Order a copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com. The website offers free credit reports under the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Visit the website to view and print your report. Follow instructions listed on the report to order your credit score separately, for a fee.
Review your score as you compare it to standards for good and bad credit. Theoretically, it is possible to borrow money for debt consolidation at any score, as creditors make their own lending decisions. However, a bad credit score close to 620 increases chances for approval.
Make a list of possible collateral for the loan. Even bad credit lenders may not approve a debt consolidation loan if your score is far below 620. However, the lender may approve the loan if you have collateral such as vacant land, or, ideally, a personal residence with considerable equity. Home equity is the difference between the balance on a mortgage and the fair market value of the home.
Apply for a debt consolidation loan with bad credit by seeking a home equity loan or another type of loan secured by collateral. Apply first at traditional banks or credit unions. If the banks will not approve you because of credit ask one of the loan officers for local referrals for lenders comfortable with bad credit borrowers.