Debt Consolidation Loans Online: 25 Personal Finance Bloggers Discuss P2P Loans

Are you confused about where to turn for debt consolidation loans? If you don't have horribly bad credit and are looking to get out of debt fast, we have some very good news for you that most people don't even know about yet.

Debt Consolidation LoansIn our other roundtable interview, we discussed peer-to-peer lending investment opportunities, it helped hundreds of investors and was even covered by Bloomberg Business. But we also want to help people in debt that are looking to borrow at lower rates than the banks.

Yes, peer-to-peer lending is a great investment opportunity, but it also serves the debt-dodging borrower better than most traditional bank loans. In many cases, much better.

Because of that, The Lending Mag asked about this relatively new solution for you that many people haven't yet taken advantage of.

We've compiled 25 of the most-respected and influential personal finance bloggers in order to share their financial insights in this special edition article below.

You will learn from the best in the industry about how to consolidate debt without selling your soul. Kind of
important, right?

Our expert finance bloggers are from every walk of life, we have CPAs who have conquered debt without a problem, celebrity financial advisors who've been featured by Oprah & Dr.Phil, personal finance bloggers who are still successfully pulling themselves out of debt as well as a couple of professors and PhDs who know quite a bit about getting out of debt and staying out of it.

We wanted to hear the answer to one simple but very important question:

“With the emergence in popularity of peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club and Prosper, would you advise debt-consolidation loan-seekers to take advantage of P2P loans or would you warn against it?”

Read on to discover each expert’s best debt consolidation advice in detail. All interview responses are listed in the order in which they were received, but you can either skip to your favorite expert using these alphabetized quick links or take your time and scroll through these top personal finance bloggers one-by-one.

Amanda L. GrossmanAndrew SchrageBob LotichDan SchointuchDavid WeliverGrayson Bell,

Jackie BeckJefferson, Jon DulinKelly WhalenKyle TaylorLynn TruongMaria Nedeva,

Martin DaskoMatt Gibb PhDMax MessnerMelanie LockertPauline PaquinPhilip Taylor,

Rob BergerRobert FarringtonShane EdeSteve RhodeSteven RichmondTrent Hamm

 

Debt Consolidation Loans From Peer-to-Peer Lenders: Top Personal Finance Bloggers Discuss

Here are the thoughts shared by Steve with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Steve Rhode, Founder of GetOutOfDebt.org
As a source of funds for consolidating debt I think P2P loans are a reasonable source of funds. Certainly much more transparent than your local bank. I'm always impressed by the rate and performance transparency of Lending Club and Prosper. They provide a lot of data upon which a consumer can make an educated decision.

I much prefer to see people borrow from P2P than raid their retirement IRA, 401(k) funds. Consumers never seem to realize that when you factor in the future lost return on investments while the funds are withdrawn and the interest cost of the retirement loan, the overall cost of a retirement loan can be much higher than an unsecured P2P loan.

Additionally, with a P2P loan they are not securing another loan against their real estate and in the face of a future unexpected financial situation a P2P loan could be discharged in bankruptcy.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Steve Rhode is Founder of GetOutOfDebt.org, he spends his days writing about the debt relief industry, warning consumers about scams, and providing free debt help and answers through the website. He's widely known as the @GetOutOfDebtGuy on his Twitter account which boasts nearly 20,000 followers, and he's a consumer debt expert for The Huffington Post.

Mr.Rhodes has lived through bankruptcy and founded a national credit counseling group. He's experienced in every aspect of getting out of debt and a recognized authority on the subject.

GetOutOfDebt.org was named Top Site for Dealing With Debt by MSN Money, Steve was named as a Dr. Phil Recession Resource and he's authored of 2 of the top 6 Personal Finance books on iTunes.

Here are the thoughts shared by Philip with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Philip Taylor, CEO of FinCon & Founder of PTMoney.com
Getting out of high-interest debt should be #1 on your list of priorities if you are trying to improve your financial life.

I had high-interest debt a few years ago. Once I decided that I wanted it out of my life, I made an aggressive plan to pay it all off. This included, most importantly, looking for ways to increase my income and reduce my expenses (i.e. living within my means). Also part of that plan was temporarily consolidating it all to a 0% interest rate credit card. I figured I might as well be paying 0% interest while I'm paying it down. If I was in debt again today I would look for a 0% interest rate credit card (although these are less available and usually come with fees now), and if I couldn't find one I would look to a peer lending site to consolidate my debt.

