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Just knowing your debt consolidation options can reduce the financial and emotional burden you might be feeling. Explore your options so you can make an informed decision.

Consolidating Debt Guide
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Step 1: Find Your Credit Score

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First, you’ll need to check your credit. Credit reports are available from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies once a year. Go to to get yours. Your credit report should also list the majority of your debts.

Or, get a credit score’s Credit Report Card. This will also show which areas of your credit are strong, and which are not.

Step 2: Calculate Your Debt

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After you have your credit score, make a list of all your debts with remaining balances, interest rates, and minimum payments. You’ll have a clear picture of your total debt and will be able to prioritize your payments.

Step 3: Examine Your Options

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Now that you have a comprehensive inventory of your debt, you can go through your debt consolidation options and decide which is best for your financial situation.
These are popular ways to consolidate debt because the interest rates are usually low, and the interest that you pay can be tax-deductible1. A home equity loan is a close-ended account that’s paid off in a specific period of time.

A home equity line of credit is an open-ended account, like a credit card, that you can borrow against (up to your limit) and repay. Remember though, that you’re borrowing against the equity in your home.

Learn More About Home Equity Loan/Line of Credit
Secured loans and lines of credit allow you to continue earning on your assets while borrowing at a low rate. Unsecured loans or lines of credit don’t require any collateral but generally have higher interest rates.

Learn More About Personal Line of Credit and Loans
Transferring balances to a credit card is one way to consolidate debt. A credit card with a large limit and low transfer balance interest rate will certainly help. You can do it with lower limit credit cards, but you’ll only be able to transfer a smaller portion of your overall debt. The interest rate on the card you’re transferring to is critical, because you don’t want to end up paying more after the transfer. Plus, there will likely be a balance transfer fee.

Step 4: Use the Calculator

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After using the Consolidation Calculator contact a Fifth Third Loan Specialist to discuss your options. We’ll be happy to help you start the process of applying for a consolidation loan.

Learn More