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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/shopping-for-a-consolidation-loan-30976376.aspx

Subject:  Shopping for a consolidation loan Date:  11/15/2013  5:03 PM
Author:  IslandFoolin Number:  307472 of 312027

Hi all,

I'm settling into the idea of applying for a debt consolidation loan to simplify payments and reduce the amount of interest I'll have paid when the debt is all said and done.

I'm currently snowballing payments as cards are paid off, but, I have become frustrated with my high APRs. I call each of my cards once a month asking for reductions in rates / hardship programs. Only one card has so far acquiesced.

I have 4 cards with interest rates and balances as such:

21.24% $4,682.71
13.24% $7,555.59
19.99% $3,813.66
18.99% $2,193.59

$18,245 (Total debt)
18.365% (Average APR)

Over the past 5 years my credit rating has looked like an inverted bell curve and for the past year has been steadily but slowly climbing and now sits on the fence between Fair and Good.

While I'm not new to shopping for loans, I do have a few questions that I hope some of you will be able to help me with.

1) Which sounds wiser: secure a loan for the entirety of my debt or secure a smaller loan for the portion of the debt that costs me the most (highest balance + APR cards)? Why?

2) I belong to only one credit union (Western Federal) and their offerings of Personal / Debt Consolidation / CC consolidation loans are not very attractive. That leaves me to the many lenders out there. I've used BankRate.com to filter through these, but, any recommendations you may have are welcome.

3) Aside from origination and other fees, terms that require you to close your credit accounts, and penalty fees for missed payments, what are some other things to look out for?

Anything else you care to comment on, I'm all ears.
Many thanks.
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