9 Best Debt Consolidation Loans for January 2023

Shawn Manaher
Shawn Manaher
Updated on December 8, 2022
best debt consolidation loans

If you are struggling with debt, then you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan. The best debt consolidation loans can reduce the overall amount that you owe and streamline the process of paying off lenders.

There are many debt consolidation loans available, but not all of them offer the same features and benefits. Some will take advantage of you with high interest rates or not help you pay off your debts as much as you claim. To make it easier to find a loan that fits your financial needs from a reputable company, we’ve gathered the top debt consolidation lenders. You simply have to study each lender’s offers to ensure you make a good choice.

What Are the Best Debt Consolidation Loans?

To find the best debt consolidation loans, you should consider the following factors:

  • Interest rates: The APR is the most important part of the rate to pay attention to when applying for a loan. The lower the APR, the better.
  • Loan origination fees: While the APR is important, you also want to check for other fees. Loan origination fees are especially common and are usually 1% to 10%. In addition to whether there is a loan origination fee, see how it is charged. It may be added to your balance or deducted from the proceeds. If it is deducted from the proceeds, you’ll need to adjust your loan amount accordingly to still receive enough funds. Overall, you should avoid a loan origination fee, unless the APR is very competitive.
  • Other fees: Don’t forget to pay attention to other fees, especially prepayment penalties and late payment fees.
  • How much you can consolidate: Every loan is available in varying amounts, so be sure to choose one that fits your needs.
  • Terms: Think about how long you want your loan to be and choose a lender that offers that option. Terms are usually between two and seven years, but some loans offer other terms.
  • Whether they directly pay creditors: It is most convenient if your lender directly pays your creditors. In this way, you can save time and effort on personally handing payments to your creditors. One of the lenders on our list even offers a discount for this.
  • Loan requirements: Be realistic when checking if you meet a given loan’s requirements. Most will require a minimum credit score and income. They may also require a minimum credit history length, number of open accounts, and time without bankruptcies or delinquencies, or a maximum debt-to-income ratio.
  • Whether you can pre-qualify: The best options will let you pre-qualify for the loan and check your rates without affecting your credit score. This lets you avoid applying if you won’t be approved, as doing so would needlessly hurt your credit score.  
  • Whether joint or co-signed loans are available: If you don’t meet the requirements for a consolidation loan, check whether the lender offers co-signed or joint loans. These will let you take advantage of your co-signer’s income or credit score. But the co-signer will be responsible for making payments if you don’t, and missed payments will affect their credit score.
  • Secured vs. unsecured loans: Most debt consolidation loans on our list are unsecured. But secured loans are worth considering if your credit score isn’t great, as they can lower your interest rates.
  • Credit bureau reporting: If you pay your debt consolidation loan on time, it can improve your credit score. But for this to happen, you must choose a loan that reports to the credit bureaus.
  • Customer support: Pay attention to the lender’s customer support hours, the methods of reaching them, and how helpful they are.
  • Additional resources and features: Consider what other features and resources you want from the debt consolidation loan. Most lenders, for example, offer educational resources such as articles and blogs. Most also have mobile applications, so you can easily manage your debt.

1. LightStream


LightStream stands out with its lack of fees and low interest rates. The fact that you can also get a discount on your rate if you set up AutoPay is yet another plus. There are also some options for longer loan terms, which come in handy if you want to reduce your monthly payments. The only caveats are that you can’t pre-qualify, and LightStream doesn’t directly pay your lenders.


  • Loans are available with terms of 36, 48, 60, or 72 months. Some loans can even have terms of up to seven years.
  • Get a loan for anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. You may receive funds the same day you apply.
  • Interest rates are as low as 7.99% if you set up AutoPay and have an excellent credit score. The Rate Beat Program helps ensure you get the lowest rate.
  • You can qualify with a credit score of 660 and several years of credit history. Your credit history should include multiple account types and a strong payment history.
  • There are no home-equity requirements or appraisals required.
  • LightStream has highly rated customer service.
  • You can use LightStream to consolidate credit card loans, personal loans, auto loans, loans from emergency medical care, home repair, or vacations, and other loans.
  • LightStream loans can’t be used to pay off existing LightStream loans or student debt.
LightStream pricing


Your interest rate depends on your credit score, with an additional discount available for AutoPay. The rate also depends on your loan term. The rate ranges from 10.99% to 22.24%. With AutoPay, the rate ranges from 7.99% to 22.49%. To get the AutoPay discount, you must sign up for it before your loan is funded. There is a convenient payment calculator on the LightStream website, so you can check your potential monthly payments.