Now that I'm out of debt, I've used them to invest and I'm a fan of the peer model. My only warning with any type of debt consolidation is to make sure you are using it for the right reasons. It's not a free pass to create more high-interest debt. It should only be used as a tool to eliminate bad debt from your life completely.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Philip Taylor is a CPA and had a career in financial auditing and public accounting before finding his passion of helping thousands of people through financial blogging. His work has been featured in US News & World Report, TurboTax, ING Direct, PerkStreet and countless financial blogs.

The PT Money financial blog is viewed more than 350,000 times on a monthly basis, and more than 5,000 people have subscribed to the site’s email list and RSS feed.

His insights have been featured on TV and he's the brainchild behind FinCon, the ever-growing annual conference for financial bloggers.   Follow Philip's tweets @ptmoney

Here are the thoughts shared by Kyle with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Kyle Taylor, Editor-In-Chief at ThePennyHoarder.com
I'm a huge fan of sites like Lending Club & Prosper from both a borrower and an investor perspective. It can be a great way to save money by potentially getting a lower interest rate and nothing beats the convenience of only having to make one payment.

But, I would caution readers who are in debt to be careful - having all of this new available credit can be liberating, but before you consolidate, make sure you've corrected the behavior or circumstances that got you into debt in the first place. You don't want to end up with both credit card debt and a consolidation loan.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Kyle Taylor is the founder of The Penny Hoarder finance blog, one of the largest money-saving blogs in the world. His unique tips on how to save money are read by more than 4 million readers a month. You can follow him just as 20K other people already do on Twitter @thepennyhoarder

Kyle's unique financial tips on how to save, consolidate debt and make extra money have been featured on Oprah.com, AOL, LifeHacker, Yahoo Finance, and Men's Health magazine.

Here are the thoughts shared by Andrew with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Andrew Schrage, Partner and Editor-In-Chief of MoneyCrashers.com
If you're seeking loans for debt consolidation purposes , you may want to use P2P lending as opposed to a debt consolidation company or a bank for a number of reasons.

In addition to allowing you to consolidate your debt (i.e., you only pay back one loan rather than making payments on several credit card accounts), the approval process is usually less stringent, you normally receive your funds in a shorter period of time, and you may also find a lower interest rate than if you go the route of a debt consolidation company.

Despite these benefits, however, you'll need to do your research to see if you even qualify for a P2P loan. First, they're not available in all states and second, some P2P companies have minimum credit score thresholds to meet before you can qualify for a loan - usually in the good credit range of 650. There are also closing costs that you must pay on your P2P loan, which can be as high as 5%, and you likely won't be able to borrow more than $35,000. These fees and downsides may offset your savings, making the strategy less than ideal for your situation.

P2P loans can be a great tool to consolidate your debt and save money in the long run - you just need to do your due diligence to see if it makes sense in your unique situation.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Andrew is a graduate of Brown University. He majored in Economics while in school and has found it to be very applicable to everyday life and useful in understanding the economy. Andrew gained great investment insight and experience from working at a hedge fund.

Money Crashers is one of the top personal finance and business websites dedicated to providing essential and practical education, tips, and strategies that people can implement in their own daily lives as a way to drastically improve their financial lives and lower the stress levels related to being sunk in debt. Follow Money Crashers on Twitter @moneycrashers

Here are the thoughts shared by Bob with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Bob Lotich, Founder of ChristianPF.com
Yea, I do recommend looking into P2P loans for debt consolidation. With the simplicity of a DIY consolidation and the low rates, P2P lending is something definitely worth considering!

Note: Bob wrote about using Lending Club to consolidate debt on his blog right here.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Bob used his passion for personal finance to launch his award-winning website, ChristianPF.com, back in 2007.

He started his website when he got laid off in a merger at the brokerage firm he worked for. He then decided to take the leap into full-time blogging - long before he was earning enough to pay the bills.

By 2009 he was doing better finacially than he had been at his old day job and having a whole lot more fun.

His initial blog was such a massive success that in 2011 he co-founded a new blog named BloggingYourPassion.com, which offers courses to help aspiring blogger learn to make a living as a pro blogger.

His ChristianPF.com website has helped over 22 million visitors since inception and has been featured in Kiplingers, INC, Forbes, Time, CBN, Yahoo Finance, and many other media platforms. Follow Bob's Tweets @ChristianPF

Here are the thoughts shared by Melanie with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Melanie Lockert, Founder of DearDebt.com
I think peer-to-peer lending is changing the financial landscape in many ways -- it is revolutionizing and democratizing the lending process. I'd advise those looking to consolidate their debt to look at all their options, including peer-to-peer lending. The key is to look at terms and conditions, as well as interest rates. In some cases you can get a better rate, in others you may be paying more over time.

