balance transfer http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4773/all en-US Here's What a Balance Transfer Does to Your Credit http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-a-balance-transfer-does-to-your-credit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-a-balance-transfer-does-to-your-credit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_online_shopping_0.jpg" alt="Woman online shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're struggling with debt and high interest rates keep eating up most of your monthly payments, a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">balance transfer card</a> may be just what the doctor ordered. A balance transfer credit card will offer 0% interest for 6-21 months.</p> <p>But there are lots of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-must-know-before-transferring-credit-card-balances?ref=internal" target="_blank">things to consider before applying for a balance transfer card</a>. While some balance transfer cards charge a 3-5% upfront fee to transfer a balance, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">some cards don't charge any fees</a>. Either way, scoring 0% APR for a year or longer can help you along in your climb out of debt. Without interest to pay, your entire monthly payment will go directly to the principal of your balance and hack away at your debt that much faster. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Step by Step Guide to Doing a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <h2>What do balance transfers do to your credit?</h2> <p>While the scenario above might sound ideal, it's important to understand what happens to your credit, if anything, when you apply for a balance transfer card and actually transfer a balance.</p> <p>While opening a new credit card will ding your credit, fortunately, the news isn't all bad.</p> <p>Here are some of the &quot;mixed bag&quot; consequences you might see after you sign up for a balance transfer card and transfer a balance.</p> <h2>The negative</h2> <h3>You'll get a hard inquiry on your credit report</h3> <p>First things first. When you sign up for a new credit card, you will get a hard inquiry on your credit report. A hard inquiry is a notation on your report that says you applied for a new line of credit. While a hard inquiry doesn't spell doom for your credit, it's fairly common for your score to dip a few points with each hard inquiry.</p> <p>Fortunately, any impact you see will likely last only a few months, as &quot;new credit&quot; only makes up 10% of your FICO score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Factors That Make Up Your FICO Score</a>)</p> <h3>Your average credit history will go down, potentially dinging your score</h3> <p>According to myFICO, the average length of your credit history makes up 15% of your FICO score. With that in mind, it shouldn't surprise you that opening a new credit card will reduce the average length of your credit history and potentially lower your score. Since this factor only plays a small role in your FICO score, however, any change in your score should be short-lived.</p> <h2>The positive</h2> <p>Adding a new credit card increases your available credit limits, perhaps lowering your utilization in the process</p> <p>Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization</a> makes up 30% of your FICO score, and is determined by comparing the amounts you owe to how much available credit you have. If you have a $10,000 credit limit on one credit card and you carry a $5,000 balance, your utilization is at 50%. If you open a new credit card and add $10,000 more available credit, your utilization would go down to 25% ($5,000 balance on $20,000 in available credit).</p> <p>Because the credit reporting agencies see lower utilization as a good thing, this is one area where signing up for a balance transfer card could actually <em>boost</em> your credit score. The rule of thumb is to keep your utilization ratio at 30% or less. Around 10% is ideal.</p> <h3>Paying off debt will ultimately improve your credit score</h3> <p>If you transfer your balance and immediately start paying down debt, you could also make a positive impact to your credit score. Not only will your utilization continue going down, but you'll get even more good marks for making monthly payments on time. Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score, the largest component of your score &mdash; so this is a really important factor.</p> <h2>What to watch out for with a balance transfer</h2> <p>While opening a balance transfer card can impact your credit score in both positive and negative ways, you'll want to make sure to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-hidden-dangers-of-credit-card-balance-transfers?ref=internal" target="_blank">avoid certain pitfalls</a> as you move through the process. Ideally, you'll transfer a balance and pay off all your debt for good, but we all know that life often gets in the way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Your Comprehensive Checklist for a Successful Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <p>Before you open a new balance transfer card, here are some moves you should try to avoid.</p> <h3>Don't max out your old card again</h3> <p>Transferring old debts to a new balance transfer card may feel like a huge relief. Not only are you getting 0% APR on your balance as you pay it down, but you freed up open credit on your old credit cards in the process.</p> <p>It might be tempting to use your old credit card again, but you should avoid using credit altogether. Old habits die hard, and that's especially true if you have a penchant for overspending or using credit as a crutch.</p> <p>If you start using your old credit card for purchases and fail to pay off your balance each month, you could easily rack up even more debt that will accrue interest and make your debt payoff journey that much harder.</p> <p>Once you transfer credit card or loan balances to a balance transfer card with the goal of paying off debt, you'll be better off if you put your cards away and stick with cash or debit for a while instead.</p> <h3>Avoid the &quot;balance transfer game&quot;</h3> <p>Far too many people transfer a balance but never build up the discipline to pay down their debt. Then, when their 0% APR introductory offer is over, they're still left with a sizable balance they failed to pay off.</p> <p>Many times, the easiest answer is to just transfer the balance to new and different 0% APR cards over and over. The downside with this option is that you may never pay down debt with this strategy. Even worse, you'll likely be paying a balance transfer fee of 3-5% of your balance each time you transfer. While those fees might seem worth it, they will add up over time.</p> <h3>Keep your old account open &mdash; even if you're not using it</h3> <p>While you might feel inclined to cancel your old credit cards once you transfer balances to a new 0% APR card, your credit score will thank you if you keep old cards open. Remember that the average length of your credit history makes up 15% of your FICO score. By keeping old cards open, you're effectively improving your credit score without any added work.</p> <h3>Take your debt payoff goals seriously</h3> <p>Last but not least, make sure you're treating debt payoff as a priority, and it will become one. While it's easy to transfer a balance and make only the minimum payment toward your debts, it will take you longer to reach your goals if you're not proactive.</p> <p>The best balance transfer strategy is one where you take your debts seriously. Scoring 0% APR for any length of time will help you pay down your balance faster, but only if you attack your debt with fervor.</p> <p>Don't be complacent; instead, use your balance transfer offer to attack your debts with all you have. With some hard work, patience, and dedication, you could put all your debts in the rearview mirror, once and for all.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-a-balance-transfer-does-to-your-credit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards">Step-by-Step Guide to Doing a Balance Transfer on Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you">Why New Purchases On a Balance Transfer Card Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-credit-card-mistakes-that-could-be-ruining-your-credit">6 Credit Card Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer">Your Comprehensive Checklist for a Successful Balance Transfer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer balance transfer tips credit card tips credit report credit score Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:30:05 +0000 Holly Johnson 2104311 at http://www.wisebread.com Why New Purchases On a Balance Transfer Card Can Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/why-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scoring_on_some_big_deals_online.jpg" alt="Scoring on some big deals online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you racked up some holiday debt and want to use a balance transfer to dig yourself out. Since many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">balance transfer credit cards</a> offer 0% APR for 12-21 months &mdash; and some even come without a balance transfer fee &mdash; your strategy makes sense.</p> <p>After you transfer your credit card balances to your new balance transfer card, you'll have the length of your card's introductory offer period to pay down debt with no interest charges. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Do a Balance Transfer, Step by Step</a>)</p> <p>Of course, it's always wise to weigh the pros and cons &mdash; and the costs &mdash; of these offers. The most common cost is the balance transfer fee. While a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">few cards charge no balance transfer fees</a>, most do. A typical a balance transfer fee is 3%-5% of your balance. So for every $5,000 you transfer, you'll fork over $150&ndash; $250 in the form of an upfront fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Comprehensive Checklist to Doing a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <p>While the interest you'll save by transferring your balance to a 0% APR card can make paying this fee well worth it, you should still do the math when evaluating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal?ref=internal" target="_blank">whether a balance transfer is the right move for you</a>.</p> <h2>Why you shouldn't use a balance transfer credit card for purchases</h2> <p>But there's another savings killer to be aware of. Using your balance transfer card for new purchases is one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-common-mistakes-when-doing-a-balance-transfer-to-eliminate-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">most common balance transfer mistakes</a> people make. Do so, and you could wind up paying a lot of interest in ways you wouldn't imagine.</p> <p>Here are a few facts to consider as you transfer a balance and decide how and when to use your new credit card.</p> <h3>You're adding to the very balance you're trying to pay off</h3> <p>The top reason not to use your balance transfer card for purchases is because that's working against your goals. If you transferred a balance to pay down debt, using your card for purchases is a lot like emptying buckets of water from a boat with holes. The more water you throw out (monthly payments), the more water (debt) seeps right back in through the holes. And you may even find that you pay down debt much more slowly than you rack it up.</p> <p>The best way to get the most out of a balance transfer is to get 0% APR for as long as you can, minimize fees, and then stop racking up more debt. Focus your efforts on becoming debt-free and stick to cash or debit for a while.</p> <h3>Your payment may not go toward purchases, but instead to your transferred balance</h3> <p>Let's say you transfer a $5,000 balance to a card that offers 0% APR on that balance for 15 months, but charges 16% APR on new purchases. Once you get the card in the mail, you use it to buy a $500 lounge chair for your living room.</p> <p>At this point, you have a balance of $5,500, and a minimum payment of $165 (3% of your balance, which is a common way banks use to calculate your minimum payment). The good news is, because of the Credit Card Act of 2009, anything <em>over</em> your minimum payment must go toward whatever balance has the highest interest rate. The bad news is, your minimum payment can go toward the balance with the lowest interest rate.</p> <p>In this case, your $165 payment would go toward your 0% APR balance and your $500 purchase will start racking up interest at a rate of 16% APR. The only way to avoid this would be to pay your minimum payment, plus the entire balance you've charged, <em>plus any interest you've accrued on the new purchase balance.</em></p> <h3>You may not get a grace period</h3> <p>But why would you have interest on your account if you made a purchase with a 0% APR credit card?</p> <p>While a lot of consumers don't realize this, carrying a balance on your credit card means forgoing your grace period &mdash; the amount of time you have to pay your credit card in full without paying interest. Grace periods must be at least 21 days by law, so you have at least 21 days to avoid all interest charges on regular purchases <em>provided</em> you don't carry a balance.</p> <p>When you transfer a balance to a new credit card, however, you <em>are</em> carrying a balance. That means forgoing your grace period altogether on new purchases. You'll start accruing interest on purchases you make with your balance transfer card from the moment you make them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-didn-t-understand-about-credit-card-interest-grace-periods-and-penalty-aprs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Didn't Understand About Credit Card Interest, Grace Periods, and Penalty APRs</a>)</p> <h2>The right way to use a balance transfer credit card</h2> <p>The bottom line: Using a balance transfer credit card for purchases can be a risky endeavor. Generally speaking, it means racking up interest without a grace period. And obviously, things could easily get worse in a hurry if you can't pay your minimum payment plus your entire purchase balance off right away.