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Global Stock/E /Getty Images Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, amount to the same thing: another mortgage on your home.
Advantages: You’ll often get lower interest rates and — if you have some equity — larger amounts than with personal loans or credit cards, Mc Clary says. Home equity loans have longer repayment periods, which can mean lower monthly payments but also more interest over the life of the loan, he says.
So it’s smart to be cautious if this is your plan for debt consolidation.
What you need is a card with a limit high enough to accommodate your balances and an annual percentage rate (APR) of interest low enough to make consolidation worthwhile.
While banks and credit unions make signature loans, subprime lenders are also very active in this market, Mc Clary says.
So it’s important to shop carefully and understand rates, terms and fees, he says.
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So you’re trading the discomfort of card bills for the possibility of losing your home.
It also often takes longer to get a 2nd mortgage — a few weeks to a few months, he says.
Advantages: It’s quicker and easier to get a card or credit-line increase than a bank loan, says Bruce Mc Clary, spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
And a credit card is unsecured, so you’re not risking assets.
Geber86/E /Getty Images When you’re consolidating card balances, it pays to move slowly and methodically.