Credit Card Balance Transfer

Consolidate Credit Card Debt

A credit card balance transfer can be an excellent method of reducing credit card debt and interest payments.

Simply move the balance from one credit card to another with lower rates.



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It is possible to find 2, 1, or even 0 percent interest and usually this introductory rate lasts for around for 6 to 15 months after the balance transfer is completed.

Many credit card companies offer free balance transfers from your old credit card in order to win your business. You really have to read the fine print whether there are any fees attached and exactly how long the teaser rate will last.

How It Works

You can open a new account that offers a credit card balance transfer when your old account expires. Then transfer all your balance to the new card as a new grace period of low or non-existent finance charges begins.

Things To Watch Out For

Transfer Fees - Some banks charge a transfer fee that is a percentage of the transferred balance. Be sure that the fee is a limited amount (no more than 75 Dollars) or a balance transfer in the thousands may end up costing a couple hundred dollars. These fees can be quite hefty, so if you're planning to do so, search for a card that doesn't charge the transfer fee.

Annual Fees - Make sure the bank doesn't charge a joining fee or a high annual fee.

Fine Prints - Be sure to read the fine print whether there are any fees attached and exactly how long the introductory rate will last.

Tips

Only transfer your balance if you get a great offer from the new credit card company like a 0 apr on balance transfer.

If you have high interest rate credit cards and can now qualify for cards with lower rates and high limits, don’t wait to move balances from your old cards to a new one with at least a six-month 0% credit card balance transfer (some cards offer 0% for 6 to 12 months.) It will save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the offer.

If 6 to 12 month low introductory rate offer does not give you enough time for you to pay off your debt, you can always apply for a new credit card with a 0% Credit Card Balance Transfers offer, and transfer your balance again. When using your 0% credit card balance transfer option, balance will go down a lot faster. By transferring balances again, or by negotiating an extension of the teaser/introductory rate, you can keep rates low indefinitely.

Of course, borrowing from one to pay another does have some risks. Having multiple open lines of credit might make it harder for you to qualify for loans in the future. Still, playing the balance transfer game doesn't have to mean a tarnished credit history. To avoid being viewed as a credit risk, make sure you cancel old accounts after transferring a balance by Notifying the credit card issuer in writing, then instruct them to inform the 3 major credit bureaus.

The toll-free numbers for the three U.S. credit reporting companies is:

Equifax Credit Information Services: 1-800-685-1111
Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-888-4213.

A copy of a person's credit report also can be obtained, typically for about 8 Dollars, by contacting a credit reporting company.

Credit card balance transfers can take up to four weeks and if you miss a payment to your old credit card issuer during this time, they could charge you a late fee which will likely negatively effect your credit score. So If you make a credit card balance transfer to a new, lower rate card, make sure you’ll keep making the minimum payments on your old card while waiting for the balance transfer to be finalized.

Reduce your current credit card interest rate by making a phone call. According to a Public Interest Research Group study, 56% of those surveyed lowered their credit card rates simply by asking their credit card companies to do so.

But even the introductory rates of credit cards won't be as attractive for many consumers as some home equity loans, which have the advantage of tax-deductible interest payments and the national average for a 10-year fixed home equity loan is 9.5 percent.



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Credit Card Balance Transfer

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