</p> <p>That's why you're better off not using a balance transfer card for purchases. Transfer your balance to the 0% APR card, then focus on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-first-steps-to-paying-off-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">paying off debt</a> instead of charging up a bigger balance. Or, at the very least, make sure you get a 0% APR credit card that offers zero interest on both balance transfers <em>and </em>purchases. Cards like this do exist, so if you really need to, make sure you're applying for one of those. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards with 0% APR for Purchases</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520New%2520Purchases%2520On%2520a%2520Balance%2520Transfer%2520Card%2520Can%2520Cost%2520You.jpg&amp;description=Why%20New%20Purchases%20On%20a%20Balance%20Transfer%20Card%20Can%20Cost%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20New%20Purchases%20On%20a%20Balance%20Transfer%20Card%20Can%20Cost%20You.jpg" alt="Why New Purchases On a Balance Transfer Card Can Cost You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-a-balance-transfer-does-to-your-credit">Here&#039;s What a Balance Transfer Does to Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer">Your Comprehensive Checklist for a Successful Balance Transfer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards">Step-by-Step Guide to Doing a Balance Transfer on Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-store-card-pitfalls-to-watch-out-for">5 Store Card Pitfalls to Watch Out for</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer balance transfer card credit card tips shopping shopping tips Tue, 30 Jan 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Holly Johnson 2095897 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Comprehensive Checklist for a Successful Balance Transfer http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_laptop_credit_card_850824114.jpg" alt="Woman managing her credit card accounts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Balance transfers can be an extremely helpful tool for those laden with credit card debt. A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR offer on balance transfers</a> can give users some breathing room from having interest piled onto their debt month after month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10k Credit Card Debt)</a></p> <p>The 0% APR promotional period can last between six and 21 months. During that period, interest won't accrue on the balance, allowing each month's payment to go entirely to the principal. If you can pay down your debt entirely during this period, you can save a lot of money and cut down the time it would take you to pay it down otherwise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When to Do a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>But, balance transfers can be complex. There are details you need to be aware of to make sure you actually save money and pay down your debt. With that in mind, we've created a checklist of everything you should do when considering and executing a balance transfer. We've listed the short version first, and will go over every point in detail below.</p> <h2 id="checklist">The checklist</h2> <ol> <li><a href="#checkscore">Check your credit</a> score to see which balance transfer cards you might qualify for.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#ifbadcredit">If your credit is bad</a>, take steps to improve it first.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#compareoffers">Compare offers</a> to find the best card for your needs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#applycard">Apply for a balance transfer card</a> with a bank that's different from the one you want to transfer from.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#avoidtoomany">Avoid jumping on too many cards</a> at once.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#howmuch">Consider how much debt</a> you want to transfer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#considerfees">Calculate whether you'll save money</a> if you have to pay a balance transfer fee.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#planb">Have a Plan B if you're not approved</a> for the card you want &mdash; or if the credit line is too small.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#createrepayplan">Come up with a plan to pay down</a> your balance within the intro period.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#transferbalances">Transfer your balances</a> right away.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#payoldcard">Keep paying on your old card</a> until you're sure the balance transfer has gone through.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#avoidpurchases">Avoid using your balance transfer card</a> for purchases.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#makeontimepayments">Make payments on your balance transfer card</a> on time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#payasyoucan">Pay as much as you can</a> each month to get out of debt faster.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#ignorerewards">Ignore rewards</a> until you are debt-free.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#avoidmoredebt">Resist the temptation to rack up debt</a> on your old card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#closeoldcard">Consider whether you should close</a> your old credit card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="#avoidserialtransfers">Avoid being a serial balance</a> transferrer.</li> </ol> <h2>Explanations</h2> <h3 id="checkscore">1. Check your credit score to see which balance transfer cards you might qualify for</h3> <p>Before you apply for a new balance transfer credit card, it makes sense to check your credit score to see whether you will qualify for the best offers on the market. Nearly all 0% offers require excellent or good credit. That means a FICO score of 670+. If you're on the lower end of this range you may get approved, but for a higher APR once the promotional period expires.</p> <p>You can get a free estimate of your credit score online through services such as <a href="https://www.creditsesame.com/" target="_blank">Credit Sesame</a> or <a href="https://www.creditkarma.com/" target="_blank">Credit Karma</a>. Many credit cards also offer free credit scores these days. They won't be the exact same scores that the credit card companies use to approve applications, but they'll give you a good idea of where you stand.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="ifbadcredit">2. If your credit is bad, take steps to improve it first</h3> <p>Let's say you check your credit score and find out that it's not looking too hot. According to <a href="http://myfico.7eer.net/c/27771/93942/2185" target="_blank">myFICO</a>, any score below 580 is considered poor.</p> <p>If you fall into the poor credit category, it's very unlikely you'll qualify for a 0% balance transfer offer. In this case, you may be better off waiting and taking steps to improve your score instead.</p> <p>Steps that can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">improve your credit score quickly</a> include paying all your bills on time, refraining from making more charges, and paying down debt.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="compareoffers">3. Compare offers to find the best card for your needs</h3> <p>Once your credit is in good enough shape, it's time to compare offers. While it's tempting to jump on the first balance transfer offer that comes in the mail, take time to consider your options before you pull the trigger. Peruse each bank's credit card website and look for these factors:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Introductory offer period:</strong> Promotions can range from six months to 21 months at 0% APR. If you have a lot of debt to pay off and need as much time as possible, that's a huge difference.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Go-to rate:</strong> This is the APR you will pay on any new purchases from the start, and on your transferred balance once the promotional period ends.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Balance transfer fee</strong>: Although there are a few&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">cards with no balance transfer fees</a>, the vast majority of balance transfer credit cards charge a fee equal to 3&ndash;5% of your balance.</li> </ul> <p>Beyond those factors, check for other perks. For example, some balance transfer cards have no foreign transaction fees, and others offer rewards and consumer benefits like guaranteed returns and extended warranties. These benefits may be valuable once you've paid off your balance and want to keep a good card for future, responsible use. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Balance Transfer Credit Card Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="applycard">4. Apply for a balance transfer card with a bank that's different from the one you want to transfer from</h3> <p>Before you apply for a balance transfer card, make sure it's offered by a different bank than the one you're transferring from. Most card issuers won't let you transfer balances among their own cards, and you might not know this until after you've been approved for the balance transfer card. To avoid an issue, only apply for balance transfer cards from a different bank.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="avoidtoomany">5. Avoid jumping on too many cards at once</h3> <p>You might be impatient to get started with your balance transfer, or figure you can apply for several in case you get denied by a few. But since applying for a credit card will result in a hard inquiry, this will lower your score temporarily, which may have a negative effect on one or more of your applications. And even if you do get approved for several, this will affect your credit as well.</p> <p>Your FICO score is based on several factors, one of which is the amount of new credit you have. New credit makes up 10% of your score, so getting too many new cards in a hurry can cause your score to drop. And since another 15% of your FICO score is determined based on the length of your credit history, new cards can shorten your history and cause your score to dip in that way, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things With the Biggest Impact on Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="howmuch">6. Consider how much debt you want to transfer</h3> <p>One benefit of balance transfer cards is that you can consolidate multiple debts. If you've maxed out several credit cards and are having trouble keeping all the payment dates straight, you may be accidentally paying late and accruing late fees. Transferring all those balances to one card would give you just one card and monthly bill to keep track of.</p> <p>You may be able to move other debts to your new card, too. You could use checks that come with the credit card to transfer loans from cars, furniture, and other monthly installment payments. This will, of course, all depend on the credit limit you are given. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Consolidating Debt and Saving Money</a>)</p> <p>When considering transferring multiple debts to a new card, keep in mind that you may not want to transfer more debt than you can pay off during the intro 0% period. It depends on the go-to rate of your balance transfer card. If the go-to rate is 22% and the rest of your debts have more moderate rates of 10&ndash;15%, for instance, it may make sense to transfer <em>less </em>than the full balance from even just one card.</p> <p>To determine the right transfer amount, figure out what monthly payments you can comfortably afford and multiply that number by the number of months in the promotional period of whichever card you're considering. Only transfer that amount. If you do the math, the higher APR after the promotional period will eat up all the savings you received during the 0% interest period. It's better to keep whatever balance you can't pay off on a lower APR card or loan.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="considerfees">7. Calculate whether you'll save money if you have to pay a balance transfer fee</h3> <p>While balance transfer credit cards offer a rare opportunity to pay off debt without interest, the privilege of transferring a balance usually comes at a cost. Typically, you will have to pay a balance transfer fee of 3&ndash;5%.</p> <p>That means you'll pay $300 to $500 for every $10,000 in debt you transfer. While that may seem like a lot, it's easy to see why the math can work.</p> <p>An example: If you're carrying $10,000 in credit card debt at 18% APR and you pay $500 per month, you'll pay a total of $1,978 in interest before finally eliminating your balance in 24 months.</p> <p>Let's say instead you transfer that balance to a card with a 5% balance transfer fee and a promotional zero-interest period of 21 months. You'd pay $500 for the fee, but if you put the same $500 per month toward your balance, you'd pay off the entire balance in 21 months, with no further interest. You'd have saved $1,478, and paid off your debt three months earlier.</p> <p>Other offers you might find might include cards with a $0 balance transfer fee, but at a shorter intro period. For example, you might see a card offering $0 balance transfer fee but with only a 12 month 0% intro period. In that case, if you transferred $10,000 and paid $500 per month, at the end of 12 months, you'd have a $4,000 balance. If the go-to rate is 18%, it would take you another nine months to pay it off. The interest you paid would be $294. This is cheaper than the $500 balance transfer fee in the previous example.