Will I Qualify for Debt Consolidation?

An In-depth Look at Factors that Affect
Debt Consolidation Qualification

Are you thinking about getting a debt consolidation loan? The process can be daunting and there are many factors to consider before you can qualify for one. In this article, we delve into the various aspects that lenders look at when you apply for a debt consolidation loan.

Understanding Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation refers to the process of combining multiple debts into one single loan. The idea behind this is to simplify your debt management and potentially reduce the interest rate on the debt.

The main types of unsecured debts that can be consolidated include credit card debt, personal lines of credit, unsecured personal loans, back taxes, and student loans.

However, it’s important to note that secured debts, which are loans backed by collateral like a home or car, typically cannot be consolidated.

Key Determining Factors for Debt Consolidation Qualification

When considering if you’re eligible for a debt consolidation loan, lenders generally look at three main factors:

  • The type of debt you have.
  • Your credit rating.
  • Your debt service ratio.

Let’s delve deeper into each of these factors.


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Type of Debt

As mentioned earlier, not all debts can be consolidated. Only unsecured debts (those without collateral) can be considered.

  • Credit card debt.
  • Personal Lines of Credit (LOCs).
  • Unsecured personal loans.
  • Back taxes.
  • Student loans.

Secured debts like mortgages, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and car loans generally cannot be consolidated.

Credit Rating

Your credit score plays a crucial role in determining whether you qualify for a debt consolidation loan and at what interest rate.

If your credit score is low, you might not qualify for a loan, or you might only qualify for a loan with a high interest rate.

If your credit score is high, you’re more likely to qualify for a loan with a lower interest rate.

It’s essential to note that the interest rate on the new loan should be lower than the rates on your existing debts for consolidation to be beneficial.

Debt Service Ratio

The debt service ratio refers to the percentage of your monthly gross income that goes towards paying your debts.

If your ratio is high, you might have difficulty qualifying for a loan.

If your ratio is low, you’re more likely to qualify for a loan.

Most experts recommend a debt service ratio of no more than 35 percent.

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What to Do If You Don’t Qualify for a Debt Consolidation Loan

Not everyone will qualify for a debt consolidation loan. If you find that this is the case, it’s essential not to panic – there are other options available.

Credit Counselling

Credit counselling organizations can help you assess your financial situation and suggest alternative solutions. They might recommend a debt management plan, which is a structured repayment plan that aims to minimize interest and consolidate your debts into a single monthly payment.

Debt Settlement

If you cannot reasonably afford to repay your debts, even with reduced interest, it might be time to consider more aggressive solutions like debt settlement. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee can review your finances and determine how much of your debt you can afford to repay. They can then set up a repayment plan that pays back as much of your debt as possible over a period of 60 months. The remaining balances are then discharged.


If you are insolvent, bankruptcy might be the best option. While it’s not an ideal solution, it can provide you with a fresh start and the opportunity to rebuild your financial health.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.


Qualifying for a debt consolidation loan depends on various factors, including the type of debt you have, your credit rating, and your debt service ratio. If you don’t qualify, there are other options available, like credit counselling, debt settlement, or even bankruptcy. It’s crucial to explore all your options and seek professional advice before making any decisions.

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