Compare Balance Transfer Credit Cards
You should be able to do all or most of your comparison shopping online by checking out credit card issuer and marketplace websites. Another option is to consult your existing bank or credit union about the balance transfer credit cards it offers.
Things to look for when comparing balance transfer cards include:
- Length of intro APR offer: Most balance transfer cards offer 0 percent interest for over a year. The longer this temporary interest-free window lasts, the longer you can avoid costly . Its important to note each balance transfer cards regular APR since your interest rate will eventually convert to that rate once the intro APR offer ends.
- Types of debt you can transfer: Most balance transfers involve moving debt from one credit card to a new card, but some issuers allow you to transfer from multiple cards. You might also be able to transfer balances from different types of credit accounts, including car loans and student loans, although this is less common. Confirm the credit cards terms and conditions to make sure it can accommodate the type of debt youre looking to transfer.
- Balance transfer fee: Some balance transfer cards charge an upfront fee of 3 percent to 5 percent of your balance. This means that if you transfer $5,000 in debt to a balance transfer card, youll pay an extra $150 to $250 in fees. A few credit cards dont charge balance transfer fees, although these no-fee transfers often come at the cost of a shorter introductory APR period.
How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt: 6 Winning Strategies
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If youre wondering how to pay off credit card debt, these 6 tried-and-true strategies can help you pay down your balances and become debt-free.
Paying off credit card debt may feel impossible, but it can be done. With a well-thought-out plan and strategy in place, you can make consistent progress toward paying down your balances until you eventually become debt-free.
Heres a look at six tried-and-true strategies to help you pay down your credit card debt, as well as some tips for avoiding credit card debt in the future.
A debt consolidation loan can be a great way to pay down and eliminate credit card balances. Visit Credible to see your prequalified personal loan rates from various lenders in minutes.
Can You Transfer Money From A Credit Card To A Checking Account
If you have a financial emergency and choose to take cash out via your credit card account, the way you’d do this is through a cash advance. This is a loan you must repay and that can’t exceed the current balance available on your credit card. Be aware that interest starts accruing on the cash withdrawal as soon as you take it out. There’s no grace period like there is with a typical credit card purchase, so if you need the money for something that you could just pay for with your card, it’s better to do that.
But if you need cash, the process for getting your money depends on your credit card issuer, so you’ll need to find out what they offer. Here are a few ways you can typically get cash advance money into your bank account:
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What Is A Money Transfer
A money transfer is like a balance transfer, but instead of the money going from one credit card to another, the money from the credit card goes into your chosen current account.
This allows you to pay off an overdraft, or cover an essential or unexpected bill using a credit card, which might charge you a lower interest rate.
Your Balance Transfer Questions Answered
Balance transfers are usually used for credit card debt. But some issuers also let you move balances from other accounts, such as personal loans, student loans or lines of credit.
Balance transfers can help you pay off debt faster, which can improve your credit score. Debt is an important factor credit agencies consider when determining your credit rating. The less debt you carry, the better.
If youre applying for a new card with a balance transfer promotion, youll need to go through a hard credit check. Hard checks show up on your credit report and can put a dent in your score, but its minor and temporary.
You wont earn rewards on a balance transfer because theyre considered a different type of credit card transaction than purchases. But remember that the purpose of a balance transfer is to pay off your debt, not maximize rewards.
When the promotion ends, the interest rates go back up. For example, if you transferred $3,000 but could only pay off $2,000, youll be charged the regular rate for balance transfers on the remaining $1,000. So, try to pay off your entire balance before the promotion ends.
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Impact Of Missing Credit Card Payments
There are heavy repercussions if you are not able to pay the credit card debt. In an increasing interest rate scenario, debt rises and with every missed payment or minimum balance could affect the overall credit history of the credit card holder. Once the takes a beating, it is very difficult to rebuild, especially in times of rising debt and the individual falls into the vicious cycle of debt.
For example, when a customer has a credit statement with dues of Rs. 10000, now for this say the minimum amount due is Rs. 1000. Lets say due to a cash crush the customer pays Rs. 1000 out of which majority say Rs. 700 will go towards the payment of interest for the balance to be paid with Rs. 300 goes towards the principle.
Thus, at the end of the next billing cycle balance of Rs. 9700 apart from interest to be paid and GST provided you had not used your card the previous month. If the customer uses a credit card to purchase items worth say Rs. 3000 then the balance will be Rs. 12700. This will just keep increasing each month.
As it is seen rising credit card will make life difficult for the borrower and a credit card balance transfer would be the way to ease this burden of debt.
To Rebuild Credit Which Is Better A Personal Loan Or Balance Transfer Card
Whether you get a balance transfer card or a personal loan, making your payments on time should help improve your credit score. Paying your transferred balance on a balance transfer card helps bring down your credit utilization ratio, which has a positive effect on your credit score. A personal loan, on the other hand, helps bring down your credit utilization ratio and adds to your credit mix. Both factors have the potential to improve your credit score.
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Keep Track Of Your Payments
Remember that the main reason most people want to complete a balance transfer is to pay off debt without accruing unnecessary interest. In order to do that, you’ll need to be smart and stay on top of your payments.
Make sure you keep track of exactly how many months you have to make the zero or low-interest balance transfer payments before a new APR kicks in.
Take the amount of debt you transferred and divide it by the number of months you have on the introductory APR. If you can pay that amount each month on your new credit card, you’ll be able to avoid paying interest while you pay down your debt.
Once You Receive Your Card Transfer Your Existing Balances
In about 7-10 business days, you should receive your card. Then, you can activate it and begin transferring your balances.
The easiest way to transfer your balances is to call the customer service department for the new balance transfer card. You give them the account information and balance of each debt you wish to transfer. Then they do the rest of the work for you.