There are no hidden fees, including no prepayment or late fees and no origination fees.

Bottom Line

LightStream offers a good option for people with good or excellent credit in search of low rates and their choice of term length. With term lengths between two and seven years, you can choose a longer term for lower monthly payments or a shorter term and higher monthly payments. The lender’s rates are also highly competitive, and it has a Rate Beat Program that guarantees you get the best possible rate.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

2. Marcus by Goldman Sachs


Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a popular option for those with excellent credit scores. You can borrow between $3,500 and $40,000 to consolidate your debts. A credit score of 660 is recommended, although some sources say 740 will get you a better chance of approval. But you can pre-qualify with just a soft credit check. Additionally, Marcus will directly pay your creditors for you.


  • APRs are between 6.99% and 24.99% (24.74% in New York). Enjoy a rate discount when you set up AutoPay. There are no fees.
  • Borrow between $3,500 and $40,000 to consolidate your debt.
  • Choose from a term length of three to six years. Longer terms usually have higher interest rates.
  • You can pre-qualify via a soft credit check, so you don’t hurt your credit score applying if you are unlikely to qualify. The recommended score is at least 660.
  • You must have an income that can support paying the loan.
  • Applicants must have an SSN or Individual Tax ID number and a U.S. bank account.
  • Marcus directly pays your creditors, saving you the hassle of having to do so yourself.
  • You can consolidate most debts, including bills and credit card debt. You cannot use the loan for education-related expenses or student loans.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs pricing


Debt consolidation loans from Marcus have APRs of 6.99% to 24.99%. For residents of New York, the rates vary from 6.99% to 24.74%. Marcus typically offers higher rates for loans with longer terms. The rates are fixed, unlike credit card interest rates, which can change.

There are no hidden fees associated with getting a loan from Marcus.

Bottom Line

For those with excellent credit scores, Marcus by Goldman Sachs is well worth consideration. It offers competitive rates without any fees. Additionally, the requirements are minimal. The only caveat is that you need a strong credit score of at least 660, with some sources saying you are unlikely to be approved without a score of at least 740.

Happy Money Formerly Payoff

3. Happy Money (Formerly Payoff)


Happy Money used to be called Payoff, so any reviews you see for either company name apply to this lender. Happy Money specializes in debt consolidation to pay off credit card debt. You can choose loan terms of two to five years and loan amounts between $5,000 and $40,000. The lending process is designed to be simple and transparent.


  • Borrow between $5,000 and $40,000 with a loan term of two to five years.
  • You can check your rate and pre-qualify without affecting your credit score. Applying takes less than two minutes.
  • Consolidate all of your debts into a single monthly payment and potentially save money on interest thanks to low interest rates with a Payoff Loan from Happy Money.
  • Paying off your loan from Happy Money can increase your FICO score up to 40 points or more.
  • Make a fixed monthly payment with just one due date and paid-off date to remember. Choose your payoff date, terms, and monthly payment for complete control.
  • To qualify, you should have a credit score of at least 640 and no credit delinquencies.
  • Happy Money may also consider your debt-to-income ratio (55% or less), credit utilization, age of credit history (three years), and open and satisfactory trades.
  • Happy Money directly pays your creditors.
  • The lending partners behind Happy Money are community-focused and include credit unions.
  • Happy Money has helped more than 285,000 members consolidate more than $5.2 billion.
  • Happy Money’s company values are love, trust, and hustle.
Happy Money Formerly Payoff pricing


You can check your rate by filling out a quick form. You will get a response within minutes, and checking your rate doesn’t affect your credit score.

Happy Money’s loan rates vary from 7.99% to 29.99%. There is a loan origination fee of 0% to 5%, and it will be charged when Happy Money issues your loan.

There are no early payment fees, application fees, late fees, returned check fees, annual fees, or check processing fees.

Bottom Line

Happy Money offers a simple method of consolidating your debt via a personal loan. You can pre-qualify without affecting your credit score, and it is open to people with a credit score of at least 640. The potentially low interest rates are highly appealing but remember to account for the loan origination fee. Those are the only fees. Happy Money also adds convenience by directly paying your creditors.