</p> <p>The longer promotional period might have seemed much more attractive, but when you do the math, you find the other offer is better, in this example.</p> <p>Note: In the above example, the go-to rate of the new balance transfer card is the same as the APR of the card you have existing debt on. Usually, balance transfer cards have very high APRs. That's why you <em>never</em> transfer more than you can pay off in the promotional period. You always try to keep your debt on the card with the lowest APR. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-hidden-dangers-of-credit-card-balance-transfers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Hidden Dangers of Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="planb">8. Have a Plan B if you're not approved for the card you want &mdash; or if the credit line is too small</h3> <p>By this point, you may have narrowed down the cards you're considering and have chosen one top pick that you want to apply for. But don't get rid of those other options just yet.</p> <p>Keep in mind that you may not get approved for the card you want. And even if you do, your new credit line may not be big enough to transfer the amount you want. You'll need a backup plan for how to manage the remaining balance, which may involve applying for another balance transfer card.</p> <p>It pays to have a list of other cards and offers for this eventuality, and also in case you don't get approved for your top choice. Some card issuers may be more willing to approve you when others say no.</p> <p>Keep in mind, too, that your current cards can offer balance transfers as well. They probably won't offer you a 0% period, but they might be willing to lower their APRs, and maybe even waive a balance transfer fee. This can be a good alternative if you just can't get a card with a 0% offer.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="createrepayplan">9. Come up with a plan to pay down your balance within the intro period</h3> <p>Even before you've been approved for a balance transfer card, it's important to have your endgame in mind. As we mentioned above, it's best to pay off your full balance within the card's promotional 0% interest period. Once the promotion expires, your credit card's interest rate will revert to whatever APR is listed in your card's terms and conditions. If it is higher than the APR on your current card, you definitely want to ensure that the entire balance is paid off before the go-to APR goes into effect. Mark your calendar, set up an alert &mdash; don't miss the deadline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-trick-could-help-you-finally-pay-off-your-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Trick Could Help You Pay Off Your Debt</a>)</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="transferbalances">10. Transfer your balances right away</h3> <p>While offers on balance transfer cards can vary, almost all set a time limit on when you need to transfer a balance to qualify for the introductory offer. With many cards, that's 30 or 60 days after approval.</p> <p>If you forget to transfer your balances within the prescribed timeline, you won't get the promotional 0% APR and you will have wasted an opportunity. Not only that, you'd have lost those days of 0% APR. The clock for the promotional period starts ticking usually as soon as you're approved, <em>not</em> when you actually transfer a balance. In order to take full advantage of it, you need to transfer your balance right away.</p> <p>If you get approved immediately via an online application, you might want to go ahead and give them call to see if you can transfer a balance immediately. If you've been approved, there's no reason why you have to wait for your actual card to be in the mail, usually another 10 days, to make the transfer.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist]</a></p> <h3 id="payoldcard">11. Keep paying on your old card until the balance transfer has gone through</h3> <p>Often, people will fill out the paperwork for their new balance transfer credit card, then figure the deal is done. Since they assume it's all squared away, they don't make the next payment on their old credit card.</p> <p>But it typically takes about a week for a balance transfer to go through &mdash; sometimes longer. If you miss a payment on your old credit card before your balance is transferred, you can face a late payment fee. Not only that, but your credit score may take a hit.</p> <p>Before you stop making payments on your old credit cards, make sure all your balances have been successfully transferred to your new balance transfer card. Once you're sure, you can stop making payments on your old cards.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="avoidpurchases">12. Avoid using your balance transfer card for purchases</h3> <p>While your primary purpose for a balance transfer card should be to pay off existing debt, you <em>can</em> take your balance transfer card to the store and charge purchases like you would with any other card.</p> <p>Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Although some balance transfer cards offer 0% APR on purchases as well as balance transfers, many don't. If you happen to get a card that doesn't extend the promotional rate to purchases and you use it to buy something, you'll be charged the card's regular interest rate on those purchases. Not only that, but because of the way payments are allocated, it will take you longer to pay off the balance than if you'd put it on a different card.</p> <p>The law requires credit card issuers to apply your payment to the highest-rate balance first &mdash; but there's an exception. The minimum payment amount can be applied to whichever balance (the zero-interest transferred balance, or the higher-interest new purchase balance) the card company chooses. In almost all cases, that means the minimum payment will go toward the no-interest balance, and whatever you pay above the minimum will go to the higher-interest balance. If it's not enough to clear the purchase balance, you'll now accrue more interest charges on it next month.</p> <p>Let's say you've got a $10,000 balance that you've transferred at 0%. You then buy a $300 pair of headphones, which is subject to the card's regular 18% APR. Your minimum payment is $250, and you pay $300, thinking you're paying off those headphones. But you're not really, because $250 &mdash; the minimum payment amount &mdash; will be applied to the no-interest balance, leaving only $50 to be applied toward the higher-interest headphones. Now you've still got $250 to pay on the headphones, and they're going to be assessed an interest charge that will compound every month until whenever you're able to clear that balance.</p> <p>If that hasn't convinced you to lock the balance transfer card away, also know that you won't get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-didn-t-understand-about-credit-card-interest-grace-periods-and-penalty-aprs?ref=internal" target="_blank">grace period</a> on that headphone purchase, either. A grace period is the time during which you are allowed to pay your bill without having to pay interest. By law, if an issuer has a grace period, it has to be at least 21 days.</p> <p>But you only get a grace period if you're not carrying a balance. In this case, you <em>are</em> carrying your transferred balance, so you don't get a grace period, and you'll rack up interest charges from the moment you make that purchase.</p> <p>You can see why you would be better off keeping the balance transfer card in a drawer and using another form of payment for any new purchases.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="makeontimepayments">13. Make payments on your balance transfer card on time</h3> <p>While it's never a good idea to miss a credit card payment, it can be especially bad with a balance transfer card. Bank rules vary, but sometimes paying even one day late will cost you your introductory offer. If you lose your introductory rate, you'll be stuck with a higher interest rate on the rest of your balance. Set up payment reminders or, even better, automated payments to ensure you pay your bill on time.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="payasyoucan">14. Pay as much as you can each month to get out of debt faster</h3> <p>During your balance transfer intro period, interest is not accruing on your debt and it won't show up in your monthly statements. That means your minimum required payment will be lower than it was on a high-interest card.</p> <p>But, if you truly want to get out of debt, you shouldn't make just the minimum payment. Your best bet is paying all you can toward your balance during your card's 0% introductory period. Since every dollar you fork over will go directly toward paying off the principal, you can use this opportunity to get out of debt faster than you would if you were still paying interest.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="ignorerewards">15. Ignore rewards until you are debt-free</h3> <p>Many balance transfer cards try to tempt consumers with a rewards program. The problem is, rewards have a way of getting people to spend when they should really be paying off debt.</p> <p>Obviously, falling into this trap can be a big mistake. As we explained earlier, new purchases on a balance transfer card may take longer to pay off than on a regular credit card.</p> <p>The best thing you can do when transferring a balance is focus on paying off debt and worry about rewards later. No amount of rewards will be worth it if you spiral further into debt.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="avoidmoredebt">16. Resist the temptation to rack up debt on your old card</h3> <p>Once you've zeroed out your balance to your old credit card, it can feel like a huge relief. You've got months to pay off the old balance on the new card, and that can give you some much needed breathing room.</p> <p>But don't get so complacent that you then are tempted to put a bunch of new purchases on your old card. Before you know it, you could have another large balance on your hands. Then you're in a worse situation than when you started.</p> <p>The idea of balance transfer cards is to delete your debts. If you decide to put purchases on your old card, only charge as much as you can pay off every month. Otherwise, you may be better off paying with cash or a debit card until you're debt-free.</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="closeoldcard">17. Consider whether you should close your old credit card</h3> <p>Along those same lines, you may decide it's best to just close your old account. This especially makes sense if that card charges an annual fee.</p> <p>However, realize that every time you close a card, you lower the amount of available credit you have, which raises your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> &mdash; the amount of debt you have compared to the total of all your credit lines. This will ding your credit score.</p> <p>One alternative to closing the card is to put it away in a safe place and keep it barely active by putting a small recurring charge on it such as a video subscription service. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-its-okay-to-close-a-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times It's Okay to Close a Credit Card</a>)</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h3 id="avoidserialtransfers">18. Avoid being a serial balance transferrer</h3> <p>If you fail to pay off your transferred balance before the intro 0% period expires, it may make sense to then get another balance transfer card to help tackle the rest of your balance. But it's not a good idea to make it a habit. Not only could this become costly if you pay a balance transfer fee every time, but it also means you'll stay in debt a lot longer. To get the most out of a balance transfer card, you need to buckle down and stay focused on the real goal &mdash; getting out of debt, once and for all.</p> <p>What's more, hopping from one balance transfer card to another while maintaining high debt levels makes lenders see you as a risk. That will make it harder for you to borrow money or get approved for other credit card or loan offers.</p> <p>Take a look over this checklist before you sign up for a balance transfer card. Zero-interest offers can be a great way to tackle your debt, but only if you consider all the costs, choose the right card for you, and then adhere to a plan to pay off your debt once and for all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan</a>)</p> <p>[<a href="#checklist">Back to Checklist</a>]</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Your%20Comprehensive%20Checklist%20for%20a%20Successful%20Balance%20Transfer.jpg" alt="Your Comprehensive Checklist for a Successful Balance Transfer" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-a-balance-transfer-does-to-your-credit">Here&#039;s What a Balance Transfer Does to Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you">Why New Purchases On a Balance Transfer Card Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards">Step-by-Step Guide to Doing a Balance Transfer on Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-overdraft-protection-racket-why-banks-want-you-to-overdraw-and-how-you-can-get-your-money-back">The Overdraft Protection Racket: Why Banks Want You To Overdraw, And How You Can Get Your Money Back.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Credit Cards balance transfer checklist credit card tips how to personal finance tips Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2082183 at http://www.wisebread.com Step-by-Step Guide to Doing a Balance Transfer on Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/asian_woman_on_the_couch_using_laptop.jpg" alt="Asian woman on the couch using laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're stuck with credit card debt, it can be incredibly hard to look at your monthly statements. Each time you look at one, you see your outstanding balance, your interest charges, and your new purchases. When you put these three things together, it may seem unlikely that you'll ever pay off your debts.