Which is Better, Debt Consolidation or Debt Settlement

Which is Better, Debt Consolidation or Debt Settlement?

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February 27, 2023
Which is Better, Debt Consolidation or Debt Settlement

Like most Americans, you’ve sought ways to pay off your debt permanently. There are several approaches to eliminating debt once and for all. We’ve explained debt consolidation and settlement in detail below to help you understand well. Learn which is better for you based on your financial situation and goals.

Debt consolidation is a good option for individuals who want to make minimum monthly payments and simplify the repayment process. It can also help to improve credit scores if the person can make payments on time.

On the other hand, debt settlement can be a good option for individuals who cannot make their minimum monthly payments due to financial hardships. It can be a way to reduce the amount of debt owed and avoid bankruptcy. 

However, it’s essential to be aware that debt settlement can harm credit scores and may also result in the collection of additional fees. It’s important to consider all options and consult a financial advisor or a credit repair company before deciding.

Debt consolidation

It involves borrowing money to pay off existing debt, credit cards, and other debts, typically at lower interest rates. You only have to make one regular monthly payment when consolidating your debt. It can be simpler to handle than paying many creditors different amounts.

Debt consolidation loans are a great strategy to lessen the interest you pay because they have lower interest rates than credit cards. A personal loan, sometimes known as a debt consolidation loan or a balance transfer credit card, is another way to consolidate debt. A bank, credit union, or online lender are all options for applying for a debt consolidation loan.

Credit cards with balance transfers are another option for debt consolidation. You can save money by moving your outstanding credit card balances to a balance transfer credit card with a lower interest rate. A zero percent APR introductory period of up to twenty-one months may also be available to you, which can help you pay off your balance.

Thanks to debt consolidation, you may lower your payments, improve your cash flow, and settle all your debts. Your credit score might rise as a result of paying off your bills. But be aware that debt consolidation choices may demand a high credit score and incur costs, such as balance transfer card fees.

Debt settlement

To settle your debts for less than you owe, you’ll need to hire experts to speak with your creditors on your behalf. Usually, if you want to settle your debt, you must stop paying your creditors. Nonpayment is then used as leverage to negotiate a settlement amount, with the idea that the creditor would settle for less than get nothing.

Debt settlement

But this can affect your credit score. Debt settlement is a risky way to lower your debt. Withholding payments may lead to charge-offs, defaults, and late payments on your credit report. Your credit report shows that the account was settled for less than initially agreed. Negative comments on your information could lower your score.

Increased costs are also associated with debt settlement. Typically, debt relief businesses charge fifteen to twenty-five percent of the total debt they are addressing (not the amount forgiven). Additionally, they might charge a fee for managing the savings account where you keep the settlement money.

Finally, you can get a tax bill for the forgiven amount. This is because the balance is considered taxable income.

Debt consolidation vs. debt settlement.

Debt consolidation is a safe strategy to lower your interest rate while still paying off your principal sum. Debt settlement is a riskier debt reduction method because you only pay a portion of the principal amount.

Debt ConsolidationDebt Settlement
Pay off your principal amount in fullPay a lower principal amount that you owe.
Reduce payments by taking loans with fewer interest ratesReduce debt by settling with the creditor at less amount
Keep making one payment for multiple lines of debtStop making payments and start saving for settlement
Can help improve your credit score by paying off your whole debt. It makes it easier to keep up with on-time payments.Harms your credit score due to missed payments. The creditor settles for less than the total dues.

Types of debt consolidation

1. Home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC): With a home equity loan, you can access the equity in your home to pay off other debts. You can acquire a line of credit through a HELOC, usually at a variable interest rate, which could make budgeting for monthly payments more challenging.

2. Cash-out refinance: Your house can be used as collateral for a cash-out refinance on your mortgage. It can pay off your existing loan with better terms and give you cash for other purposes, such as paying off debt. Although this one has a lower interest rate than a home equity loan, the additional costs might increase.

3. Debt consolidation with a personal loan: You don’t need collateral like a home or other assets. To qualify for a personal loan, you need a strong credit score, a good income, and a low debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

4. Balance transfer credit card: It allows you to transfer your existing credit card balance to your previous debt. You need a good to excellent credit score and history to pay on time.

When to consider debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is right for you when:

1. Your credit score is already excellent. Borrowers with all types of credit can apply for personal loans. However, you will often require a high credit score if you want favorable terms and a low-interest rate.

2. You have high-interest debt. According to a report, the average personal loan interest rate is ten to eleven percent. In contrast, the typical interest rate for credit cards is roughly sixteen percent. Consolidating your debt may enable you to reduce the interest you pay if you are eligible for a rate lower than the one you are now paying.

3. You have a repayment plan. Credit cards are a form of revolving credit that lets you borrow money and repay it over time. There is no predetermined repayment plan. If you continue using your card and pay the minimum amount set, you will likely remain in debt.

When to consider debt settlement?

You can consider debt settlement-

1. To avoid bankruptcy. Debt settlement can help you to avoid bankruptcy with creditors when done right. It remains on your credit report for seven years, but there’s no public record. 

2. To repay debt in less time. You can pay off your debt in two to four years with good debt settlement conditions with creditors. This is much shorter than you can spend paying off your average debts.

3. To get relief from overwhelming debt. Debt settlement may help you if you’re having difficulties making your payments. You become debt-free in less time and at a lesser cost once you have negotiated and paid your settlement.


Both debt settlement and debt consolidation can help you pay off your debt faster while keeping more money in your pocket. But there is a method to do it with debt settlement that won’t dramatically harm your score. Start the process by looking into balance transfer credit cards or loans tailored to your needs for debt consolidation.

On the other hand, debt settlement can harm your credit score. There is no certainty that creditors will accept settlement offers. You might get less discount than you anticipated or none. Meanwhile, your credit score may suffer.

However, you still have a chance to repair your credit score despite settling your debt with the creditors. You can hire a credit repair company to restore your credit. If you still don’t know how to get started, sign up with Cool Credit or contact us for a free consultation. It’s a hassle-free credit repair service provider with multiple solutions.

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