For student loans specifically, I recommend going with something like SoFi, over a traditional peer-to-peer marketplace. You want to make sure that you are working with a company that understands your needs and serves you as a customer. Ultimately, people with debt should look into peer-to-peer lending as an option, but should carefully consider the outcome. Will it save money over time? Will it make payments easier? Asking critical questions upfront can help guide such a decision.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Melanie Lockert is a freelance finance writer and passionate debt fighter who created and writes at DearDebt.com. She is currently climbing out of $81,000 in student loan debt and is often dreaming of her next adventure. Follow Melanie's Tweets @DearDebtBlog

Here are the thoughts shared by Dan with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Dan Schointuch, Editor-In-Chief at MoneyTalkNews.com
Consumers seeking to consolidate debt should always seek the best possible rates and terms, and peer-to-peer loans can definitely fit the bill.

But as with any strategy that involves using additional debt to destroy debt, the most important thing is to first make sure you’ve plugged the leaks. In other words, if your debt is the result of continuously spending more than you make, a consolidation loan with a lower rate won’t remove you from the path to bankruptcy; it will just make it longer.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Dan Schointuch is a journalist and the Editor-In-Chief of MoneyTalksNews.com, the hugely popular website serves 8.5 million visitors per year. Additionally, its Emmy Award winning content is syndicated by the web’s largest portals including Yahoo, MSN, and AOL, and is included within Windows 8 as part of the preinstalled news app.

Dan is also the developer of the LifeOrDebt.org website and Producer/Editor of the feature length educational film "Life or Debt" that have together helped hundreds of thousands of people deal with overwhelming debt by imparting sound financial strategies and techniques for money management.

Life or Debt is certified by the Department of Justice as meeting federal requirements for court mandated pre-discharge bankruptcy education and is distributed to individuals by non-profit credit counseling agencies nationwide.

He's also made on-air appearances to present and discuss money saving gadgets and technology to millions of viewers on NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX and previously served as Editor and Producer of nationally-syndicated broadcast news segments airing on NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX.

Here are the thoughts shared by Pauline with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Pauline Paquin, Founder of ReachFinancialIndependence.com
I think when you are shopping for a new loan to consolidate your debt, P2P plaftorms are as good a place as any, and if they give you the best rate, go for it! You are looking to reduce your monthly debt payments after all. That said, they may have extra fees that are not included in the APR, so you want to make sure you read every single line of your loan agreement and take those amounts into consideration before moving forward. Big banks may have clearer facts sheets regarding the details of your loan, so going the P2P route may mean some extra work. If in doubt, I would stick with the bank.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Pauline is a mid-30s French girl who blogs about money, travel, simple and deliberate living, freedom and choices over at Reach Financial Independence and The Savvy Scot. Follow Pauline's Tweets @rfindependence

Here are the thoughts shared by Grayson with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Grayson Bell, Founder of DebtRoundUp.com
I've always been a fan of more options for those looking to get out of debt. Since P2P loans are different than the traditional lender, borrowers have a greater opportunity to get their loans fulfilled depending on their credit profile.

Also, many P2P lenders provide interest rates lower than those of big banks. Having said that, if one is looking to obtain a debt-consolidation loan, they need to be sure they are using it for the right purpose. When you consolidate debt, you are supposed to be pulling it all together to eliminate multiple payments and hopefully decrease interest rates.

The key to succeeding with debt consolidation is understanding how you got into debt, why you're getting out, and how will stay away from it after the loan is paid off. P2P lending can be a powerful tool that more people should look into, but as with any loan, borrowers need to understand the terms and their obligations before signing on the dotted line. Potential loan borrowers should compare P2P lending opportunities alongside regular banks to make sure they are getting the best deal for their situation.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Grayson Bell created the Debtroundup.com finance blog  in 2013. Debt Roundup is dedicated to figuring out how to get your finances in order and push yourself to get out of debt. He provides his readers with ideas to help them move on from debt. He also teaches that there is more to finances than just debt and he's not afraid of controversial topics.

