Some debt is unavoidable and not always a bad thing, like taking out a mortgage to purchase your new home. But if you are carrying a lot of high interest credit card debt, you may have trouble reaching certain financial goals. One of the most effective ways to pay off the credit card debt quickly is by transferring the balance over to an interest-free credit card.
Here are three helpful tips for using these cards.
- Read the fine print. Do this carefully and find out what your credit limit will be. You will not be able to transfer more than the limit and if you exceed that limit, you will likely face a fee. Find out if there is a penalty, APR. That is when the credit card company increases your interest rate to 25 – sometimes 30% if you pay a single bill late or commit another violation of the terms & conditions (usually listed in the fine print).
- Choose your card wisely. Balance transfer credit cards vary and typically offer initial interest rates at 0%, but beyond that there are some big differences. Remember, the 0% interest rate will only last between six and 12 months, after that a more standard interest rate will apply- and typically not a good one. In addition, a lot of balance-transfer cards will charge a balance transfer fee. The fee will typically be between 3% and 5% of the sum of what you are transferring. For example, if you are transferring $20,000 and paying a 4% balance transfer fee, it will cost you $800.
- Pay off your debt within the “promotional” period. To make the most of your balance transfer, set a goal of paying off the debt before the 0% rate expires. This will require you curb your spending habits. Canceling your cable package and instead streaming movies and TV shows can save you $1,500 or more a year. Take your lunch to work three days a week, instead of eating out every day. Making small changes like this to your daily routine can really add up.
If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.