Balance transfers can be used for consolidating a variety of debts. In fact, you can move more than just credit card balances.
You can transfer balances from:
- General-purpose credit cards
- In-store credit lines, such as for furniture or electronics
- Personal loans
- Auto loans
Just make sure you understand the cost of getting out of debt. Loans, especially secured loans like auto loans, tend to have lower rates than credit cards. So, if you transfer an auto loan balance to a transfer card and dont pay off the balance before the 0% APR period ends, you could end up paying a lot more before you pay off that debt.
Also, be aware that each debt transferred will incur a balance transfer fee. This can range from $3 per transfer to 3% of each balance you move. This will be applied and rolled into the balance on your new card.
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Pay Off The Balance In Time
The special low interest rate on the amount you transfer is called the balance transfer rate. It lasts for a limited time, usually between six months and two years.
After that, the interest rate goes up. The new rate may be higher than the interest rate on your original credit card. If you haven’t paid off the whole amount yet, whatever is left will attract this higher interest rate.
Be realistic about what you can afford to repay in that limited time.
Work out your monthly repayments to pay off the balance in time.
Best Balance Transfer Cards
Balance transfer cards come in all shapes and sizes, with some offering rewards and others offering a long intro 0% APR on both balance transfers and new purchases. Here are CNBC Selects picks for the best balance transfer credit cards.
0% for the first 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases*
Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee
2% cash back: 1% on all eligible purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill
0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers N/A for purchases
14.24% – 24.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer applies after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer applies
Foreign transaction fee
0% for 21 months on balance transfers 0% for 12 months on purchases
5% of each balance transfer $5 minimum
Foreign transaction fee
0% for the first 6 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers
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Know Your Current Balances And Interest Rates
The first thing you need to do no matter what your strategy is to pay off your debt is to make a list of everyone you owe. This list should include:
- Who the creditor is
- How much money you owe
- What the interest rate is
- What the minimum payment is
It should look something like this:
This will give you an idea of where you stand and show you how something like a credit card balance transfer could help you pay off your debt more quickly by lowering your overall interest rate.
Complete The Balance Transfer Process On Time
When you hear back that your application has been approved, its time to move your balances to your new card.
Your best approach is probably to call your new credit card issuer and request a balance transfer. You typically dont have to visit your bank or financial institution in person for this, it can usually be done over the phone or online.
Youll just give the new company your old account numbers and how much youd like to transfer over to the new card.
But the transfer isnt usually instantaneous. Make sure you keep making your regular payments on your debts until you know the transfer has been finalized.
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Tip No : Divide The Debt By The Number Of Months At 0% Apr
As mentioned above, your goal when you consolidate with a balance transfer is to pay off all of the debt within the introductory period before the 0% APR period expires. Once it does, the interest rate can jump to 20% or higher. In other words, you effectively lose the benefit of the balance transfer once the standard interest rate applies.
With that in mind, if you have $5,000 in debt to pay off in an 18-month introductory period, your payments should be $278 per month regardless of what the minimum payment requirement says. This is why balance transfers only have limited viability as a consolidation solution. If you have too much debt, such as $25,000, your monthly payments would have to be $1,389 to pay off your debt before the introductory period expires. In most cases, that would be too high for your budget, so youd be better off with a different debt solution.
Best For Those Who Dont Qualify For Other Debt Payoff Options
If you cant make any of the other debt payoff options work, you may want to consider borrowing money from family and friends. If you choose this option, its a good idea to carefully evaluate who youll ask to lend you funds, to draw up a repayment agreement, and to prioritize making any necessary payments.
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Look For Cards That Offer Favorable Terms For A Balance Transfer
Once you have a sense of how much you owe, to whom and what the interest rates are on those balances, you can start looking for opportunities to transfer the balances to a card with a better rate.
Most often, this will take the form of a limited-time balance transfer offer.
With a limited-time balance transfer offer, if you are approved you will pay a lower rate for a specific period of time. At the end of that period, any balance you have remaining will accrue interest at the standard rate for that particular card.
Here is an example of a balance transfer offer from American Express:
Here are the details of the offer:
- You get an interest rate of 0% on the amount you transfer for 15 months
- There is no fee to transfer your balance as long as you request the transfer within 60 days of opening the card
- After the 15 months are up, the interest rate on any remaining balance will go up to the standard rate the card has approved for you.
This is an especially attractive balance transfer offer because there is no fee for the transfer within 60 days of opening the card. On many balance transfer offers, theres a fee of 2%-5% of the amount you transfer.
Of course, you must first be approved for this card to take advantage of this offer and, again, you are generally going to need a good credit score to be approved.
The maximum amount you will be able to transfer will be determined by your credit limit for this card.
How To Transfer Credit Card Balances Step
Balance transfers can be an effective way to consolidate debt, if
If you can qualify for the right card with a long 0% APR teaser interest rate, then you can consolidate debt effectively using this solution. Here is what youll need and what you can expect with regard to how fast this solution will pay off your debt.
Time to find a card: 1-2 hours
Time to get your card: 2-3 weeks
Total time to payoff: 6-24 months
Fees: $3 3% of each balance transferred
It will take you a few hours to compare cards online to find the right card for your needs. You should receive your card within 7-10 business days, then you can work with customer service to begin transferring balances. Once your balances are transferred, you will have 6 to 18 months to pay off the balance in full before the end of the 0% APR introductory rate. That means you generally complete this debt solution within one to two years of consolidating your debt.
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This Is Why You Should Consider Transferring Your Credit Card Balance To Your Personal Loan:
Log into the website of the loan provider, understand the fine print, and calculate the loan amount you are eligible before making a decision. Take a baby step towards debt-free living!