Best Egg

4. Best Egg


Best Egg loans are a strong choice for those with a credit score of 600 and up, which is a lower minimum requirement than many others on this list. The lender stands out by directly paying your creditors. There are also secured loans available if you own your home.


  • Borrow between $2,000 and $50,000 at a rate of about 8.99% to 35.99%. Choose a term of three or five years.
  • You can receive approval in a matter of minutes and receive funding in just 24 hours.
  • Best Egg will directly pay your creditors, saving you the time needed to do so yourself.
  • You need a credit score of at least 600 and a 3-year credit history with three accounts. Your debt-to-income ratio should be 40% or less (65% or less if you have a mortgage).
  • The minimum income requirement is just $3,500, but you must be able to cover repayments.
  • You can be pre-approved without any effect on your credit score.
  • Best Egg is an A+-rated business with the BBB and has an excellent Trustpilot rating with more than 6,500 reviews.
Best Egg pricing


Best Egg has a personal loan calculator that you can use to estimate your rates without having to enter your email address or any identifying information. Just enter the loan amount, the loan term, and your credit score range to get an estimate of your fees.

For example, if you opt for a 60-month loan and choose “Don’t Know” for your credit score, your APR can be 5.99% to 29.99%.

Keep in mind that there is also a loan origination fee that can be up to 5.99%. This gets deducted from the loan proceeds.

Bottom Line

Best Egg has a strong reputation and stands out with its lower-than-average credit score requirement and income requirement. That being said, you will always have to show Best Egg that you make enough to pay back your loan. This lender also stands out with its range of loan options, letting you choose from $2,000 to $50,000. And thanks to the online loan payment calculator, you can estimate your rates before you even contact Best Egg.


5. Discover



Discover is a unique option on our list of debt consolidation loans, thanks to the fact that it is also a credit card company. As such, it also offers balance transfers in addition to debt consolidation loans. Another unique point of Discover is that there are debt consolidation loans available for student debt, something that is not usually an option with other lenders.

  • Consolidate debt with a personal loan of $25,000 to $35,000. Or get a Discover Home Loan for $35,000 to $300,000.
  • Consolidate debt from medical bills, high-interest loans, store cards, gas cards, store cards, and more. You can’t consolidate student debt with this type of loan.
  • Consolidate federal and private student loans with a Discover Student Consolidation Loan of at least $5,000.
  • You can use a Discover card balance transfer to consolidate your debt with a lower interest rate. Promotional rates are frequently available, sometimes 0%.
  • Get an interest rate of 6.99% to 24.99% with no loan origination fee.
  • Choose a loan term of three to seven years.
  • Enjoy excellent customer support and a convenient mobile app for managing your loan.
  • The recommended credit score is 720. You need a household income of $25,000 as well.
  • Use the online calculator to estimate your rates and monthly payments for a consolidation loan or other loan from Discover.
  • Use online calculators to estimate savings with a balance transfer, personal loan, or home equity loan.
Discover pricing


You can use Discover’s online calculator to estimate your payments for a debt consolidation loan or another type of loan from Discover. Just enter the type of loan (debt consolidation), amount, term length, and your credit score. Remember that this is an estimate only. You can also fill out a form and contact Discover to check your rate for free. This will also confirm that you qualify and will not affect your credit score. The process only takes minutes.

Interest rates vary from 6.99% to 24.99%. There is no loan origination fee. Late fees are $39.

Bottom Line

While Discover has a high credit score requirement, especially compared to some loans on this list, it has a low household income requirement. Additionally, Discover offers more debt consolidation options than others, including a way to (separately) consolidate your student debts and the ability to transfer a credit card balance. Like many others on this list, you can see your likely rates for free without any effect on your credit score.


6. SoFi


You can get a credit card consolidation loan from SoFi for anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. You can see your interest rate in about 60 seconds and receive the funds the same day you are approved.


  • Get a loan from $5,000 to $100,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% to 23.43%. Enjoy a fixed rate and fixed payment schedule. Choose a term of two to seven years.
  • Get your rate in 60 seconds without affecting your credit score.
  • You can receive funds as soon as the day you are approved.
  • Direct Pay has SoFi directly pay your lenders and gives you a 0.25% APR discount, delivering convenience and savings.
  • There are no additional fees, including no prepayment penalties, origination fees, or application fees. There are also no late fees.
  • There is a joint loan option. SoFi also has a convenient mobile app.
  • The hardship program can help if you face financial difficulties.
SoFi pricing


Interest rates from SoFi are between 7.99% to 23.43% APR once you account for all of the discounts. One available discount is for Direct Pay. This is when SoFi pays your lenders directly, giving you a 0.25% APR discount and adding convenience. As expected, you can check your rate without any effect on your credit score.