</p> <p>But it doesn't have to be this way. Many credit card issuers offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cards with interest-free balance transfers</a>. These offers allow you to transfer your existing balance to a new account and take a break from interest charges for a limited time. By law, these offers must extend for at least six months, but there are currently interest-free promotional financing offers on balance transfers that last as long as 21 months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>This gives you some time to pay down your debt without incurring interest charges. Use the end of the promotional financing offer as the deadline to pay off your balance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When to Do a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p>Here is the step-by-step process to using a balance transfer to pay down your debt.</p> <h2>1. Check your credit</h2> <p>A balance transfer will be limited by the credit line you are offered. If you have bad credit (a high <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> with a history of late payments), even if you are approved for the card you want, you may not be able to transfer that much because you'll be given a low credit line. To improve your chances of getting approved with a sufficient credit line, you'll need to improve your score first. Spend a few months making payments on time, try to pay as much as possible (not just the minimum due) to lower the total amount of debt you have, and try to pick up some side gigs so you can boost your income (it's part of your application and will be considered when determining your credit line). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score Quickly</a>)</p> <h2>2. Find the right offer</h2> <p>Nearly every major credit card issuer has cards with 0% APR balance transfers, so how do you choose the right one? First, you'll want an offer that lasts as long as possible. There are many that extend to 15 months or more.</p> <p>Next, look at the balance transfer fees. They're usually 3&ndash;5%, but a few rare cards come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">no fees for balance transfers</a>. Also, you'll want to look at all of the other terms and fees, including the standard interest rate that will apply after the promotional rate expires.</p> <p>Finally, be aware that card issuers make these offers as a way to acquire your business from their competitors, and you won't be able to transfer a balance between two different accounts from the same issuer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Balance Transfer Credit Card Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Do the math</h2> <p>To get the most value out of a balance transfer, you'll want to take into account these three things:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Balance you want to transfer.</p> </li> <li> <p>Balance transfer fee.</p> </li> <li> <p>Amount you can pay each month within the promotional period.</p> </li> </ul> <p>For example, let's say you have $7,500 in credit card debt. Your current card has a 15% APR. If the new card you're applying for has a lower APR, you should transfer all (or as much as you can) over, since a lower APR will definitely save you money, even if you don't pay off your full balance within the promotional period.</p> <p>However, most credit cards offering a balance transfer rate will have high APRs once the promotional period is over. So you should only transfer <em>what you can afford to pay off during that time</em>. Run your budget and decide how much you can afford to pay each month toward credit card payments.</p> <p>Continuing with the example, you've calculated that you can afford to pay $500 per month toward your credit card payment. You are deciding between two offers (both these cards have an 18% APR):</p> <p>Card A has a 0% balance transfer offer for nine months, with zero balance transfer fee.</p> <p>Card B has a 0% balance transfer offer for 15 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee.</p> <p>At first glance, you might automatically assume the one with the longer promotional period is better. But the 3% balance transfer fee is actually significant, and if you can pay down your balance enough, even the six extra months with interest could turn out to be less than the balance transfer fee. That's why you need to do your math.</p> <p>With Card A, you transfer $7,500 with no balance transfer fee. After nine months of $500 payments, you'll have a balance of $3,000. The 18% APR kicks in and you'll pay off the balance in seven months, with $168 of interest paid.</p> <p>With Card B, you transfer $7,500 with a 3% balance transfer fee, which comes out to $225, which is added to your balance. It'll take you 16 months to pay it off.</p> <p>In this example, Card A wins. It only costs $168 in interest vs. the $225 in fees. This will not always be the case. It depends on your balance, the APR, and the promotional period. Promotional periods can be as short as six months and as long as 21 months.</p> <h2>4. Apply for the card</h2> <p>Once you've found the best offer for your needs, you can simply fill out an application online. When you do, be sure to include all sources of household income, not just employment. For example, you can include alimony, child support, Social Security, and investment income. You can also include the income of your spouse or domestic partner, so long as you have a reasonable expectation of access to the money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-mistake-on-a-credit-application-may-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Simple Mistake on a Credit Application May Cost You</a>)</p> <h2>5. Complete the balance transfer</h2> <p>Once approved for the credit card, your account will be opened immediately, even before you receive and activate your card. Therefore, you can contact the card issuer and request to perform the balance transfer. If you have outstanding balances on multiple credit cards, and you don't have a high enough limit to transfer all of them, then you'll want to transfer the balances from the ones with the highest interest rates first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-must-know-before-transferring-credit-card-balances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Must Know Before Transferring Credit Card Balances</a>)</p> <h2>6. Automate your payment</h2> <p>Committing to the monthly amount you determined before making the transfer is the only way to prevent a balance transfer from ballooning your credit card debt. Getting through all the previous steps may seem like you've done a lot toward debt repayment, but if you don't follow through with the plan, you've just moved your debt to a different card, most likely with a higher APR. Also, the fine print in almost all balance transfer offers will say that the 0% promotional rate can be voided if a payment is late. Instead of having nine to 15 months of zero interest, you've just canceled all that by turning in a late payment. You might also be tempted to write in a lower amount when you make the payment, telling yourself that you'd still be saving money and it won't affect your debt <em>that much</em>. Avoid all of this, by simply setting auto payments. It's too easy to get derailed.</p> <h2>7. Avoid making new charges to your account</h2> <p>As the old saying goes, the first step toward getting yourself out of a hole is to stop digging. If you charge new purchases to your account, you'll be making it harder to repay your debt. And while many interest free balance transfer offers also come with 0% APR financing for new purchases, some don't. Instead, stick to your repayment plan and refrain from any new purchases, on any of your cards, until you've tackled your existing balances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-hidden-dangers-of-credit-card-balance-transfers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Hidden Dangers of Credit Card Balance Transfers</a>)</p> <h2>8. Decide what to do with your old credit card</h2> <p>Once you've transferred the balance from your old credit card, you'll need to decide what to do with the old card. You may wish to keep it open without making new charges to it. This has a credit score benefit, because that credit line helps keep your credit utilization ratio low &mdash; the amount you owe on credit cards compared to how much credit you have available. Another factor for your credit score is credit history. If you've had that card for a long time with a history of on-time payments, closing that card may affect your score. But reasons to close it include removing the temptation and if it has an annual fee with benefits you don't use. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ditch-a-credit-card-without-dinging-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Close a Credit Card Without Dinging Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fstep-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FStep-by-Step%2520Guide%2520to%2520Doing%2520a%2520Balance%2520Transfer%2520on%2520Credit%2520Cards.jpg&amp;description=Step-by-Step%20Guide%20to%20Doing%20a%20Balance%20Transfer%20on%20Credit%20Cards"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Step-by-Step%20Guide%20to%20Doing%20a%20Balance%20Transfer%20on%20Credit%20Cards.jpg" alt="Step-by-Step Guide to Doing a Balance Transfer on Credit Cards" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/step-by-step-guide-to-doing-a-balance-transfer-on-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-a-balance-transfer-does-to-your-credit">Here&#039;s What a Balance Transfer Does to Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you">Why New Purchases On a Balance Transfer Card Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-millennials-guide-to-avoiding-credit-card-debt">The Millennials Guide to Avoiding Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer">Your Comprehensive Checklist for a Successful Balance Transfer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer balance transfers budgeting credit card debt credit card tips Spending Money Fri, 29 Dec 2017 09:30:16 +0000 Jason Steele 2080124 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You Desperately Need a New Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-desperately-need-a-new-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-you-desperately-need-a-new-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_young_businesswoman_shopping_online_in_office.jpg" alt="Beautiful young businesswoman shopping online in office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's something to be said for loyalty. But when it comes to credit cards, if you haven't updated your preferred card in years, you could be missing out on benefits, or paying too much in fees. Here are eight signs it's time to go shopping for a new credit card.</p> <h2>1. You aren't earning any rewards</h2> <p>If you're debt-free and using a credit card for convenience but not earning rewards, you are leaving real money on the table. Even a simple, no-annual-fee cash-back card that offers 1.5% back on every purchase could help you rack up free money over months of regular use. But you can do better than that. Some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">best cash-back credit cards</a> offer 2%-6% cash back on bonus categories (supermarkets, gas, dining &mdash; everyday spending stuff).</p> <p>If you're not earning any rewards, you should be, because 1.5% back is absolutely better than nothing.</p> <h2>2. You're earning the wrong type of rewards</h2> <p>Another sign you're not optimizing your credit card use is if you're earning rewards points that you can't really use. A common example of this is when someone clings to their old airline credit card and the idea of earning miles when they haven't flown for years. If this is you, it may be time to switch to a simple cash-back card or even a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible travel rewards credit card</a>, which lets you earn points you can redeem for travel expenses, cash back, or gift cards. With this strategy (and a new card in your wallet), you'll never be stuck with points you can't use. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card with this Guide</a>)</p> <h2>3. The card you use is lacking consumer protections</h2> <p>If you're using credit for convenience but your credit card is strictly bare bones in terms of the benefits it offers, you should definitely shop around. While all cards are different, many of the top rewards credit cards offer special insurance products and shopping protections that can help you save money or protect yourself financially.</p> <p>These include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, guaranteed product returns, damage and theft coverage for purchases, travel accident insurance, and auto rental coverage. If your card isn't offering these protections and you want one that does, you're probably ripe for an upgrade. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know You Had</a>)</p> <h2>4. You want amazing travel perks</h2> <p>If you haven't traveled a lot in the past but plan to ramp things up in the future, having a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that offers travel perks</a> can lead to a more pleasant, convenient experience. Some of the top travel credit cards offer perks like a Global Entry credit, airport lounge access, and annual travel credits to cover splurges like seat upgrades and in-flight meals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access</a>)</p> <p>Most of the time it's best to keep your options open and choose a credit card that allows you to redeem points with a variety of travel partners. But if you have a preference for one particular airline, it's beneficial to get their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded credit card</a>. These cards generally offer perks like priority boarding, discounts on in-flight purchases, and free check-in baggage, along with big bonuses for purchasing airfare directly from them. But many of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">top travel credit cards</a> charge annual fees, so you should make sure the benefits will outweigh your out-of-pocket costs before you sign up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Your interest rate is too high</h2> <p>If you carry a balance on your credit card each month, earning rewards should be the last thing on your mind. Any rewards you earn will be wiped out by the interest you'll pay. Instead, your biggest concern should be your interest rate. You should be looking for a card with the lowest interest rate you can find. Not only do some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards offer low long-term rates</a> that can save you money, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">some cards offer 0% APR on new purchases</a> for up to 21 months.</p> <h2>6. You want to transfer a balance</h2> <p>Besides cards that charge zero interest on new purchases, numerous cards let you transfer balances and pay them off with zero interest for a promotional period. This period may last anywhere from 12 to 21 months.</p> <p>When you're not paying interest, you can pay more toward the principal of your credit card balance every month, which will help you save money and pay down debt faster. If you have a huge credit card balance with big interest payments, it's definitely worth exploring the upsides of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% balance transfer credit cards</a>.</p> <p>Before you do, just make sure to check out any balance transfer fees that will be charged so you can determine whether it's worth it. While a handful of cards let you transfer balances with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">no balance transfer fees</a>, some charge 3%-5% of your balance for the privilege. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Balance Transfer Credit Card Is The Best For You?</a>)</p> <h2>7. You are paying foreign transaction fees.</h2> <p>Whether you're purchasing products and services from foreign countries or you're using your credit card abroad on your travels, you shouldn't be paying a fee to do so. Most cards with annual fees will have zero foreign fees, but there are also no-annual fee <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards that offer zero foreign transaction fees</a>.</p> <h2>8. You are paying annual fees but not using the benefits</h2> <p>No doubt holding a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">premium credit card</a> can make you feel like a VIP, and certainly these cards offer a wide variety of exclusive and valuable benefits. Most of the time the value of these benefits far exceed the price of the annual fee, if you add up the face value of all of them, but if you're not actually using them, then you're just paying for the potential access. Far better than chasing rewards is holding onto cold hard cash that you would have shelled out for an annual fee. Check out other outstanding <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards with no annual fees</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-signs-you-desperately-need-a-new-credit-card&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Signs%2520You%2520Desperately%2520Need%2520a%2520New%2520Credit%2520Card.jpg&amp;description=8%20Signs%20You%20Desperately%20Need%20a%20New%20Credit%20Card"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Signs%20You%20Desperately%20Need%20a%20New%20Credit%20Card.jpg" alt="8 Signs You Desperately Need a New Credit Card" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-desperately-need-a-new-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fees-hidden-and-otherwise">Credit Card Fees: Hidden and Otherwise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">The Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer credit card perks credit card rewards interest rates new credit card signs Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:30:05 +0000 Holly Johnson 2053946 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Out a Personal Loan http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-out-a-personal-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-out-a-personal-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hand_giving_and_hand_receiving_money.jpg" alt="Hand giving and hand receiving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently called my bank to ask about fees for using my debit card on an upcoming international trip. I laughed when the banker followed up by asking, &quot;Are you interested in taking out a personal loan for spending money on your vacation?&quot;</p> <p>There are plenty of good reasons to take out a personal loan, but going on vacation isn't one of them. A personal loan is, in essence, an unsecured loan that you get on the basis of your credit and income &mdash; unlike a mortgage loan or home equity line of credit, which uses your home as collateral. Personal loans have advantages and disadvantages compared to secured loans, so whether you go for one of these when you're in need of cash depends on your individual situation.</p> <p>Here's what you should consider before getting a personal loan.</p> <h2>1. The interest rate may be higher than you expect</h2> <p>When you hear about interest rates in the media, they're often talking about the 30-year fixed rate for a standard mortgage, which has been around 4 percent or lower for a long time now. But a personal loan's interest rate will probably be at least twice that. The reason for the difference: When you refinance your home or take out a home equity line of credit, you're promising to relinquish your home if you can't pay back the debt. That's a bigger risk for you, and less of a risk for the bank, compared to a personal loan. In return, banks give you a low interest rate on secured loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-different-types-of-loans-a-primer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Different Types of Loans: A Primer</a>)</p> <h2>2. Your credit score matters more for personal loans</h2> <p>With no collateral, all the lender has to go on is your personal creditworthiness. You can expect the available interest rates to increase steeply if your credit is average or poor, going up as high as 36 percent APR.</p> <h2>3. A personal loan is not a long-term solution</h2> <p>While the typical mortgage is paid off over decades, personal loan terms are typically limited to seven years or less. This can be a good thing, because you should never borrow money for longer than you really need to. But it also means that if you are trying to borrow a lot of money, like for a major home remodel, the payments might be too high for you to keep up with on a personal loan.</p> <h2>4. Banks aren't the only option</h2> <p>As nonprofits, credit unions often offer lower rates and fees than banks for the same personal loan products. Then there are the crop of new &quot;marketplace lenders,&quot; such as SoFi and Prosper, which promise easy, quick online loan approval and good rates, especially to folks with the best credit. This nascent industry has had some bumps in the road, but it's still an avenue worth looking into. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-lenders-for-personal-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Lenders for Personal Loans</a>)</p> <h2>5. Personal loans can be a lifesaver when you need cash quickly</h2> <p>When an urgent financial need rears its head &mdash; a leaky roof, an emergency medical bill, or, heaven forbid, an unexpected funeral &mdash; many people turn to credit cards or payday lenders for help. These lenders can be punishingly expensive, but they may seem attractive because in such situations you just don't have time to sit down and apply for a home equity line of credit or look at refinancing your mortgage.</p> <p>You can get the funds from a personal loan within two weeks of applying online, making it just a little slower than the alternatives and potentially much more affordable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-personal-loans-may-be-better-than-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times Personal Loans May Be Better Than Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Personal loans can save you a lot on debt you already have</h2> <p>One of the most common uses for a personal loan is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money?ref=iternal" target="_blank">consolidate existing debt</a>, like credit card balances, student loans, and car loans. You may be able to get a lower interest rate than you were paying on your other debts, and you also have the organizational benefit of having only one bill to pay each month. However, when transferring one kind of loan to another, you should ...</p> <h2>7. &hellip; Be aware of what you may be giving up</h2> <p>Some marketplace lenders heavily market the idea of refinancing student loan debt into personal loans. But before you make a decision like that, you should compare your old loan and new loan carefully, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned in a 2016 release.</p> <p>&quot;[I]n some cases consumers could lose important loan-specific protections by refinancing an existing debt. Specifically, consumers should know that they may sign away certain federal benefits, such as income-driven repayment for federal student loans or service member benefits,&quot; the CFPB said. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>8. You might be better off with a different type of loan</h2> <p>If you're trying to get a better rate on credit card debt while you pay it off, before you commit to a personal loan, shop around to see what else is out there. You may be able to transfer your balance to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">card with a promotional 0 percent interest rate</a>. Another potentially better deal could be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-when-you-should-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=internal" target="_blank">taking money out of your retirement account</a> for a short time, especially if you have a Roth IRA. Just make sure to pay back whatever you borrow.</p> <h2>9. Watch out for fees and extras</h2> <p>Some lenders will try to throw in an insurance policy or other extra expenses as you close the loan. You may or may not want an insurance policy to make sure that your survivors aren't stuck with your loan if tragedy strikes, but that's a separate financial decision that you should undertake with research, not just because you're under the impression that it's required for your loan. (If the lender says it is, walk away.)</p> <p>Also, ask the lender if they use the &quot;pre-compute&quot; method to calculate interest, or if they have prepayment penalties &mdash; you should avoid these, because both will punish you if you're able to pay the loan back ahead of schedule.</p> <h2>10. Never get a personal loan to fund certain expenses</h2> <p>One of the nice things about a personal loan is that unlike a car loan or mortgage, you don't have to justify your purchase to the lender. However, there are things you should know better than to borrow for &mdash; whether it's with a credit card, a home equity line of credit, or a personal loan.</p> <p>Don't take out a personal loan to buy an engagement ring; why would you want to start out your relationship with a pile of debt? While some lenders may advertise a personal loan as a &quot;travel loan,&quot; that's another bad idea; once the vacation is over, you have nothing that you could sell to pay off the loan if you need to. Do I need to tell you that you shouldn't take out a personal loan for gambling money? I didn't think so. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Never Borrow Money for These 5 Buys</a>)</p> <p>A more complex question is whether it's OK to use a personal loan for a down payment on a home. The whole point of requiring a buyer to make a down payment is to show that they can afford the home and to help them feel invested in the purchase. So your mortgage lender may not like it if you try to fund the down payment with a personal loan. At the very least, with this method, you'll need to get the loan several months in advance of the purchase. But even then, proceed with caution; adding debt in the form of a personal loan could affect your chances of getting approved for the mortgage at all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-out-a-personal-loan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Things%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520Before%2520Taking%2520Out%2520a%2520Personal%2520Loan.jpg&amp;description=10%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Taking%20Out%20a%20Personal%20Loan"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Taking%20Out%20a%20Personal%20Loan.jpg" alt="10 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Out a Personal Loan" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-out-a-personal-loan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-millennials-guide-to-avoiding-credit-card-debt">The Millennials Guide to Avoiding Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-easy-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-during-the-holidays">3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Credit Score During the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-things-you-should-know-about-balance-transfer-cards">7 Important Things You Should Know About Balance Transfer Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-ways-minimum-payments-are-evil">All the Ways Minimum Payments Are Evil</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Banking APR balance transfer credit score fees interest rates lenders personal loans unsecured loan Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2037745 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_young_woman_depositing_money_into_her_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Happy young woman depositing money into her piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is over. This fall, fortify your finances to take the end of the year in stride. These helpful tips will get you back on track (and help you stay on track) budget-wise.