At one point in his life, he found himself with $50,000 worth of credit card debt, all of which he'd created on his own. That was on top of nearly $25,000 in other consumer debt, such as auto loans. After finally hitting a wall and realizing that it could easily take over 60 years to pay off his debt, he finally put his foot downand clawed his way back out of the large financial abyss, penny by penny, and after 4 long years, he paid off his last credit card, saved money along the way and created a new method while doing so. A method that you can learn from. Follow Grayson's Tweets @Debtroundup

Here are the thoughts shared by Rob with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Rob Berger, Founder of DoughRoller.net
I wouldn't warn against a P2P loan to consolidate debts, but I would advise the exercise of caution for two reasons. First, as with all loan consolidation, care must be taken not to go into more debt. It's not uncommon for families to pay off credit cards and other debt through consolidation, only to rack up more debt down the road. I'd suggest going at least six months without any new debt before considering a loan consolidation.
Second, make sure the interest rate you qualify is lower than your current rate. There's no point consolidating loans if the interest rate goes up. It may be more convenient to have just one loan, but the higher interest rate isn't worth it.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Rob Berger founded the Dough Roller in May 2007 and is a litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie. Rob has invested in the stock market for nearly 20 years and real estate for more than eight. He holds a law degree from Boston University and an undergraduate degree in English from Evangel University.

The mission of the Dough Roller finance advice website is to help people make sense out of the ever more complicated world of personal finance, investing, and money management. What started out as a simple blog about money has turned into a website enjoyed by nearly 2 million visitors a year. Rob’s articles on personal finance have been syndicated to Forbes, MSN Money, U.S. News & World Report, and Yahoo! Finance. Follow the Dough Roller Facebook Page.

Here are the thoughts shared by David with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

David Weliver, Founder & Editor-In-Chief of MoneyUnder30.com
P2P loans can be a great resource to consolidate high-interest credit card debt — I know because I used a Prosper loan to consolidate debt in 2006. But there are two big “ifs”.

P2P loans make sense for debt consolidation if you can qualify for a rate that’s lower than what you’re paying on your credit cards and you are responsible enough to cut up — or at least not use — credit cards again once you’ve consolidated with a loan.

Obviously, you can save money on interest with a lower-rate P2P loan, but I also like that they have fixed terms so you make progress on your debt faster than if you get stuck in the credit card minimum payment trap.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: David Weliver is the founding editor of MoneyUnder30.com. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children. In 2003, he graduated from Bates College — a small liberal arts school — after which he moved to New York City and became an editorial assistant at SmartMoney, a monthly personal finance magazine published by The Wall Street Journal.

Since 2006, Money Under 30 has published free, approachable and non-judgmental financial advice for young professionals.

Money Under 30 is one of “10 money and finance blogs you should read” according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and ranks among Wisebread’s top 25 financial blogs. They are frequently cited by national media outlets as experts on the financial issues facing millennials. Follow David's Tweet @moneyunder30

Here are the thoughts shared by Maria with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Maria Nedeva, Founder of TheMoneyPrinciple.co.uk
I'd advise people looking to consolidate to use P2P landing. I have four reasons for that: a) P2P landing is known to compel people to be more responsible with their repayments; b) on some platforms it's possible to get a loan at good interest (better than the banks); c) for some people this is the only option; and d) I am all in favour of by-passing banks when possible :).

Of course, all rules for consolidating apply. I've written about this one, if you are interested see this article.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Maria Nedeva is the Founder of TheMoneyPrinciple.co.uk.

She has a Personal Professorship from a university ranking 32nd in the world and 8th in the UK. She has a PhD, teaches philosophy of science and innovation, and talks to Prime Ministers about wise ways to spend their country’s money on science.

She also had consumer debt of $157,000 at the end of 2009. How did this happen? Easy, it only needed a combination of the financial crisis, a lowered income, financial ignorance and an absolute refusal to engage in sound money management practices.

Then, one morning in December 2009, she woke up and thought that enough is enough. She and her family decided to change their financial fate.

It took them 3 years and one week to pay off all of their consumer debt.

This needed research, education, ingenuity, hard work, experimentation, good fortune and even better friends. Plus the ability to continue enjoying life – just in different ways!

If you want to learn the techniques they used to pay all their debt in such a short time check out her site or follow her Tweets @moneyprinciple

Here are the thoughts shared by Jefferson with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Jefferson, Co-founder of SeeDebtRun.com
I advise those who are trying to climb out of debt to be very careful when it comes to consolidation loans. They need to truly change their outlook and their behavior if they are going to find a better financial path, and there are many people who continue to operate in a negative cash flow situation after getting a loan. This just leads a situation where they have more debt than they started with! For that reason, I recommend that they pay off the first $5000 or so of their debt "the hard way", by cutting expenses and generating additional income.