There are no application fees, no origination fees, no late fees, and no prepayment penalties.

Bottom Line

SoFi is an appealing option for people who don’t want to worry about hidden fees when applying for a debt consolidation loan. It is also one of the few lenders that not only has the option to directly pay your creditors but offers you a discount to do so. The ability to check your rate without a hard credit inquiry also makes SoFi worth considering.


7. Upgrade


Upgrade is an online lender that is especially appealing to those with lower credit scores who won’t qualify for other debt consolidation loans. The minimum credit score is just 560, which is much lower than most others on this list. Additionally, Upgrade offers direct payment to creditors.


  • Upgrade loans are much easier to qualify for compared to others on this list. You just need a 75% debt-to-income ratio (including the consolidation loan) and a 560 credit score.
  • Your credit history should be two years, with at least one account. There is no income requirement, and you can use income from alimony, social security, and more.
  • Borrow $1,000 to $50,000. Select a loan term of two to seven years.
  • You can opt for a secured or joint loan. Choosing a home improvement loan gives you a long repayment term.
  • Apply for a loan in minutes and choose from several options. You always get a fixed monthly payment, fixed rate, and fixed term.
  • Upgrade sends your funds within a day of you clearing the required verifications.
  • The mobile application makes it easy to manage your loan.
  • Upgrade will directly pay your creditors.
  • Upgrade has an excellent 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot with more than 36,500 reviews.
  • Customer support is available every day of the week.
Upgrade pricing


Upgrade’s APRs range from 7.96% to 35.97%. You can check your rates without affecting your credit score, getting results within minutes.

Keep in mind that there is an origination fee of 1.85% to 8.99%. There is also a late fee of $10 and a failed payment fee of $10.

Bottom Line

Upgrade is a particularly appealing option if you don’t meet the requirements for other debt consolidation loans. It has a low minimum credit score requirement, a high maximum debt-to-income ratio, and no income requirement. This lender will also directly pay your creditors and offer several other types of loans. With Upgrade’s high rating, low requirements, and competitive rates, it is worth checking your rates from this loan option.


8. Upstart


Upstart is a good option if you have a regular income but your credit history isn’t great. This comes thanks to its flexible credit requirements. Additionally, you just need a minimum annual income of $12,000.


  • Get a debt consolidation loan for $1,000 to $50,000 with a term of three or five years. APRs are 6.5% to 35.99%.
  • Choose your payment date.
  • You can check your rate in just five minutes. 99% of clients receive funds in a single business day, but it can take up to three.
  • Prequalification only uses a soft credit check.
  • You only need a minimum annual income of $12,000 and a credit score of 600. Your debt-to-income ratio must be under 50%.
  • Upstart also considers education, employment, and credit history, helping those with poor credit scores.
  • You can consolidate revolving lines of credit and loans, including gas cards, retail credit cards, credit cards, title loans, and payday loans.
  • Upstart has a 4.9 rating on Trustpilot with nearly 40,000 reviews. The lender has helped more than 2.5 million clients.
  • Upstart also offers medical loans and car loan refinancing.
Upstart pricing


Upstart’s debt consolidation loans have APRs of 6.5% to 35.99%. There are no prepayment fees. You should also be aware of the loan origination fees, which can be up to 8%.

Past-due amounts have a fee of $25 or 5%, whichever is greater. Paper copies have a one-time fee of $10. There is also a $15 returned check fee.

Bottom Line

Between its low income requirement and the fact that Upstart considers more than just your credit score, it is a popular option for people with less-than-stellar credit scores. You can check your rates without a hard pull, so it doesn’t affect your credit score. Just keep in mind that Upstart does charge loan origination fees, and they can be high. So, factor those in when comparing rates.

Freedom Plus

9. Freedom Plus


You can borrow between $5,000 and $50,000 from Freedom Plus with an APR of 7.99% to 29.99%. The minimum credit score is just 600, making it more accessible than some other loans. You also have the option of joint or co-sign loans, which not all lenders offer.


