5 million people helped and counting  >  Call 1-888-888-CARE or Get Started Now
How we can help
"All my creditors accepted the proposals & the benefits have been applied.  Some of my interest rates dropped by 20%!"Lin1CareOne Customer

Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Consolidation Loans: What is the difference?

Download this Guide as an Easy to Read PDF.

Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Consolidation Loans: What is the difference?

One of the questions we are often asked by customers and prospects looking for debt relief is: What is the difference between debt consolidation and a debt consolidation loan? Because the names are so similar, many people assume that they mean the same thing, when in fact, they are quite different.

Below is a chart that defines these two terms, and provides a detailed comparison as to the major points of difference between the two.

Comparison Criteria Debt Consolidation Debt Consolidation Loan

Debt consolidation is the practice of consolidating multiple bills and payments into a single payment through some type of debt repayment plan or program, offered by a debt consolidation provider. The two main types of debt consolidation plans are a Debt Management Plan (DMP) and a Debt Settlement Plan (DSP).

A debt consolidation loan is a loan obtained from a lender, with the purpose of paying off the outstanding loans and debts you currently have. With a debt consolidation loan, all of your monthly payments are consolidated into one payment, which is made to the new lender.

How It Works

With debt consolidation, you do not borrow any money. Instead, all of your unsecured debts are consolidated into one monthly payment that is administered by your debt relief provider to the appropriate creditor(s), based on the debt consolidation plan you are enrolled in.

The goal of a debt consolidation loan is to use one loan to pay off your outstanding bills and debts, and to decrease your monthly payments by lowering your overall interest rate, and amortizing your debt over a longer period of time.


There are several advantages to enrolling in either type of debt consolidation plan:

  • You are not borrowing additional money, on top of the money you already owe, to secure a new loan.
  • You are able to consolidate your unsecured debts into one fixed monthly payment to make to your debt relief provider.
  • Your monthly payment is usually lower.
  • Collection calls usually begin to lessen after the first few months of making consistent payments.
  • With a debt consolidation program, you are no longer able to use your credit and store cards, so it is very difficult to accumulate additional debt while enrolled in the program.

Advantages to debt consolidation loans include:

  • You only have one fixed monthly payment to make to your lender.
  • Your monthly payment is usually lower, which means more monthly cash flow in the short term.
  • Your consolidation loan interest rate should be lower than your current interest rates.


Some of the disadvantages to enrolling in a debt consolidation program include:

  • Enrollment can have a negative effect on your credit.
  • Enrollment can limit your ability to acquire new credit while you are enrolled.

Some of the disadvantages to obtaining a debt consolidation loan include:

  • A debt consolidation loan does not lead to debt elimination. All it does is shift the debt, which has to still be paid at a later date.
  • Because all the loans are shifted to a single lender, all of your credit cards will now show huge available amounts. This can be very tempting for someone who is used to living off of credit cards, and can lead to another spending spree and even more debt.
  • Almost all debt consolidation loans are secured, so whatever property you attach to your loan is at risk should you fail to pay.
  • By consolidating the debt, the loan payments are stretched for a longer time period. This means that your payback period is stretched, so you will be in debt longer than you would have been otherwise.


The two most common types of debt consolidation plans are a Debt Management Plan (DMP) and a Debt Settlement Plan (DSP).

Debt consolidation loans vary by repayment terms. The duration and interest rates of these loans are determined by your credit rating. Some examples of debt consolidation loans include home equity loans, personal loans, and credit card balance transfers.


In order to qualify for debt consolidation with CareOne, you must:

  • Have $2,500 or more in unsecured debt
  • Have at least two creditors that need to be repaid
  • Have a source of income

In order to qualify for a debt consolidation loan, you may need to:

  • Have enough equity in your home that you can use it as security or collateral (without a home you can consolidate your debts, but the amount you can consolidate is very minimal)
  • Prove that you are paying all of your debts on time by showing your payment history
  • Show stability by having lived in the same place for at least two years
  • Have a source of income

We take your success very seriously, and work hard to support and assist you as you gain financial independence.

Please feel free to contact us at 1-866-866-6127 with any questions.

Debt Help - CareOne Debt Relief Services
Offering CareOne Debt Relief Services: