’re offered and the amount you can borrow with a personal loan will depend primarily on your credit profile. Online lending networks, like our expert-rated providers below, can be a good resource for obtaining multiple offers at the same time so you can find the best fit.

  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Lending partners in all 50 states
  • Loans can be used for anything
  • Fast online approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $5,000
  • Experienced provider established in 1998
  • Compare quotes from a network of lenders
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Easy online application & 5-minute approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
  • Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $35,000
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Loans can be used for anything
  • Five minute application
  • Funding possible in as few as 24 hours
  • Large lending network with multiple partners
Overall Rating

Personal installment loans are designed to be long-term loans that are repaid over a period of six months up to six years via monthly payments. Longer loan terms will mean lower monthly payments, but more interest costs overall.

The first step to consolidating debt with a personal loan is to lay out your debt total and APRs to get an idea of how much you need to consolidate and the rate at which you need to consolidate it. You’ll want an APR that is less than the lowest APR charged on any of your consolidated debts.

Don’t forget to include any origination fees charged by the lender when calculating your loan total. Origination fees can range from 3% up to 8% of the total loan amount and are typically taken out of the loan when it is dispersed.

Top Credit Cards for Consolidating with a Balance Transfer

Although loans are often a good way to consolidate debt, they’re not always the best way. This can be particularly true if you have good to excellent credit and can qualify for a credit card with an introductory 0% APR deal.

Both consumer and business credit cards are available with solid intro-APR deals offering 12 months or more of 0% interest on transferred balances, which means you can effectively eliminate your interest fees for a year or more with the right credit card.

One thing to note is that most credit cards will charge a balance transfer fee equal to 3% to 5% of the total transferred amount. While often worthwhile for the reduced interest rate, that fee can reduce the amount you can transfer to a particular card.

Consumer | Business

Best Consumer Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The consumer credit card market is downright flooded with good quality introductory 0% APR offers, with nearly every prime card coming with some type of deal alongside its purchase rewards and signup bonuses.

So, given the abundance of APR deals, choosing a card will first come down to the deal itself — how long will you need to repay your balance? — then to which card will have the most post-transfer value (based on the card’s rewards and your individual spending habits).

Wells Fargo Platinum card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 16.49% to 24.49% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum card
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • Monitor your spending, purchases and any suspicious activity with text and email alerts and notifications
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening
0% intro APR for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers
16.49%-24.49% (Variable)
  • Earn cash back twice! Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers do not earn cash back and will have a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
BankAmericard® Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

  • 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then a variable APR will apply
  • An optional overdraft protection service is available to help prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles (for balance transfers made in the first 60 days)
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)

Although many consumer credit cards will have both an intro-APR offer and a signup bonus, be careful about putting extra spend on a card you’re using to consolidate debt that may already have a high balance.

Additionally, keep in mind that transferred balances won’t earn purchase rewards, such as cash back or travel miles, nor will they count toward the spending requirement for a signup bonus.

Some balance transfer offers may also have time limitations for when you must transfer a balance to qualify for the interest deal, so read the card’s terms and conditions carefully before applying.

Best Business Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Although nearly ubiquitous in the consumer credit card world, business credit cards with introductory 0% APR offers for balance transfers are a lot more difficult to find. However, that trend may be shifting as more small businesses turn to cards with intro-APR offers.

To make the most of a balance transfer credit card, be sure to select one without a high annual fee. And while having a rewards card can be nice for when you’ve finished paying off your transfer, remember that balance transfers don’t typically earn rewards or qualify toward a signup bonus spending requirement.

7. U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Platinum Card

The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Platinum Card offers a competitive 20-month 0% intro-APR period for balance transfers and new purchases, as well as a low regular APR thereafter.

U.S. Bank Business Edge Platinum Card

  • Get 0% intro APR on balance transfers & new purchases for the first 20 months
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount transferred
  • Pay no annual fee

As with most balance transfer cards, this card charges a balance transfer fee; prepare to pay 3% of your total transaction amount for each balance transfer you make.

8. Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express has a lengthy introductory APR offer that’s good for both new purchases and balance transfers. Transfers will be charged a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the total transfer amount, whichever is larger.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1X points per $1 thereafter
  • Pay no annual fee

You’ll need to request your balance transfer within the first 60 days of opening your account for it to qualify for the introductory 0% APR offer. After that, transferred balances will be charged the standard balance transfer APR.

9. Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card doesn’t have the longest introductory offer out there, but it does apply to both new purchases and balances transfers. Transfers must be made within the first four months to qualify for the reduced rate.

Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card

  • Choice of purchase rewards with unlimited 1.5% cash back or 1X rewards point per dollar
  • 0% introductory rate for nine months
  • Pay no annual fees

You’ll be asked to choose your rewards type when you first enroll in the rewards program. Those cardholders who choose cash back will earn unlimited 1.5% back on eligible purchases. Cash back is automatically applied to your account as a statement credit.

(The information related to Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card has been collected by and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.)

No matter which balance transfer credit card you choose to consolidate your business debt, be sure to pay off your transferred balance before the end of your promotional period. Any balance remaining when your offer expires will start accruing interest at the default balance transfer rate.

Tame Your Debt with Consolidation

A winning chess strategy is just that: a strategy. The game involves long-term planning and contingencies for every conceivable scenario.

And the same is true of a winning financial strategy. Of course, while chess is a game in which there are a limited number of moves, life is often full of the completely unexpected, making a sound budget and healthy emergency fund all the more important.

If your debt does get the upper hand, be sure to have a plan in place for getting it in check. Consolidation is a helpful way for many consumers to lower their interest rates and get their debt under control. But every situation is different, so do your own homework before adopting a financial strategy.

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