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Credit Card Debt Consolidation
Credit Card Debt Consolidation

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Debt consolidation on credit cards

Australians collectively are paying interest on around $18 billion of expensive credit card debt.

With interest rates over 20% on some credit cards, it's no wonder a lot of people prioritise dealing with their credit card debt.

A loan for consolidating credit card debt is a popular option.

Here I’ll explain why, how it works and what you need to watch out for.

Credit card debt consolidation

What is credit card debt consolidation?

Credit card debt consolidation means you move the balance of one or more credit cards to a fixed-term personal loan with a lower interest rate and a set repayment schedule for clearing the debt.

The idea behind debt consolidation is to simplify your credit card debts and reduce how much you're paying in interest and fees, whether it's a personal or business credit card.

This then enables you to pay off the debt faster than if you were paying off multiple credit cards.

The other way to consolidate credit card debt is to use a balance transfer credit card.

Advantages of debt consolidation for credit cards

Consolidating credit cards can be particularly beneficial, because:

  • Credit cards can come with very high interest rates. Moving your debt to a personal loan brings the potential for a lower interest rate.
  • You will have a single regular repayment to make and this amount will stay the same during the loan term (if you opt for a fixed rate personal loan).
  • Instead of an open-ended credit card contract, you will have a fixed time-frame for repaying the debt, with loan terms from 1-7 years available.
  • Once you consolidate the debt, it’s not as easy to accumulate new debt as it would be if you had a credit card.
  • You can also consolidate other debts you have (e.g. BNPL) into the same single loan.
  • You can usually make extra repayment to repay the debt early if you can afford to (watch out for fees that may apply on some loans).

All of this can make it easier, cheaper, or faster to repay your credit card debts.

Credit card debt consolidation loans offer more structure

One of the main benefits of credit card debt consolidation is that it brings structure to your debt.

Particularly if you have multiple credit cards, managing different repayments dates, balances and interest rates is not easy.

“People struggling financially usually do so where they have less planning or structure to managing their debts”, explained David Berry, Chief Executive Officer of Way Forward, a not for-profit-organisation that helps Australians with their debt.

“Credit cards and buy now, pay later are examples of unstructured debt.”

“Personal loans on the other hand have a fixed repayment and the balance can usually only go down. So when someone gets extra cash they find it easier to pay off a personal loan.”

Credit card consolidation loans

How to consolidate credit card debt

If you’re consolidating credit card debt into a personal loan, these are the steps that are typically involved:

  1. Calculate your debt consolidation loan total by adding up your total debts.
  2. Compare debt consolidation loans from different lenders.
  3. Ensure you’re eligible to apply (e.g. check your credit score).
  4. Make an application with the lender
  5. Provide supporting documents to show you can afford the repayments (e.g. payslips and bank statements)
  6. If you’re approved, the lender will arrange to clear your credit card debts or transfer funds to you so you can repay the balances
  7. Cancel the credit cards
  8. Begin repaying the debt consolidation loan

Getting the best credit card debt consolidation deal

Of course, you’ll only get the benefits if you’re careful with choosing the right credit card consolidation loan.

  • Make sure you only apply for the amount of money you are consolidating. Avoid taking on extra debt.
  • Consider choosing the shortest loan term you can afford as this will save you money on interest.
  • Find a debt consolidation loan with the lowest interest rate and fees you’re eligible for. This won't necessarily be a lender's lowest ‘advertised rate'.
  • Before you cancel your credit cards, make sure you're aware of any cancellation fees and any insurance that comes with the card you may lose.
  • Try to find a lender who will let you set the day you make your repayments. Then set the repayment to match when you get paid.
Super fees

Ready to consolidate your credit card debt today?

If you’re ready to consolidate your credit card debt (or if you’re just curious to see how much you could save), you can get personalised debt consolidation quotes using the Money Matchmaker™ engine.

We’ll compare the best debt consolidation loans we can find from our available pool of lenders.

You'll see exactly how much you’ll repay, and how much you can save. It’s free, and there’s no obligation to apply.

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Credit card debt consolidation help

Get help if you need it

It’s important to remember that debt consolidation may not suit everyone.

Think carefully about whether it makes sense for your situation.

If you have debt problems and need help from a finance professional, you can call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

They will connect you with a financial counsellor who may be able to help.

Shopping around for the right loan can save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

Personal Loans guides and resources

The great thing about personal loans is they can fund almost anything. They are perfect when you need that bit extra to cover expenses, start a project or reset your finances to get back on track.

Written by

Shaun McGowan founder

Loans Expert

Shaun McGowan

Reviewed by

Sean Callery Editor


Sean Callery


*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $10,000 over 3 years. WARNING: Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.