Banks do offer debt consolidation loans but not by that name. Rather than providing loans solely for the purpose of debt consolidation, banks offer loans and lines of credit that can be used for debt consolidation as well as other types of transactions. These include personal loans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and credit cards.
Just four of the 10 largest consumer banks in the U.S. have all four major debt consolidation options. But nine have more than one. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest banks in the U.S. and which methods of debt consolidation they offer.
Banks That Offer Debt Consolidation Loans & Lines of Credit
Pretty much any bank will offer at least one financial product that you can use for debt consolidation. However, you shouldn’t discount other types of lenders. Credit unions and online lenders offer debt consolidation loans, too, and some of them may have better deals than banks.
Personal loans affect your credit score in the short-term and in the long-term. In the short-term, a personal loan may damage your score because it causes a hard credit inquiry and increases your debt load. But in the long-term, a personal loan can either help or hurt your credit, depending largely on whether or not you pay the bills on time. Ultimately, it’s up to you how much impact the personal loan will have.… read full answer
How a Personal Loan Affects Your Credit Score:
Does temporary damage with an initial hard inquiry. When you first apply for a personal loan, your credit score will immediately take a small hit. That’s because applying for a personal loan triggers a hard inquiry into your credit history. But this shouldn’t drop your score by more than 5 points or so, and you should be able to bounce back quickly.
Adds to your overall debt. If you’re approved for a personal loan, you will immediately have a higher debt load, which may cause your credit score to drop in the short-term. That’s because the more debt you have, the riskier it is for banks and credit unions to lend to you.
Reports to the major credit bureaus monthly. The banks, credit unions and online lenders that issue personal loans report payment information to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis. If you make on-time payments, you can expect your score to increase. But if you are late or don’t pay altogether, your score will drop.
Improves your credit mix. Proving yourself capable of managing multiple types of loans and lines of credit responsibly is good for your credit score. It shows you can be trusted to repay what you borrow in a variety of situations. So if you only have one or two other types of accounts on your credit report, such as credit cards or student loans, your score may benefit in the long run from getting the personal loan.
Could help reduce credit utilization. Personal loans give you a lump sum up front, which you pay back in monthly installments. This is different from a credit card, where you can borrow up to a certain amount any time you want. Credit cards are known as “revolving credit,” and a big part of your credit score is how much of your revolving credit you use up each month, or your “credit utilization ratio.” Personal loans don’t count toward this ratio, so if you use them to pay off revolving debt, you can lower your ratio and improve your score.
In conclusion, as long as you’re sure to pay on time each month, a personal loan should eventually increase your score by a lot more than the initial inquiry caused it to fall. You can also avoid wasting hard inquiries by getting pre-qualified for a loan first. Pre-qualification only uses a harmless soft inquiry. And while it doesn’t guarantee approval, it will let you know if your odds are good.
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