I currently have 6 credit cards with around a 3k balance all together. Each credit card has a rate of 19-28%.

I want to consolidate my credit cards but I can only qualify for a very high interest loan of $4300 at an APR of 33.5%.

Should I go ahead with the consolidation? What else can I do to help with this credit card debt?

  • 5
    I think you need to edit this into the form of a question, for the sake of clarity. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 17:36
  • 6
    You should not consolidate 19-28% APR balances to a 33.5% loan.
    – quid
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 17:45
  • 1
    Cut the cards and have a goal to be done with these in four months. That kind of interest is insane.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 19:12
  • All keep this in mind: For a few years now credit card law has reformed in such a way that they can increase the interest rate, but ONLY on future purchases. Thus, if the OP has a card that is today 28%, it doesn't mean he's paying 28% on the debt remaining on that card. Not really enough info here, but either way I agree with the answer below-I see zero reason to refinance.
    – maplemale
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 20:59
  • Instead of paying higher interest on consolidated loan consider paying off each one. Arrange your debts from smallest to highest and start paying off the one with lowest amount first and close the card once you have fully paid off. You can calculate how much interest you will pay if you make certain amount per card each month. There is a site which lets you do calculation over multiple accounts : myfincal.com/Credit Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 0:17

5 Answers 5


If you were paying 28% APR on a loan of $3000, why would you transfer your balance to a loan at 33.5% APR? That's basically you asking the lender if you could be permitted to pay more interest.

The number of lines of credit is irrelevant to the total amount that needs to be repaid. Three lines of credit at 28% APR each, totaling $3000, has the the same repayment structure as one line of credit at 28% APR.

  • 1
    Agreed. There is absolutely no reason to voluntarily pay MORE interest on your debt. I would further add that if you consolidate these cards into a loan, the cards would then have zero balances, leaving you with the temptation to run-up the balances again, essentially doubling your debt and increasing your overall interest rate. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 21:21
  • 2
    @AnthonyMcCloskey Indeed, the scenario you describe, in which the borrower is tempted to run up the credit cards again, is one of the biggest traps of so-called "debt consolidation" services. What the borrower needs to understand here is that a 33.5% APR is basically the lender saying, "we believe you are at a high risk of defaulting on this loan." And more often than not, they're right; after all, a borrower in such a situation wouldn't be seeking such an arrangement otherwise.
    – heropup
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 21:37
  • That's right! The high interest rate is a huge red flag. It shows the lenders lack of confidence. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 21:39

You mention that you have multiple rates on your credit cards, ranging from 19-28%. As has been said before, switching from that to 33.5% is only going to cost you more in the long run.

Instead, you need to look at each card, and pay them off as fast as you can, even if it's one card at a time. If you begin with the card that has the highest rate, assuming they are all indeed different, then you will save the most in this case.


Should I go ahead with the consolidation?

Almost certainly not.

What else can I do to help with this credit card debt?

The first thing you need to do is look at your overall financial situation. Work out what luxuries you can cut out for a while and how much you can afford to put towards the debt. If that ammount is less than the minimum payments on the cards then you need to get help from a debt charity who can look at your particular situation in detail and in context of local laws.

Assuming you can afford to pay your debts the second thing you need to do is make sure you make at least the minimum payments on time. Failure to do so can lead to harsh penalties and also hurts your credit rating. In the UK you can set up a direct debit to automatically make the minimum payment, i'm not sure if there is anything similar in the USA.

The third thing to do is to look at any special offers from your existing cards. Again i'm not sure about the USA but in the UK it's often possible to significantly reduce effective interest rates by judicious use of balance transfers between your existing cards. Remember to look out for fees though.

The fourth thing to do is to decide what debt to pay off first using the money left over after paying the minimum payments. Usually it's best to pay the highest interest debt first but there can be exceptions. If one of your cards is carrying a small balance it may be an idea to pay that one off first. Having a card that is not carrying a balance lets you get a month or so of interest free credit on your purchases.


No, as above answerer said, there is no sense in paying higher APR.

If you are looking to reduce the amount of credit debt for credit rating purposes, then the best option is to make a payment plan to over-pay the minimum payments each month.

Consolidate credit card debt ONLY when you can both a) reach a more ideal credit utilization level, AND b) reduce APR and fees.


With a few details missing from your question, I'm going to assume something. The reason why you're even considering this.

The minimum payment of the sum you'll borrow at the higher rate appear lower than the all the minimums you have now. It's similar to this -

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You see, if I borrow $10K at 3%, but have a 4 year payoff, my payment is $221. And a friend says "Joe, you're not so smart, my payment is only $154." The payment is lower, of course, but the term went from 4 years to a full 20.

With 6 cards I'd be curious what the balance is on each. If they are all $500, you make the minimum payments on each, except on the highest rate card, pay all you can. When that card is at 0%, you don't cut it up. You just regained the grace period, i.e. the charges made have no interest if you pay in full when you get the bill. Don't charge more than you can pay in full, use this card the way responsible users do, for the convenience, and safety, but no interest. At this point, you still pay the minimums on the lowest rate 4 cards remaining, and hack away at the next one, the highest remaining rate card.

With no background on your situation, I'd suggest you find a way to make a few hundred dollars per month. Our food bill is about $10/day/person, for example. We can only cut that back so far. But get a part time bit of weekend work, and you can probably make $200/weekend extra. That would pay off all this debt in 15 weeks just with this money.

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