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It’s time to rethink your personal debts


If you are like the 191 million Americans who have a credit card, you may be experiencing a sharp rise in the amount owed on each monthly statement. And with card rates rising, you are paying more in interest than before. It’s time to rethink that and other debts by considering a personal loan.

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank in New York found that “the first three quarters of 2022 have seen a rapid increase in credit card balances,” and that “the 15 percent increase seen in the third quarter of 2022 towers over the last eighteen years of data.”

Meanwhile, the average credit card rate was 19.04% in November, according to Bankrate.com, the highest figure in nearly 40 years of tracking the number. That figure jumped from 16.3% at the start of this year. If you have a lower credit rating, you may be paying upwards of 24% on your card, says the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

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What can you do to relieve the financial pain? Refinance at a much lower rate through a personal loan. You can expect better terms and a higher limit on the amount you can borrow. You should also see few or no fees.

Depending on where you bank, you usually have two options:

  • Unsecured personal loan. You borrow a specific amount for a set time period of time, as short as two years or as long as five. Look for a loan that has a fixed rate so that your monthly payments do not fluctuate. Like a credit card, the money borrowed is guaranteed with your signature, not a personal asset such as a savings account. Unlike a credit card, though, it’s very likely that your rate will be significantly lower. A good personal loan will have low or no application costs and will allow you to pay off the balance at any time without penalty.
  • Secured personal loan. You guarantee the amount borrowed with a personal possession such as a savings account or certificate of deposit. If you have a poor credit rating, this type of loan saves you because your borrowing rate will be much lower than that on an unsecured loan. Making monthly payments on time will gradually raise your credit score, making other forms of borrowing less expensive.

Regardless of which you choose, use the money to pay off all your credit cards and consolidate those debts into one loan with one monthly payment. Some financial institutions offer loans just for that purpose. You and your banker calculate how much it will take to drop all card and other debt balances to zero dollars and issue payments to those creditors. 

Rather than being bombarded with bills every week, you will know just how much you owe and when that one monthly payment is due. To learn more about personal loans, visit our web page with the latest rates and terms.

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