</p> <h2>1. Start your holiday shopping now</h2> <p>Instead of making a mad rush for last-minute deals, spread out your gift buying over the course of the next couple months. Watch your local circulars and emails for discounts and promo codes, and strike while the proverbial iron seems hot.</p> <p>For instance, I just purchased several packs of Calvin Klein undies as a Christmas gift for my boo because I received an email for 25 percent off, plus I had an additional 15 percent off coupon with free shipping. Will there be steeper discounts in the near future? I can't be sure, but I had enough savings stacked up to feel like I made a smart choice, and now I can check one more gift off my list.</p> <h2>2. Max out retirement plan contributions</h2> <p>If you haven't already &mdash; and your budget can tolerate it &mdash; try to max out your 401(k) and 403(b) contributions at work. The employee contribution limit for 2017 is $18,000, and if you haven't reached that, it's time to come as close as you can. Those over age 50 can contribute an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution. If your employer offers matching funds, this should be a top financial priority, lest you fail to claim thousands of dollars in free money.</p> <h2>3. Take advantage of layaway</h2> <p>Layaway has had its up and downs over the years. What was once a common practice during the Great Depression started to fall out of favor by the 1980s thanks to the rising popularity of credit cards. Walmart all but left the service for dead in 2006 when it announced it would stop offering it, but by 2012, many retailers were back on the layaway bandwagon to make buying easier on customers in a tumultuous economy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-layaway-still-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Layaway Still Worth It?</a>)</p> <p>Personally, I loved layaway in my early 20s when I was on a shoestring budget. It allowed me to plan ahead and make scheduled payments so everything would be ready to go by Christmas. It's certainly a helpful buying tactic to look into if your finances are tight but you still want to participate in gift giving.</p> <h2>3. Use or lose flexible spending dollars</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to have a flexible spending account through your employer, your FSA may need to be spent by year's end. Try to use up the balance so you're not losing cash. In doing so, you'll free up funds elsewhere that you don't have to use on medical needs.</p> <p>&quot;Since 2013, your employer may offer one of two carry-over options,&quot; says Ryan McPherson, founder of the financial planning firm Intelligent Worth in Atlanta, Georgia. &quot;One &mdash; roll up to $500 of unused funds into the following year or two, offer a two-and-a-half month grace period during which you may use your unspent FSA balance. Check with your employer, because offering one of these options is not a requirement. If you don't have either of these carry-over options and expect to have money left in your FSA, try to move appointments and medical/dental-related purchases (i.e., eye glasses or contacts) into 2017.&quot;</p> <p>If you're unsure where your FSA funds apply, IRS publication 502 offers guidance on what counts as a &quot;<a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p502--2016.pdf" target="_blank">qualified medical expense</a>.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</a>)</p> <h2>4. Make a gift list and check it twice</h2> <p>I use to get in this mindset &mdash; especially when I started making a little more money &mdash; that everybody needed a gift. That logic is false. Everybody doesn't need a gift for the sake of giving them a gift. Now, I make a list of the usual suspects with whom I exchange &mdash; immediate family, boyfriend, a few friends &mdash; but even then I give it a second glance to see where I can make cuts. Will I see this aunt or that buddy this year? If the answer is no, decide whether a gift is necessary at all to put some more money back in your pocket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Gifts That Won't Become Clutter</a>)</p> <h2>5. Revise your winter budget</h2> <p>Everything about winter costs more than other times of the year, and you should prepare by revising your budget to make sure all bases are covered.</p> <p>&quot;In addition to holiday expenses, as the weather gets colder, heating costs also increase,&quot; says Roslyn Lash, an accredited financial counselor. &quot;It's imperative that you also set some money aside for inclement weather expenses. Unfortunately, when ice/snow is the forecast, schools typically close, and this could mean paying someone to baby-sit the kiddos. It could also prevent you from going to work, which means lost revenue.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>6. Determine what's necessary for the holidays and cut back from there</h2> <p>I love all things holiday &mdash; the decorations, the parties, the gifts, the endless array of baked goods &mdash; and if I'm not participating in someone else's festivities, I'm hosting my own. Of course that can get expensive, so I take a one-year-on, one-year-off approach to the latter part of that equation. Two years ago I hosted a holiday party in my home, but last year I didn't. I bought more holiday decorations for the house last year, but this year I won't. This practice not only helps me save money, but it also lets me cycle through things that I need to get rid of in a timely manner (like half-full bottles of liquor, for instance) and cut down on overall holiday clutter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get into a cash back state of mind</h2> <p>Upfront coupons and savings are great, but there's plenty more to be had on the back end if you know where to look. Apps like <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv" target="_blank">Ibotta</a> and Fetch Rewards provide cash back on purchases made on preset items or at selected retailers. Last month I scored more than $50 cash back (which was on top of other savings I received on the front end) by shopping through Ibotta.</p> <p>If you're responsible at managing credit, now's also a great time to take advantage of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back credit card</a> on your day to day purchases. By using a cash back card on necessities like groceries or gas, you'll earn cash to bolster your budget. Just be sure to pay off your balance in full every month, or else this method isn't worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>8. Rebid your insurance policies</h2> <p>You may be able to shave some money off your bills this fall by reviewing your insurance coverage.</p> <p>Michael Landsberg, CFP and founder of Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management in Punta Gorda, Florida, recommends rebidding your auto and home insurance policies to at least three independent agents (but not the online ones that are all owned by the same companies).</p> <p>&quot;Often times, this rebidding process puts hundreds if not thousands back in people's pockets right before the holidays,&quot; he explains. &quot;It's very easy. Just take your current policy declaration page and send that to an independent agent and let them do the work. The worst that can happen is you find out you've got a good program in place already.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Book travel before demand pricing kicks in</h2> <p>If you're traveling this fall or holiday season, book your mode of transportation and accommodations as soon as possible so you're not looking at ultra expensive rates at the last minute. Hotels and rental cars in particular go fast, and they're subject to on-demand pricing, which means your wallet could end up getting walloped if you're not shut out altogether. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-9-things-now-to-make-holiday-air-travel-easier?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Do These 9 Things Now to Make Holiday Air Travel Easier</a>)</p> <h2>10. Investigate a balance transfer</h2> <p>If you're carrying a high balance on a credit card, now is a great time to give yourself a credit card checkup.</p> <p>&quot;Explore what's out there,&quot; advises Han Chang, co-founder of InvestmentZen. &quot;Many lenders are beginning to offer deals now to get a jump on the holidays. Consolidating credit card debt via a balance transfer can be pretty enticing, especially with those 0 percent introductory APR offers, which usually last for six to 12 months. If you can find a good offer, you could potentially pay down a significant amount of debt before November and December.&quot;</p> <p>But nothing is ever free; offers like this often come with a one-time balance transfer fee ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent of the total balance transfer. That can really add up and, if you're not careful, completely negate any savings that 0 percent APR offers. Be sure to make your payments on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is a Balance Transfer Offer a Good Deal?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Ways%2520to%2520Tidy%2520Up%2520Your%2520Finances%2520Before%2520the%2520Holidays.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Tidy%20Up%20Your%20Finances%20Before%20the%20Holidays"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Tidy%20Up%20Your%20Finances%20Before%20the%20Holidays.jpg" alt="10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fastest-ways-to-recover-from-holiday-overspending">7 Fastest Ways to Recover From Holiday Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-being-single-is-better-for-your-bank-account">7 Ways Being Single is Better for Your Bank Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-secrets-to-a-debt-free-holiday-season">8 Secrets to a Debt-Free Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living balance transfer budgeting cash back checkup Christmas gifts Holidays layaway planning savings shopping winter Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 2030770 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Most Common Mistakes When Doing a Balance Transfer to Eliminate Debt http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-common-mistakes-when-doing-a-balance-transfer-to-eliminate-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-most-common-mistakes-when-doing-a-balance-transfer-to-eliminate-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-497316392.jpg" alt="Learning common mistakes when doing a balance transfer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many credit cards offer 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers, allowing you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">move debt from high-interest cards</a> onto one that offers zero interest for an introductory promotional period. These promo periods are nothing to sneeze at. They can last as long 21 months.</p> <p>So what's the catch? The truth is that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">balance transfer offers</a> can be incredibly valuable, but only when you use them properly and avoid making some common mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Assuming You'll Get the Best Balance Transfer Deal<strong> </strong></h2> <p>You might not always be approved for the balance transfer card you want. For example, the best 0% APR deals are only given to those with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">excellent credit</a>. While you may have had excellent credit in the past, having a large balance for a long time might have caused your credit score to slip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">One Ratio Is Key to a Good Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Even if you are approved for the card, it may come with a credit line that's substantially lower than you need. If that's the case, you may want to consider applying for a second balance transfer card.</p> <h2>2. Trying to Transfer a Balance From the Wrong Card</h2> <p>Consumers sometimes don't realize that you can't transfer a balance between two cards issued by the same bank. So if you have an outstanding balance on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-cash-back-for-every-purchase-chase-freedom-unlimited-review?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Freedom Unlimited card</a>, you can't open up a new <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-slate-visa-review?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Slate card</a> and expect to transfer your balance to it.</p> <p>Keep this in mind before you apply for a balance transfer card. Every time you apply for a credit card your credit score takes a little hit. It can usually recover fairly quickly, but there's no need to ding it unnecessarily for a card that doesn't even serve your needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Choose a Balance Transfer Card</a>)</p> <h2>3. Overlooking Balance Transfer Fees</h2> <p>Almost all credit cards charge a fee when you make a transfer, except for a few notable cards that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">don't charge balance transfer fees</a>. Typically the fee is 3% of the transfer amount, but it could be as high as 5%. If your balance is small enough that you can pay it off within a few months, you're probably better off not transferring it to a new card.