Once you reach that point, you are likely on the right path. If the numbers add up and can lead to major savings on interest costs-- I don't have a huge issue with a consolidation loan. Sites like Lending Club and Prosper are potentially appealing because they have good interest rates and usually don't penalize you for paying off your loan early (which you should certainly plan on doing).

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Jefferson is a young professional, working his way up the corporate world. With the help of his wife Michelle, he paid off nearly $22,000 in credit card debt in just fourteen months.

He is one of the site founders at SeeDebtRun.com, where he shares his story of debt reduction and the daily peaks and valleys of family finance. He is a parent to three beautiful kids, who are the focus of his life. Over the last few years he has developed a passion for fitness and finance. Follow Jefferson and Michelle @seedebtrun

Here are the thoughts shared by Kelly with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Kelly Whalen, Editor-In-Chief of TheCentsibleLife.com
I don't have personal experience with P2P loans, but I have read and researched them quite a bit. I feel that they are a good option for many borrowers. I would caution anyone to make sure they read all the fine print before they sign up and that they are capable of paying back the loan prior to signing on. If you are struggling to meet day to day expenses, this is not going to be a good option.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Kelly Whalen is the owner and editor of the Centsible Life which covers family, finances, and fulfilling your dreams on a budget. She started blogging in January 2009. Kelly has been working in social media since 2007 has been active in online community building since 1997! Kelly is extremely active on twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites with over 30,000 followers across social media platforms.

Kelly offers brands an experienced mom’s perspective. She has worked with brands such as Vanguard, Discover, GIANT Food Stores, Best Buy, ConAgra Foods, Acura, eBay, Chevy, Kenmore, Colgate, Kmart, Playmobil, and many others. (phew!) Her passion for blogging and social media led to a career in social media. Kelly now works as a freelance writer, speaker, brand consultant, blogger, and digital marketer. Follow Kelly's Tweets @thecentsiblelife

Here are the thoughts shared by Jon with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Jon Dulin, Editor-In-Chief of MoneySmartGuides.com
I think looking into these options is a smart move for debt-consolidation loan seekers. In my experience, many of the debt consolidation companies out there are not very reputable. I hate to paint the entire industry badly, but a few bad apples ruins it for everyone else. From your credit getting ruined to crazy high fees, debtors are really only left with trying to consolidate on their own through balance transfers or taking out a personal loan.

With Lending Club and Prosper, they have another option and chances are good that they can get a decent interest rate as well. So again, I would advise to consider these services. After all, what have you got to lose? If you find they work for you, you did yourself a favor and if you find they are not right for you, you can be happy that you did your homework in finding the best solution for you.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Jon Dulin has his Bachelor’s Degree and a Certificate in Financial Planning from Mercyhurst College, a small liberal arts school in Erie, Pa. He also earned his Masters Degree from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa. He has worked in the financial services industry his entire career since graduating college. Currently, he's a consultant for the financial services industry.

Jon became interested in personal finance in high school through an economics class he took. The teacher presented finance to him in a way that made sense and intrigued him. Since then he has immersed himself in the financial services and personal finance world.

He started the Money Smart Guides Website because of his interest in the subject and wanting to help people better their financial lives. It pains him that personal finance is not taught in school and unless your parents taught it to you, you have no idea about the subject. Jon feels that needs to change, and now. The biggest stress in most people’s lives in money.

If you take 15 minutes a day, every day to learn a little about personal finance, you can change your life not only financially, but also in many other ways as well. He created his popular finance website to hopefully help you learn a little about personal finance, spark your interest, learn more, and remove any stress you have about money. Follow Jon's Tweets @moneysma

Here are the thoughts shared by Martin with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Martin Dasko, Founder of Studenomics.com
I would advise that you try these as you could save money and make your financial life simpler. When you're trying to pay off debt, your main goal needs to be to create a plan. As part of your debt destruction plan, you need to figure out how you're going to attack this debt. I highly suggest consolidating your debts with P2P to simplify matters. You have to do whatever possible to get out of debt. This is one of the many tools that will help you out.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Martin is the creator of Studenomics.com and has built up some very respectable credibility over the years. He's appeared live on Fox Business News. He's been mentioned in the New York Times and on CBS News. Martin has been covered on the top finance blogs (LifeHacker, The Simple Dollar, Get Rich Slowly, and many others). He's been invited to speak at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago and also do public speaking at local high. Follow Martin's Tweets @studenomics

Here are the thoughts shared by Trent with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Trent Hamm, Founder of TheSimpleDollar.com
In the United States, we're pretty lucky to have a plethora of lending options available to us.

