Does consolidating your student loans hurt your credit

, into one single bill that’s paid off with a loan.

There are dozens of ways to do this, and some include transferring debt to a zero or low-interest credit card, taking out a debt consolidation loan, applying for a home equity loan or paying back your debt through a debt repayment plan.

Don’t use your IRA to pay debts unless you are 100% confident the money will be replaced within two months, say, with a tax refund.

Otherwise, you’ll be hit with a penalty and taxes on the funds.

And then there’s the risk of increasing your debt if you fail to make your payments under a debt settlement program.

Once you’ve chosen a debt consolidation method, it’s a good idea to keep the total cost as low as possible.

Not only will you be bailing out your children at an important time in their lives, you’ll be giving them an excellent borrowing experience.

In the days of yore, when people needed a hand catching up on their bills, they strolled into the neighborhood bank, spoke to branch manager, shook hands on a loan, and got a check for the amount they needed.

In fact, full-time students in Canada paid approximately ,600 in university expenses for one year in 2014-2015.

That’s because some may be debt settlement companies that convince you to stop paying your debts and “instead pay into a special account,” the CFPB warns.

“The company will then use this money to attempt to negotiate with creditors to reduce the amount of principal you pay off.” If you’re considering this option, try to speak with a nonprofit credit counselor first because debt settlement can put your credit in jeopardy.

(Of course, while you’re using your IRA money, it won’t be earning you any interest either.) From friends and family: These loans can be your best or worst nightmare.

Ideally, you offer your parents or another private lender an interest rate that’s better than what they’re getting at the savings bank.

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