On 2 December, 2014, found that only 28% of the 126 unsecured personal loans listed on the matrix of independent financial researcher Defaqto had no fee for early redemption of the entire loan.
Make a list of all your existing debt and check the small print, then factor any additional costs for repaying early into your sums.
There are plenty of good reasons to consolidate your debts, and you don't have to be in financial difficulty in order to benefit.
If you're having financial problems, a debt consolidation loan can be a lifeline, potentially reducing your monthly outgoings.
Not only that, it should make managing your deficit easier because you'll only have one monthly repayment to think about.
That can help you avoid missing payments, which is vital to obtaining good credit scores and qualifying for the best financial deals.
Lumping all your debt into one place (perhaps secured against your home) and having lower monthly repayments could tempt you to take on additional short-term borrowing, building your overall deficits into a fiscal time-bomb.
If you feel you'd be tempted to fall into this type of destructive borrowing then a debt consolidation loan really isn't for you...
Before consolidating, you should note that some lenders may charge exit fees or early redemption charges if you repay ahead of schedule.
That's because they'll lose a chunk of the interest you would have paid if you'd stuck to the original terms.
The logic behind debt consolidation loans may seem sound and this type of borrowing can make great practical sense, but you need to beware of the pitfalls that could make it go very wrong. Small loans, payday loans, overdrafts, store and credit card deficits can all charge extraordinarily high rates of interest, while the very best rates are usually only available on bigger loans.
This means that combining all your debt into one consolidation loan could reduce the overall rate you pay, and possibly reduce the overall amount even if you pay over an extended term.
For most people it's about saving money and getting back in control, and the black-and-white financial sums are easy enough to work out.
More difficult to deal with are the intangible factors which are related to knowing what sort of borrower you are.