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And for further reading, check out our article, “Is Debt Consolidation a Good Idea?

Most people who are buried under credit card debt are in the same boat — stressed, frustrated and looking for a way out.

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Here are the questions you must answer in order to figure out if debt consolidation will hurt or help your credit in the long run: There are three main ways of doing debt consolidation: Each of these three methods requires a hard inquiry on your credit, which is the same as when you apply for a new credit card, submit a rental application, or get an auto loan.When you’re ready to get out of debt, sometimes it’s hard to know which path you should take.For some people, debt consolidation will be the best option because it can allow you to group all your debt together, thereby making it easier to manage your debt – and in some cases lowering your monthly payment and interest rate at the same time (see our article on how debt consolidation works).This is why it’s important to know yourself and be realistic about your future behavior.If you know for sure that you won’t be tempted by leaving those old accounts open, then you can feel comfortable doing debt consolidation and knowing it will not hurt your credit, aside from the relatively minor impact of the hard inquiry.

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