Extraordinary costs for education, endless digital gadgetry, and the ease of getting credit cards means that the average Millennial carries debts that are difficult to pay off. Bachelor's degrees that reward students with minimum wage jobs and thousands of dollars in student loans burden millions of Millennials.

Consolidating debts may help reduce the time it takes to pay debts in full because consolidation usually offers an interest rate reduction. Credit cards with interest rates above 20% make it almost impossible to make a dent on a big balance, but consolidation is an answer to high interest rates and debt.

Steps Before Consolidation

Consolidation usually means working with a debt consolidation company or speaking with various creditors to make special arrangements. Before making those calls, there are a few housekeeping items to handle. Consider the following in advance of consolidation:

Check your credit. Make sure that your credit report is accurate. You don't want to end up consolidating accounts opened due to identity theft or mistaken identity.

Get a job. Fox Business suggests job of any kind is better than none, even if it pays minimum wage. Some consolidation options aren't available if you're unemployed.

Bring accounts up-to-date. Accounts that are over-the-limit or late complicate the consolidation process. Try to bring them current before consolidation.

Make a list of debts. Write down balances, interest rates, and minimum payments for each account and have this information on hand when making calls.

Don't close accounts. It might be prudent or necessary to close an account eventually, but don't do so before consolidation. Complete the consolidation process first and then decide which accounts to close.

Choosing Consolidation Type

There are a few methods available for consolidating debt, and Millennials will want to compare the cost of each before choosing which path to take.

1. Credit card consolidation

Most credit card companies offer balance transfer opportunities which promise a low interest rate when balances are transferred from other cards. Call each credit card company and inquire about balance transfer offers. If one card company offers a better rate than another, try to use that rate as a bargaining chip to get an even lower interest rate with another creditor.

Tip: Remember that credit scores tend to take a slight dip if one credit card is maxed-out and others have zero balances.

2. Personal bank loan

A traditional loan from a bank may come with an interest rate that's half the amount of a credit card. These loans often require a good credit score so Millennials with bad credit due to unemployment or other financial problems might have trouble getting a bank loan. Also, a low credit score might mean a high interest rate, which would reduce the opportunity to get the debt paid off fast.

Tip: Make sure you take into account each of the fees charged by the bank. Your low interest rate and savings might erode if the bank charges large origination fees.

3. Consolidation loan

There are loans available from banks and other lenders that are designed as a consolidation loan that will wipe out balances on credit cards and create a single monthly payment. Stewart Bradley, posting on GenY Finance journey, says these loans are also available for student loans and can help torpedo high interest rates to get loans paid much faster.

4. Credit counseling agreement

There are companies that deal solely with debt consolidation and will negotiate with creditors and arrange for a single monthly payment option. These companies charge a fee for their services; however, they do all the negotiation on the debtor's behalf.

This option may not result in actual savings, but it's the best way to lower monthly payments. TopTenReviews suggests that credit counseling and debt consolidation might be the only option for Millennials who are facing bankruptcy.

Make Changes Beyond Debt

Consolidation is a valid strategy for reducing debt and getting out of the red, but successful debt reduction requires a change of overall behavior. It's important that bad spending habits don't create another problem after you've already worked to get rid of old debt. Make the tough choices. Sell your new car and buy a used one. Quit that expensive gym membership and start jogging around your neighborhood for free.

Millennials are presented with so many easy ways to spend money, and most have to deal with huge student loans. But debt reduction isn't impossible. Taking control of spending and choosing a debt consolidation strategy is possible for any Millennial with big debts.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Lindsey is a blogger and writes for his blog The Financial Park about budget and credit tips. He loves to play golf and waterski. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisLindsey23.