I think that Lending Club and Prosper function very well at serving people with slightly-less-than-stellar credit, enabling them to do things like consolidate their debt at a reasonable rate in a situation where they might not get a great offer from a bank or other traditional lending institution. If people have stellar credit, I believe that traditional lending institutions tend to be very competitive with P2P lending and often present a better offer than what P2P lending can provide.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: The Simple Dollar finance blog was created for people who are fighting debt and bad spending habits, while trying to build a financially secure future and still afford a few luxuries in life. Trent Hamm started The Simple Dollar in 2006 after going through a complete financial meltdown.

Trent decided to throw himself head first into fixing his financial situation and getting out of debt. Within eight months, he was able to pay off all of his credit card debt as well as his vehicle, and he also established an emergency fund. After that, he decided to share with the world what he learned and help those who were struggling with the same situation.

Today, The Simple Dollar gets around one million visitors per month and is respected as one of the best personal finance sites on the Internet. It is ranked as a top-ten personal finance blog on Kiplinger, has a top-20 ranking on Technorati for all business/finance blogs, and is listed as a top website to help manage your finances by the Chicago Tribune. The Simple Dollar has been featured in some of the world’s largest publications, such as Inc., Forbes, The Guardian, and MSN Money. You can find Trent's Tweets @thesimpledollar

Here are the thoughts shared by Lynn with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Lynn Truong, Co-founder of WiseBread.com
Yes, we would definitely advise P2P loans for debt consolidation. Since those who need it probably have less than stellar credit, their options are limited. P2P loans can provide an opportunity to get a lower rate, helping them pay off their debt sooner. We've actually recently published an article on the topic, to help readers decide if P2P lending is the right choice for them.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Lynn Truong is the brilliant Co-founder of Wise Bread --one of the largest independent personal finance blogs with over 2.25 million pageviews a month.

Wise Bread has won several awards, including

* PC Magazine's Top 100 Websites
* About.com's Personal Finance Blog of the Year
* Liz Weston's Best Money Site.
* MSN Money's Top 100 Most Useful Websites
* Kiplinger's Best Blog for Frugalistas

Wise Bread's content is syndicated worldwide through partners like Reader's Digest, MSN, Yahoo, US News & World Report, Entrepreneur Media, and Huffington Post.

Wise Bread operates the industry-leading Wise1000 Chart, which ranks, tracks, and analyzes the top personal finance blogs in the world.

Wise Bread writers and insights have been featured on CNN, Forbes, USA Today, Fox News, Newsweek, Houston Chronicle, Nielsen's Media, American Express OPEN Forum, MasterCard Small Business Center, and About.com, among others. Follow Wise Bread's Tweets @wisebread

Here are the thoughts shared by Robert with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Robert Farrington, Editor-In-Chief of TheCollegeInvestor.com
I think that borrowers in student loan debt should look at all of their options when it comes to finding the best loans. For some students, Peer to Peer Student Loans may make a lot of sense.

I think the real baseline that all borrowers need to be conscious of is the costs and interest rate of the loan. If P2P loans are better, go with those. If traditional student loan refinancing gives the better rate and fees, go that route. Student loan borrowers need to be cost conscious, not loan-type conscious.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Robert Farrington is known in many circles as America’s Millennial Money Expert and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert. He's a MBA graduate who has always had a passion for investing and personal finance, he loves helping young adults get out of student loan debt and start investing in their futures.

He's been writing about student loan debt and investing at The College Investor finance blog since 2009. Robert's goal is to provide solid financial coaching so that young adults can stay out of debt and have money to save and invest.

Robert's financial insights have been featured in The Huffington Post, Forbes, MSN Money, The New York Times, Kiplinger, Business Insider and USA Today. Follow Robert's Tweet @collegeinvestin

Here are the thoughts shared by Steven with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Steven Richmond, Editor-In-Chief of BadCredit.org
Using P2P loans for debt consolidation is a good choice for those people who have debts with relatively high interest rates, such as credit cards or payday loans, where interest rates can easily exceed 20 percent.

However, these borrowers should keep in mind that P2P loans might not offer the same consumer protections as their original lenders. Take student loans, for example — borrowers have much more flexibility with payment and deferral options during times of hardship, or might have access to special forgiveness programs only available through federal lenders.