</p> <h2>4. Delaying Your Balance Transfer</h2> <p>You'll usually have 60 or 90 days to transfer your balance to the new card. After that the deal expires. Transfer the balance as soon as you can to get the most use of the promotional 0% period and cut down on the number of days your balance is accruing interest on your old card. Transferring your balance early will also ensure you don't forget about the deal and miss it altogether.</p> <h2>5. Misunderstanding How New Purchases Are Treated</h2> <p>If you make a new purchase on a balance transfer card, it will be subject to the card's regular interest rate unless the card specifically offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% interest on purchases</a>, too. That means you've got two balances on the card: the interest-free transferred balance and the new purchase balance.</p> <p>By law, credit card issuers must apply any payments above the minimum to the balance with the highest interest rate first. But they can apply your <em>minimum payment</em> to whichever balance they choose, which of course will be the one with no interest charges. As a result, you'll still incur interest on your new purchases.</p> <p>Bottom line: It's best not make new charges on the balance transfer card unless it offers interest-free financing on new purchases as well.</p> <h2>6. Paying Late</h2> <p>It's always important to pay your bills on time, but it's even more so with promotional balance transfer offers. Pay late and you may find your 0% offer revoked, subjecting you to the card's regular higher interest rate way before you're ready for it. Add to that late fees the card may impose, and you've got an expensive mistake.</p> <h2>7. Stopping Payments on Your Old Card Too Soon</h2> <p>What some cardholders don't realize is that your balance transfer may not be completed immediately. It can take up to two weeks to process the transfer. Even if you've initiated a balance transfer, you will still need to make payments on your old card until you've confirmed that it's been paid off. Don't worry about overpaying &mdash; credit cards are very good about refunding you any overage you might have submitted during the transition.</p> <h2>8. Using a Balance Transfer Offer to Rack Up More Debt</h2> <p>Those 0% APR balance transfer offers are your chance to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">get out of debt</a>, but unfortunately, many people squander that chance and continue to rack up debt. They can't resist the temptation of having an empty balance on their old card, so they keep making charges on it that they can't pay off right away.</p> <p>Instead, use balance transfer deals as part of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=internal" target="_blank">comprehensive debt repayment plan</a>. You should view the end of these limited time offers as a deadline for paying off your entire balance, knowing that 100% of each payment you make during this time will go toward your principle.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-common-mistakes-when-doing-a-balance-transfer-to-eliminate-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-didn-t-understand-about-credit-card-interest-grace-periods-and-penalty-aprs">Everything You Didn’t Understand About Credit Card Interest, Grace Periods, and Penalty APRs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-credit-card-cash-advance-costs-you-more-than-a-purchase">How a Credit Card Cash Advance Costs You More Than a Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-might-miss-in-your-credit-cards-fine-print">6 Things You Might Miss in Your Credit Card&#039;s Fine Print</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards APR balance transfer debt eliminate debt financing grace period promotional period Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Jason Steele 1896814 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_coffee_credit_cards_82594511.jpg" alt="Woman paying off high interest credit card debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card debt is one of the most costly forms of debt, with interest rates between 20% and 30% in some cases. (Cardholders who have missed a payment might even incur higher penalty rates.) In contrast, secured loans such as car loans and home mortgages can have far lower rates. And unlike a home mortgage or student loans, interest on credit card debt is never tax deductible.</p> <p>So as with any costly loan, your first priority should be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">paying it off as soon as possible</a>. And even if you have to take out another loan to do so, you can save money when you are able to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">transfer your debt</a> to a new account that has a lower interest rate than your existing credit card balances.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">The Fastest Way to Pay Off 10K</a></p> <p>Here are five ways that you can pay off your high interest credit card debt.</p> <h2>1. Credit Card Balance Transfer</h2> <p>If you have a balance on a high interest credit card, you can save money by transferring it to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">card with a lower interest rate</a>. Better yet, some cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers</a> for a limited time, from six to as long as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">21 months</a>. Most cards will impose a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5% of the amount transferred. However, there are cards available that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">balance transfers with no fee</a>. These balance transfer offers are your best way to eliminate interest charges while you pay down your debt.</p> <h2>2. Personal Loan</h2> <p>Many banks and credit unions are willing to offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-lenders-for-personal-loans?ref=internal">personal loans</a> to applicants with good or excellent credit. So long as the interest rate offered is lower than your credit card balance, you can use these loans to pay off your credit cards and reduce your interest costs. However, the best rates will only be available to those who have excellent credit. If you have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-bad-credit?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">poor credit</a> and a lot of debt, you may not be approved for a loan with a lower interest rate than the one you currently have.</p> <h2>3. 401K Loan</h2> <p>It's possible to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=internal">loan yourself money from your 401K</a> so that you can pay off your high interest credit card balances. When you withdraw money from your 401K account, you can pay yourself back over as long as five years using very competitive interest rates that will be lower than nearly all credit cards. And since you are essentially acting as your own lender, there is no need to have excellent credit. On the other hand, you will be missing out on the compound interest your investments would have earned, and you will face tax penalties if you fail to pay the back the loan on time.</p> <h2>4. Life Insurance Loan</h2> <p>There are some types of whole, universal, or variable universal life insurance policies that allow you to take out a loan against them. Any money you withdraw is then deducted from your death benefit. And while interest rates can be below that of high interest credit cards, any unpaid interest will be added to your loan amount and subject to compounding. Just like a 401K loan, you are borrowing from your own funds, so your current credit rating will be irrelevant.</p> <h2>5. Home Equity Line of Credit</h2> <p>If you have equity in your home, you may be able to borrow money against it for any purpose, including paying off your high interest credit cards. Current interest rates for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-equity-loan-or-heloc-which-is-right-for-you?ref=internal">home equity lines of credit</a> are below 5%, which is far better than any standard credit card's interest rate. Your ability to secure a home equity line of credit will depend on your home's debt to credit ratio as well as your current credit history.</p> <p><em>Have you ever borrowed at a lower rate to pay off high interest debt? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sources-of-fast-cash-besides-your-401k">3 Sources of Fast Cash Besides Your 401K</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-warning-signs-youre-in-debt-denial">7 Warning Signs You&#039;re In Debt Denial</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-strategies-to-wipe-out-your-credit-card-balance">5 Strategies To Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards 401k balance transfer debt HELOC high interest home equity line of credit interest rates life insurance loans Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:31:09 +0000 Jason Steele 1785333 at http://www.wisebread.com The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_mouth_cover_iStock_000034382550_605x340.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I personally paid off over $10,000 in credit card debt in my early 20s using a very simple strategy. My 2-step plan will reduce your payments, pay down debt faster, and improve your credit.</p> <h2>Step 1: Save Thousands By Stopping Your Interest Payments</h2> <p>First recognize you have to stop paying interest. If you keep paying interest, you&rsquo;ll make little progress towards paying off your debt.</p> <div id="interest-principal-pie"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/interest-principal-pie.png" width="200" height="177" align="right" /></div> <p>For example, if you owed $10,000 credit card debt and paid $250 a month:&nbsp;</p> <ul style="margin-left:1em;"> <li>$177 of your $250 payment would go towards paying interest. That's $177 of your payment pocketed by the credit card company for free!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Only $73 (29%) goes towards paying down the $10,000 principal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>At this rate, it would take <b>69 months</b> to pay off your debt, and it would cost you a staggering <b>$7,535</b> in interest!</li> </ul> <p>This is an uphill battle you simply can&rsquo;t win. You need to stop paying interest ASAP.</p> <div id="total-interest"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/total-interest-902.png" width="500" height="308" /></div> <p><b>How do you <em>legally</em> stop paying interest?</b></p> <p>Find a credit card with a <b>0% introductory balance transfer APR offer</b>&nbsp;(<a href="#recs">see my recommendations below</a> for the best card). Thanks to the recovering economy, banks have been offering the best promos and longest 0% APR intro periods I've seen since before the financial crisis in 2008.</p> <p>Apply for a card and immediately transfer all your credit card debt to the new card. By eliminating interest for 18 months, you can pay off the entire $10,000 debt <b>two years faster</b> and <b>save $6,006 in interest</b>!</p> <h2>Step 2: Develop Your Payment Plan</h2> <p>Take your credit card debt and divide it by number of months in your 0% introductory balance transfer APR period. For example, say you owe $5,000 and got an 18-month 0% APR balance transfer card. Your monthly payment should be $277:</p> <p>$5,000 / 18 months = $277 monthly payment.</p> <p>That is still a big payment. But at least you are no longer paying interest, 100% of your payment goes towards paying down your debt.</p> <p>But even if you can't swing that amount, start by getting a 0% APR card and paying more than the minimum every month. The new card will give you a huge head start on eliminating the entire $10,000 debt. Check out this chart to see how you'd <b>save $3,298</b> in two years by using a card with a 0% intro APR for 18 months.</p> <div id="balance-by-month"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/balance-by-month.png" width="500" height="253" /></div> <h2><a name="recs"></a>Stop Procrastinating: Get Started Now</h2> <p>Every day you wait adds more interest to your debt. If you&rsquo;re reading this article right now it means you&rsquo;re serious about paying off debt. Act now and take advantage of your current momentum.</p> <p>The first small task is to find the right 0% balance transfer credit card. It will only take a few minutes since I&rsquo;ve already done the research for you. After researching hundreds of credit cards, I found the best cards for paying off debt:</p> <h2>BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card</h2> <p><img src="http://www.awltovhc.com/image-2822544-13022271-1505921574000" alt="credit card" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" width="154" height="98" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=107&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>If you need a long payment period, the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=107&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname">BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card</a> is the card for you. It offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, one of the longest introductory periods currently offered by credit cards. This introductory rate applies to balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. There is also a $0 Intro balance transfer fee during the first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10). If you can't pay off the whole balance in 15 months, the regular APR is the lowest available on this list at 13.24%-23.24% variable for both purchases and balance transfers. