If the minimum monthly repayment amount is as low as 2% of the card balance, the interest can often exceed the amount owed.This means that simply making the minimum repayments will never be enough to pay off the credit card debt in full.If they show that they won’t go back to spending, they’re a better candidate for debt consolidation.

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Tack a line of credit, car loan or student debt onto your string of credit card bills, and you can see why debt consolidation looks like a viable resolution.

“Somebody who considers [consolidation] is in over their head, reaching their limits on their credit cards and they’re experiencing financial hardship,” Kathryn Bossler, a financial counselor at Green Path Debt Solutions, says.

Debt settlement is the practice of paying a lump sum to settle a debt for less than what you owe.

For-profit debt settlement companies negotiate with creditors on your behalf and charge you a fee, often a percentage of the amount of debt that is forgiven.

Paying back the minimum amount each month can be an expensive business, with the bulk of the debt coming in interest.

Even with a 0% rate, paying the minimum is unlikely to make much of a dent in your credit debt.

Find out more about combining your credit card debt into one low or 0% interest rate credit card Feel like you’re paying too much in credit card interest?

Merging multiple cards into one with a low or 0% interest rate card is known as credit card consolidation.

“But consolidation is just a temporary bandage for a bigger problem.” “It’s a tool and it’s not step one because nothing has changed,” agrees Carol Lewis, a certified financial planner who specializes in helping consumers get out of debt.

“By itself, debt consolidation won’t do anything for you.” Tread carefully, the experts say, or you could end up in more financial trouble.

But if you aren’t savvy when combining your debts, you could be worse off.