  • Enjoy an APR of 7.99% to 29.99% plus a loan origination fee of 1.99% to 4.99%. Choose from terms of two to five years.
  • Get same-day approval and receive your funds within 24 to 72 hours.
  • To apply, you just need a valid ID, bank account, and verified income.
  • The minimum credit score is 600, but the average is 700. Your credit history should have three years and two accounts. You shouldn’t have a bankruptcy in the last 24 months.
  • There is no minimum income requirement, and the average household income of borrowers is $110,000. The maximum debt-to-income ratio is 45% (not including mortgage).
  • Freedom Plus directly pays your creditors.  
Freedom Plus pricing


Freedom Plus has rates of 5.99% to 26.99%. The APR is 7.99% to 29.99%. There is also an origination fee of 1.99% to 4.99%. There are no prepayment fees.

Bottom Line

Freedom Plus has lower minimum requirements than some consolidation loans, with a minimum credit score of 600 and no minimum income. The rates can also be competitive at times, but you also need to account for the loan origination fee. As with others, you can get your rate without affecting your credit score.

What Are Debt Consolidation Loans?

Debt consolidation loans refer to loans that provide funds that borrowers can use to pay off other debts. In the process, you consolidate several debts into a single debt. The best debt consolidation loans will also lower your monthly payments or interest rate.

You can use debt consolidation loans to pay off a variety of loan types. They are commonly used for credit card balances, car loans, and other types of personal loans.

Why People Get Debt Consolidation Loans

There are a few reasons to get debt consolidation loans. In most cases, it will reduce your monthly payment or your interest rate. Sometimes, you may end up owing less overall, although this is not always the case.

Having a single debt consolidation loan is also much more convenient than having several individual loans. You only have to remember to pay a single loan each month and track a single due date. You also only have to maintain a single loan account or have one loan app on your phone.

How The Loans Work 

You apply for a debt consolidation loan just like you would apply for any other loan. Then, it can work in one of two ways. In some cases, the lender will directly pay the debts you owe to lenders. In other cases, you will have to take the money from the new loan and use it to pay the lenders yourself. The results are the same, but the latter includes an extra step for you.

How A Debt Consolidation Loan Affects Your Credit Score

When you first apply for a debt consolidation loan, this will require a hard credit check. That check will temporarily lower your credit score.

Other than that, debt consolidation loans affect your credit score just like any other loan. If you make late payments, your score can drop. If you make on-time payments (and don’t have a history of on-time payments), your score can increase.

If the debt consolidation loan helps you pay off your debt, this will help your score. That is because your credit utilization ratio will drop.

Are There Alternatives To Debt Consolidation Loans?

If you don’t qualify for a debt consolidation loan or aren’t sure if it is right for you, you can also consider some other options.

Balance Transfers On Credit Cards

We already mentioned balance transfers when talking about Discover’s offerings. If you have good or excellent credit, you may be eligible for a credit card with a 0% introductory APR. If you are confident that you can pay off the transferred balance during the introductory period, this can be a great alternative.

If you don’t think you can pay off the balance transfer by the end of the introductory period, this is not necessarily a good option. It will depend on the interest rate and other fees the credit card in question charges.

Other Loans

Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider another type of loan to pay off your debt. For example, if you own a home with enough equity, you can get a home equity line of credit or home equity loan. You could also get a 401(k) loan, but be aware of potential penalties and fees for doing so.

Pay Off Your Debt With Strategies And Tips

The alternative to debt consolidation is to continue to pay off your debts individually. You may want to consider various tips, tricks, and strategies for this.

For example, the debt snowball method focuses on gaining momentum. You start by paying off the smallest debt. Once it is paid off, you move to the next debt. You can repeat this cycle until you pay off all your loans.

Another common method is the avalanche method. With this, you focus on paying off the debt that has the highest interest rate. Once it is paid off, focus on the next-highest interest rate.

Either of those strategies can speed up the process of paying off your debt.

Credit Counseling

You can turn to credit counseling from a non-profit organization. These services will help you develop strategies to pay off your debt. They may also help you consolidate your debt or negotiate it.


Now that you know the features and benefits offered by the best debt consolidation loans, all that’s left is to choose one from our list. Any of the lenders listed above is a reputable choice that will help you streamline the process of paying off your debts. You just need to decide which one is right for your needs based on the requirements and terms mentioned in our reviews. Soon, you will be on the way to making your debt more manageable.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author.

He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.

He loves to share his personal finance tips and money management wisdom with others to help them find financial freedom.
Shawn Manaher logo
Copyright © 2022 • Shawn Manaher