When forming a plan to eliminate your debt, transferring your credit card balance from a higher interest rate card to one with a lower rate can make your debt repayment move a lot faster. The lower your interest rate, the lower the finance charges and the faster you can pay it off.
There are a lot of 0% and low introductory rate credit card offers out there. If you are like me, you probably receive quite a few of them in the mail each month. However, finding a good card can take a bit of work.
When you are looking for to pay off your debt, time is often quite important. But you should take the time to find the best credit card balance transfer for your financial situation.
Most credit card issuers will offer you a 0% or a very low introductory interest rate on balance transfers. These intro rates often last for a period of time between 6 months and 12 months. After the intro period is over, the interest rate will increase. Some cards will offer an extension on the introductory rate as long as you make regular purchases on the card. Some are even beginning to offer a fixed interest rate on the balance transfer until it is paid off.
Take the time to shop around for the card that offers you the lowest interest rate, the longest introductory time period and the fewest extra conditions. You absolutely must read the fine print; it can contain provisions that affect your balance transfer, such as the fee of 3%-5% of the total amount transferred. The fee will be charged to your account as a purchase, which means you will pay interest on it.
Keep in mind that opening a new credit card account can temporarily lower your credit score, as will closing your old account. This can affect your ability to borrow other money or find affordable insurance premiums. You should thoroughly consider your financial goals before you open new accounts. For example, if you are looking to purchase your first home, you shouldn't take out a new credit card or other type of loan.
Balance transfers often take between 4 to 6 weeks. You will need to pay your minimum payments on your credit cards until the transfer goes through.
You should take the time to cut up your old card and close it. Then you need to pay it off. If you continue to use your card, you are simply adding more debt. You are just acquiring new debt, not paying it off.
Be aware that if you make a late payment on your new credit card will absolutely guarantee that your introductory rate will turn into the default rate, which could be as high as 30%.
Credit card balance transfers are a great work to reduce your monthly minimum payments in order to pay off you debt faster. If you are unable to transfer your entire balance, take the time to go ahead and transfer as much as you can. You will be paying a lower rate on every bit you can, which is a goal of paying off your debts.
Martin Lukac http://www.MartinLukac.com , represents http://www.RateEmpire.com , an Internet consumer banking marketplace. RateEmpire.com is a destination site of personal finance, investing, taxes and mortgage rates. RateEmpire.com provides mortgage guides and financial rates and information. RateEmpire.com also operates a financial portal #1 American Financial, found at http://www.1AmericanFinancial.com