It's important to weigh these pros and cons before trying to consolidate loans through P2P lending. You may receive a lower interest rate, but you could lose out on certain protections and privileges.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Steven Richmond is the editor-in-chief of BadCredit.org and an all-around finance junkie. After graduating from Florida State University, he worked as a newspaper reporter in Florida, covering government, crime and commerce. He knows firsthand the trials and tribulations of bad credit — his parents filed for bankruptcy after a failed small business and lost their home soon after.

Steven joined BadCredit.org to help people everywhere improve their financial literacy and make healthier financial decisions.

work to find the latest news, information, and resources from the world of bad credit and the subprime market. With help from industry experts, we publish empowering and engaging content to help readers with bad credit make healthier financial decisions every day.

His widely-respected finance blog features reviews of the latest personal finance apps, interviews with industry experts, coverage of the latest consumer credit research, and profiles of businesses and organizations helping Americans manage their money.

When he's not at the office, you might find him running, enjoying Mediterranean cuisine, studying history and following the latest finance news. Follow Steven's Tweets @badcreditorg

Here are the thoughts shared by Amanda with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Amanda L. Grossman, Founder of FrugalConfessions.com
If a person is looking for a debt consolidation loan anyway, then going with a P2P loan would be no different than going through a traditional lender. In fact, you may find it easier to get approved, and with a better interest rate!

What I'd like to stress though is that since this avenue is no different than a traditional lender you are still fully responsible for paying this loan back, and not doing so can actually hurt individuals instead of a larger corporation that may be able to better absorb the loss. Also, realize that any default will also land on your credit report, just like with a traditional lender.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Frugality has always been a beacon in Amanda's life, no matter if I had a little bit of money, such as growing up on a family dairy farm, working through college, and being laid off from both her first and second post-college jobs.

Being laid off the second time made Amanda spring into action, she spent countless hours researching new and innovative ways to save money. She was burnt out on spending her life energy doing things like squeezing the last remnants of toothpaste out of the bottom of a tube.

She was looking for an escape from that life.

The two overbearing opinions in the world of money left her frustrated and disillusioned:

a) Spend freely, getting all of the things and experiences that you want, but give up money and most likely go into debt or....

b) Spend nothing, getting none of the things and experiences that you want in life, and die with some money in your pocket.

She realized that neither of those options would work for her. So she was fixed on creating a third one option.

She loves to save money, but also wanted to live her life happily and not forego all that it has to offer because of not wanting to spend the money.

Amanda is a firm believer that you can do and have whatever it is that you desire, and yet, you should never pay the same high prices that most people do. She has coined the phrase "Frugal Decadence", and it is the life that she chooses to lead.

And now she teaches others to live the same way.

Frugal Decadence has become a way of life for her, and through her writing, her course "The Debt Manipulator 3.0", she teaches the same strategies the she and her husband used to get out of nearly $60,000 of debt before they turned 30 years old. Follow Amanda's Tweet @frugalconfess

Here are the thoughts shared by Max with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Max Messner, Editor-In-Chief of MaximizingMoney.com
I would definitely advise loan-seekers who are looking to consolidate their debt to consider P2P loans as a viable option. However, as with all consolidation loans, they should base their decision on the interest rates that they are able to receive and only consolidate those debts for which they will receive a lower interest rate from a P2P loan. It may be more convenient to consolidate all of your debts into a single loan, but if doing so results in a higher interest rate for one of those debts, then it probably is not worth while. If you have high interest credit card debt, then a P2P loan will probably offer a lower interest rate overall, depending on your credit score and other factors, but you'll want to shop carefully and compare the rates you'll receive before accepting your loan. Overall, I do believe P2P loans can provide a great option for consolidating your debt.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: MaximizingMoney.com was founded in June of 2007 to promote the cash opportunities that are available through everyday financial transactions.

It covers a wide range of financial opportunities from banking bonuses and credit card deals to travel savings and shopping discounts as well as credit management tips, affiliate marketing information, investment opportunities, and many other cash-making promotions.

My hope is to provide a financial portal to the vast array of opportunities for maximizing money that are available to consumers. Follow Max's Tweets @maximizingmoney

Here are the thoughts shared by Shane with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Shane Ede, Editor-In-Chief of BeatingBroke.com
If I advised people to seek debt-consolidation loans at all, I would point them towards a P2P service first. I tend to think of debt-consolidation as a last-ditch effort before a bankruptcy.

