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Credit cards

I’ve personally never consolidated my credit card debt.  However, if your balances on 5 cards is so high that making your minimum payment doesn’t pay any of the cards down, then a debt consolidation loan may be for you.  If some of your cards are getting paid down you can keep doing what your doing, once a card is paid off, apply that amount to the next card nearest to being paid off, and so on and so fourth.  Once you get to the 5th card, you’d be applying the same amount each month to that one card as you were to all 5 together. It is important that whether you get a loan,or use the snowball method I just described, you need to stop using those cards.  The last thing you need when your trying to get out of your hole is a bigger hole.  Once you are free and clear of that debt, don’t use your cards for just the sake of thinking you have money to spend.  Purchase only what you can afford to take care of each month, such as gas or groceries, and pay it down each billing cycle.  Be sure to put those expenses in a separate account as you make your credit card purchases to ensure that those monies are available when the bill comes in.  Maintenance in that fashion will keep you free from this kind of situation again, and keep credit available for an emergency such as a new transmission for your car or furnace for your house. Good luck on your endeavor!