I'd be a lot more worried about saving myself some money by paying all of those cards off first before I'd worry about AAOA and INQ's.
The downsides? It looks like you like to rack up balances.
My worry is that once your CC's are freed up and you consolidated the loan, that you'll run up balances once again and then you'll have MORE debt than what you originally set out to have.
The plan works, if you don't rack up balances all willy nilly.
Use the CC's responsibly and PIF each month while you pay down the loan.
It's really hard to say how much it'll affect your score, because the
Negatives: AAOA gets hit, INQ on the CR
Positives: Utilization on revolving accounts goes to 0, as long as the loan reports completely as an installment loan (Someone feel free to correct me on this, I do know there are LOC's and some personal loans that get counted as revolving)
So you might get points taken off for the negatives but then points given for the positive.
That's good to know. I was thinking about applying for a loan of a LOC through my bank but if it's going to report utilization too, then I'm probably just better off where i am now.
Is a signature loan a personal loan? With your credit utilization so high, I assume your credit score is around the mid-600s (assuming no other dings on your CR). It's hard to imagine a personal loan being that low with a CS in the mid (or even high) 600s.