Why a Balance Transfer Might Be a Great Way to Start Your 2018 Financial Goals
It can be burdensome to pay your credit card every month when the interest rate is expensive. You can lighten your burden by transferring your balance to a balance transfer card. Balance transfer card are cards that have an intro promo period that is free from APR Interest fee charges. Usually, the card will offer an intro promo period of 12 – 21 months before it starts charging APR interest fee.
The card that features long promo period is harder to get approved as it requires good/excellent credit score. If your credit score is not perfect, you can still qualify for balance transfer card with intro promo that lasts for up to 15 months. Every time you transfer a balance, they will charge you a fee. The fee is about 3% – 5%. Although it seems like it is just a small fee, it can make a lot of difference when you are transferring a large amount of balance.
Some cards offer an incentive that waives the balance transfer fee provided that you transfer the high interest balance within the specified time frame which can be 60 – 90 days. There is also a limit on how much debt you can transfer, for example, $15,000. It is important that you note down the length of the intro promo period so that you can plan the repayment accordingly. You can only transfer debt from other credit card issuers. For example, you can’t transfer debt from an Amex credit card to another balance transfer card that is issued by Amex.
After applying, you still have to continue making payment to your old credit card issuers until after 3 weeks when the balance is successfully transferred to the new balance transfer card. When the transfer is complete, make sure you promptly make the repayment every month. It is not a good practice to just transfer your high interest debt to a balance transfer card just to skip the payment. If you do this, you will be falling into the debt cycle.
Once you have transferred your balance, you should not spend any more money on your old card. If you can’t control yourself, you can close down the account. When looking for a balance transfer card, you should choose one with the least fees.
You should ask yourself if the amount you save in interest fee is higher than the fees that the card charges. Cards that do not charge any annual fee are often best for use in performing a new balance transfer. You can make use of the online balance transfer calculator to calculate whether it is worthwhile for you to sign up for the card.