They have their place, but I think, in most cases, it's smarter to just stop using the debt vehicles and focus all your efforts on paying them off. If you can't fix the attitude of debt, a debt-consolidation loan is only going to make the situation worse in the long term.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: For many years, before creating BeatingBroke.com, Shane and his wife struggled to pay their bills. They did all the things that he now preaches against. They paid bills with credit cards that they didn't pay off monthly, They bought a house and car they couldn't afford, and generally lived a financial life that was destined to fail.

At a certain point, Shane and his family were seriously thinking of filing for bankruptcy. It was then that he started learning everything possible to avoid letting debt crush his family. Shane started buying finance books, and reading money magazines to figure out how to pull his family's finances out of the hole they'd dug.

Shane decided he needed an outlet to share all the things he was learning about personal finance. Beating Broke is that outlet. His finance blog gives you an entertaining discussion about personal finance while still giving you all of the information you need to make smart decisions about how to handle your personal finances. Follow Shane's Tweets @beatingbroke

Here are the thoughts shared by Jackie with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Jackie Beck, Founder of TheDebtMyth.com
I would advise people to pay off their debt instead of consolidating it. Moving debt around doesn't get rid of it; it just makes you feel like you've accomplished something when you haven't made real progress toward your actual goal of paying it off. However for those who do want to consolidate, P2P loans seem no more dangerous to me than other types of debt consolidation loans.

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Jackie Beck is an esteemed personal finance author and the creator of Pay Off Debt -- an app that's helped 46,000+ people use the debt snowball method to pay off debt.

She's been writing about personal finance and goals since 2006 and started The Debt Myth finance blog because she's passionate about getting people out of debt and helping others who want to change their life.

Back around 2005, she read Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin’s book titled "Your Money or Your Life", and literally started tracking her spending before she’d even finished the book. That was the catalyst for changing my financial life.

Jackie got out of a bunch of debt, built an emergency fund, and began contributing to retirement with a vengeance. Finally, she and her husband tackled the house payments, and became completely debt free in August of 2012. Follow Jackie's Tweet @thedebtmyth

Here are the thoughts shared by Matt with TLM...-------------------------------------------Top of Page

Matt Gibb PhD, Co-founder of LendLayer Inc.
My advice on debt consolidation is to find the lowest APR you can and pay back as much as you can afford as quickly as possible, to reduce the interest you pay and reach financial independence. Platforms like Lending Club, Prosper and LendLayer are using technology to reduce interest rates for borrowers and, helping their borrowers clear debt quicker and save tens of $millions each year.

The only case where I would advise people to increase their debt is when the career 'return on investment' is high. Consumer debt certainly does not fall into this category. However, students of coding bootcamps can often double their salary in 6 months of hard work - a financial no brainer!

Top Finance Blogger Bio: Matt attended and graduated from Oxford University and is CEO and Co-founder of LendLayer Inc.

At Oxford, Matt studied the stabilizing effect of myocardial fiber direction and tissue inhomogeneities such as large blood vessels on arrhythmia and fibrillation.

He was a senior developer for the peer-to-peer lending platform known as Funding Circle. Matt now focuses his keen intellect on helping students get the loans that they need in order to get a great education and improve their financial future. LendLayer is the platform that allows him to do that.

The lending platform also has a popular lending information blog.







Editor's Note: The Lending Mag is grateful to all top finance blogs and participants for the practical and insightful tips. Debt consolidation is a difficult decision for many and we hope that the knowledge and insights of our experts will shed some light on the problem and help some people.

If you are fairly new to P2P loans and borrowing, I'm sure you will benefit greatly from the depth of knowledge shared by our experts here. We encourage you to visit their websites and Twitter accounts that are linked from this article. By doing so, you'll gain so much more knowledge from them. Each financial blogger featured in this article has a strong following for good reason, they know what they're talking about and they don't give you fluff for answers.

Many have been in your situation and others have had the training and education to avoid the sad situation of debt in the first place.

This is the very reason they were hand-picked for this edition of TLM roundtable. They have knowledge that you are sure to benefit from when trying to choose the best debt consolidation loans to get a new start on life and fresh financial future.

Please share this article if you think it was useful!


If You Are Interested In Getting a Debt Consolidation Loan:

If you would like to apply for a peer-to-peer loan from one of the top 2 U.S. peer-to-peer lending companies you can do that here. Peer-to-peer lending is an exciting new option for borrowers and investors, to check your rate from Lending Club or Prosper does not affect your credit. Choose from the options below, get an answer in minutes.

Your financial opportunities have never been greater with the growth of peer-to-peer lenders in the U.S., see how you can take advantage of it today.


 

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