During these difficult financial times, many Americans are having trouble making ends meet. While people are generally advised to pay off credit card debt first, nowadays many experts are advising people to have an emergency savings account. Making your minimum credit card payments may be enough to keep your credit score intact, while allowing you to save for a rainy day. However, many people find that by making only minimum payments, they end up paying an excessive amount in interest.

So what should you do to avoid this excessive interest? Some experts suggest debt consolidation as a way to save money. Anyone with debt on multiple credit cards can apply for a debt-consolidation loan with an online lending company or a bank to pay off the debt, then make payments on the loan. Unlike most credits that have changing APR rates, the APR rate of the loan will stay the same, so you will not have to worry about your payments increasing every month.

Consolidation loans directly deposit funds into your bank account, allowing you to pay off your debt on the spot. This differs from a balance transfer, which basically moves debt from one card to another.

Before determining whether a debt-consolidation loan is right for you, you should do some research on the APR you qualify for. If the APR rate on the loan is higher than the rate on your credit cards, consolidating may not be the best option for you. A bankruptcy attorney in your area can give you a better idea of the options that work for you.