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consolidating credit card debt
I've tried to get a personal loan to pay off credit card debt and have just one big bill a month instead of multiple ones.. so far I've been denied everywhere I've credit took a hit from inquiries... I don't want to leave my cards open I want them paid off so my debt would still be the same but I'm denied anyway because of the debt to income ratio. .. do I have any other options? ??

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I think your best option is credit counseling with a debt management plan. Credit counseling with DMP takes your money and distributes the payments to all your creditors. Tthese are non-profits and they already have arrangements with creditors and they can knock off fees and interest rates. You really have to do some research on credit counseling places first to find the best one. Choose the wrong one and they might mangle up your finances.

I really like the Federal Trade Commision's guide on choosing a credit counselor : You really have to do your homework and ask a lot of questions and see if it's for you.

Good Luck!

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Get it right or you'll be in worse shape

Helpful to 9 out of 9 people

Several years ago we went the credit counselor route. It seemed like a great idea at the time.  We paid one monthly bill to the counselor and they paid our creditors a negotiated amount. At least that was what was supposed to happen. My wife was the person working with them as she handles the finances in our household. (I am the primary source of income). It was supposed to take 3 years. In the middle of the process the counsleing / management agency was sold and everything got screwed up. I believe it took 5 years and am convinced we paid a lot more than we were supposed to, but having not been involved in the process I had no way to confirm it. You have to be very careful, especially with collections. I did have two low limit cards I personally negotiated with Capital One to consolidate into one payment, close the accounts and pay them off. Ha!. That was what they said was going to happen. They took the payments I sent monthly and applied it all to one card, left the other one open and accruing interest and penalties. I know this sounds unbelievable, but they did not send me a notice or a bill for the second card until I paid the first one off. Then they sent me a bill for a 300 dollar limit card for nearly a thousand dollars. I argued to no avail. You live and learn. I didn't have it in writing etc....If you are going with a credit counselor, utiliize the  FTC's guide as suggested above. Try and find one that is non-profit. Many of these folks are getting a percentage of what you pay so they may not always be working in your best interest.  Whatever you do, get it in writing. If you speak with someone get their name and position and log it. Then track it and stay aware of where you are, getting confirmation from your counselor regularly so you will not have any surprises. Keep a log of conversations, agreements, dates etc.. I found that a simple ledger notebook worked great, Do your best to work with one person, and the same person everytime you speak with them.  No doubt their are some great agencies out there to work with, but like everything else these days, their are also those who will take advantage of your situation and make it worse and make money off of your situation. 

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