(To learn more about managing credit card debt, see out topic on getting out of credit card debt.) Consolidating your credit card debt essentially means combining all of your debt into a single loan or paying your creditors through a single monthly payment.

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If you are struggling to pay off multiple credit cards, consolidating your debt may allow you to reduce your interest rates and lower your monthly payment.

However, a lower monthly payment can mean a longer repayment term and more interest paid over the life of the loan.

Whether you should consolidate your credit card debt depends on your individual circumstances and the terms of the consolidation.

Read on to learn more about whether credit card debt consolidation is right for you.

Usually, it also keeps a portion (or sometimes all) of your payment to cover its own fees.

While there are some legitimate companies that provide this service for a very low fee, many companies charge huge fees and do little on your behalf.

(You can learn more about debt management and debt negotiation companies in our Debt Settlement & Negotiation topic area.) Below are some of the main factors you should consider when deciding whether consolidating your credit card debt is in your best interest.

The amount of your monthly payment will depend on the total amount, interest rate, and payment terms of your consolidation loan.

There are thousands of companies that claim they can help you consolidate or manage your credit card debt so that you pay less or reduce your payment.

Typically this is how these companies work: Instead of obtaining a new loan to pay off your credit cards, the debt management company tries to negotiate with the credit card companies to reduce your interest rates or otherwise lower your monthly payments.

Each month, you make a single payment to the debt consolidation firm and it distributes a portion of your payment to each of your creditors.