How Does Debt Consolidation Affect Your Credit Report?

Your debt consolidation credit report should look better than the credit report you had before you combined your bills. Ultimately, the goal is to improve your credit and not harm it. That is why it is important to understand how debt consolidation will affect your credit.

Your Debt Consolidation Credit Report: Positive Effects

One positive effect that debt consolidation can have on your credit score is the fact that several accounts will appear to be paid off. Even though debt consolidation creates a new credit account, lenders consider the other accounts as paid in full.

Timely repayment of new credit will also have a positive effect on your credit in the long term. Unfortunately, this raise in your credit score will take time, as you need a history payments on the account. If you continue to use your credit cards, it is important to keep up to date with all of your payments in order for your credit score to improve.

It is better to borrow against your equity line, than it is to apply for new credit cards repeatedly in order to take advantage lower interest rates. Using personal loans for debt consolidation is usually the best option, and as long as you pay your bills on time, your credit score should eventually rise.

Your Debt Consolidation Credit Report: Negative Effects

Depending on the actions that you take after debt consolidation, you can end up hurting your score. Missing a payment can bring your credit score down. It is important to keep up with your debt consolidation loan payments, and any other credit payments that you are required to make, otherwise your score will drop.

Closing credit card accounts after you have consolidated the debt can negatively impact your score. Never close your oldest accounts because they will give you the longest credit history. You may also want to wait until the debt is paid off before closing accounts. This is because your overall available credit will decrease, yet your debt level will remain. That makes it look like you have "maxed out," and are therefore a high risk.

If you use a debt settlement program to consolidate your bills and the method includes negotiating a reduction of the debt that you owe, your credit report will be negatively impacted. Finding a way not to pay creditors the full amount that you owe does not look good.

Using balance transfers for debt consolidation may have a negative impact on your credit report as well. This is especially true if you apply for a new credit card in order to use an introductory interest rate. If you do not pay off the full balance by the end of the trial period, your interest rates will return to normal. Applying for new credit every six months is also frowned upon.

If you handle debt consolidation properly, the long term effect on your credit should be positive. Go about the wrong way, and you can do more harm than good to your credit report.

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