I want to pay off our credit card debt of $23,000 and wonder if it is better to get a debt consolidation loan at a lower interest rate or roll the debt into a refinance of our mortgage. Im 58, and married with a child in college.

Terry Says:

If you have credit card debt AND a child in college, you probably need some debt counseling.  I would suggest you contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227, which connects you to the nearest local office.  You can discuss this over the phone and get some ideas about how best to handle the credit card debt.

The reason I suggest this is that you are likely to get back into credit trouble even if you refinance (and now is a good time to do it if you have good credit and equity in your home).  You don’t want to make the same mistake again!   And that will be tempting — especially with a child in college.

My first suggestion is always: how can someone in your family earn extra money on evenigs or weekends and dedicate it to paying down the credit card debt.   Second question:  How can you cut back on a big expense in your family — sell a second car, cut out cable, etc.  Then devote that money to paying down debt.

You really need to understand how you got into the mess in the first place.