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=107&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Bank of America&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.yceml.net/0262/13191430-1518711629683" width="154" height="97" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" alt="BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card" title="BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=106&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=106&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bank of America&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card</a> is good for people who have less than $5,000 in credit card debt and would like to earn cashback rewards. First, it offers 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers. Once you've paid off your balance, use this card to earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% cash back on gas for the first $2,500 in combined spending each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Bank of America&reg; customers get can a 10% bonus if you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account. This card is a great day-to-day card for earning the most cash back on gas and groceries. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=106&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Bank of America&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Chase Slate&reg;</h3> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-slate-060216.png" width="154" height="97" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" alt="Chase Slate&reg;" title="Chase Slate&reg;" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname">Chase Slate&reg;</a> card is the <em>only</em> card on this list that allows you to save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee, 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. After the intro period, a regular APR of 16.24%-24.99% variable applies. Balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days for the fee to be waived. After that there will be a 5% or $5 fee, whichever is greater. If you have a big balance to transfer, avoiding the typical 3-5% fee saves $300-500 on a $10,000 balance transfer. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO&reg; Score for free.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Slate&reg; Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</h3> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiDoubleCash.jpg" width="154" height="97" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutto"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</a> from our partner Citi is a great card for those who want cash back but <em>don't</em> want to worry about keeping track of categories. This card actually offers cash back twice: 1% cash back when you buy, plus another 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases. Unlike many other cards, this card has no category restrictions, no enrollments in rotating categories, and no limits on the amount of cash back that you earn. There is a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74%-24.74%*, based on your creditworthiness. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=214&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer today!</strong></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Fastest%20Way%20to%20Pay%20Off%2010%2C000%20Dollars%20in%20Credit%20Card%20Debt.jpg" alt="The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-is-the-best-time-in-years-to-do-a-credit-card-balance-transfer">Now Is the Best Time in Years to Do a Credit Card Balance Transfer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt">Dealing with Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees">The Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-negotiate-credit-card-debt">4 Ways to Negotiate Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management balance transfer credit card debt Sat, 04 Jun 2016 04:15:32 +0000 Greg Go 1723974 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Balance Transfer Credit Card Is The Best For You? http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000085027895.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Which balance transfer credit card should you apply for? That depends on your goal. If you need as long as possible to pay off your outstanding balances, then you'll want a card with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">longest 0% APR financing available</a>. Depending on your balance though, you might want to look for a card with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">no balance transfer fee</a>. Perhaps you&rsquo;re just looking for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">card with a lower APR</a>, or if you are close to paying off your debt, you might be able to take advantage of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">large sign up bonus</a> of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">generous rewards credit card</a>.</p> <p>To narrow down your choice of balance transfer cards available, consider these cards that meet your particular goal.</p> <h2>Lowest Standard Interest Rate</h2> <p>Once the promotional interest rate expires, any remaining unpaid balance will incur interest charges at the standard interest rate. So if you think you might need to carry a balance, you might consider a card that offers a low standard interest rate. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crowdsourcing-experiment-barclaycard-ring-mastercard?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Barclaycard Ring&trade; Mastercard&reg;</a> offers a regular variable APR of 10.24%. The card also has no balance transfer fees and no annual fee.</p> <h2>Longest Interest Free Offer</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card">Citi's Simplicity</a> from our partner Citi feature an industry leading offer of 18 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. The Simplicity card lives up to its name by having no late fee or penalty interest rate. There is no annual fee.</p> <h2>No Balance Transfer Fee</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card</a> offers 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then a competitive 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR applies. There is no annual fee.</p> <h2>Big Sign-Up Bonus</h2> <p>There is no reason why you can't enjoy both a big sign-up bonus and an attractive promotional financing offer for balance transfers. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">best sign-up bonus in a credit card</a> that offers interest free promotional financing on balance transfers is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-new-travel-rewards-card-on-the-block-barclaycard-arrival-plus-world-elite-mastercard?ref=internal">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&reg; World Elite MasterCard&reg;</a>. It offers 40,000 bonus miles, worth $400 in travel statement credits, after new cardholders spend $3,000 within three months of account opening. In addition, new cardholders get 12 months 0% Intro APR on balance transfers made within 45 days of opening (after that a variable APR of 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% will apply). There is a 3% balance transfer fee and a $89 annual fee that is waived for the first year.</p> <h2>Your Favorite Bank</h2> <p>Some credit card users prefer to open an account with a particular bank in order to perform a balance transfer. If you plan on doing this, just be aware that you will not be able to transfer a balance between two accounts with the same bank. Here are the best balance transfer offers from each of the major banks.</p> <h2>Capital One<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Capital One's best balance transfer offer is it's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unlimited-cash-back-the-quicksilver-cash-rewards-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Quicksilver Rewards Card</a>, which offers 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 9 months (then a 14.24%-24.24% variable APR applies). There is a 3% balance transfer fee and no annual fee for this card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-credit-card-applications?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Capital One Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Chase<strong> </strong></h2> <p>With no intro balance transfer fees on balances transferred within the first 60 days, no annual fee, and 15 months of 0% intro APR financing on both purchases and balance transfers, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-slate-visa-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Chase Slate&reg; card is simply the best card for balance transfers</a>, period.</p> <h2>Citi</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card">Citi Simplicity Card</a> offers a 0% intro APR for 18 months for purchases and balance transfers made within 4 months of account opening (then 15.24%-25.24%* variable APR). There is a 3% or $5 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater, and no annual fee.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-a-balance-transfer-does-to-your-credit">Here&#039;s What a Balance Transfer Does to Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees">The Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-comprehensive-checklist-for-a-successful-balance-transfer">Your Comprehensive Checklist for a Successful Balance Transfer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-new-purchases-on-a-balance-transfer-card-can-cost-you">Why New Purchases On a Balance Transfer Card Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer Fri, 13 May 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Jason Steele 1695163 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fees http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000034561642.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=5x">balance transfer to another credit card</a> can be an effective way to pay down credit card debt. If you're currently paying a lot of interest each month on a current balance, it can feel like an uphill battle as you make a payment each month. A balance transfer option can allow you to pay down your credit card debt faster, by offering either a lower APR (less interest) or even a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=5x">0% introductory APRs</a> period where you don't have to pay <em>any</em> interest during a specified time period.</p> <p>However, transferring a balance to another credit card often comes with a balance transfer fee. This fee is usually the greater of $5 or 3% of the transfer, but can be as high as 5%. For example, if you transfer a $10,000 balance, the <strong>transfer fee alone could cost $300-$500</strong>.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are a few credit cards that offer balance transfers with no fees. Some of these also offer a 0% APR period, but even if they don't, a lower APR credit card can still significantly reduce the amount of money you pay in interest each month, helping you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=5x">pay off your debt faster</a>. These are the best credit cards with no balance transfer fee.</p> <h3>BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card</h3> <p><img src="http://www.awltovhc.com/image-2822544-13022271-1505921574000" alt="credit card" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" width="154" height="98" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=107&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=107&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card</a> offers 0% intro balance transfer fee during the first 60 days of account opening, and you can enjoy an intro APR of 0% for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made during the same 60-day period. After the intro period, a balance transfer fee of 3% (min. $10) applies. The standard APR for both purchases and balance transfers is 13.24%-23.24% variable. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=107&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Chase Slate&reg;</h3> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/4470d7d236c1b456ae7828402033efb2.png" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" width="154" height="97" border="0" /><a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" title="Chase Slate&reg;" alt="Chase Slate&reg;" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">Chase Slate&reg;</a> card is another great balance transfer option, since it offers 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, an intro balance transfer fee of $0, and no annual fee. (Balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days for the fee to be waived. After that there will be a 5% or $5 fee, whichever is greater.) The 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers is 15 months. After the intro period, a variable APR of 16.24% - 24.99% applies. The card also comes with access to your monthly FICO&reg; score and Credit Dashboard, which can give you a boost in morale as you see your balance going down and your score going up.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Slate&reg; Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Barclaycard Ring&trade; Mastercard&reg;</h3> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/20106907485b37e9de3a0243310387b6.png" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" border="0" height="97" width="154" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=23&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" title="Barclaycard&reg; Ring MasterCard&reg;" alt="Barclaycard&reg; Ring MasterCard&reg;" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=23&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname">Barclaycard Ring&trade; Mastercard&reg;</a> is best suited for those who hate fees. It has no balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, and no annual fee. Balance transfers must be made within 45 days of account opening to qualify. You also get access to your FICO score, free. However, this card stands out from other credit cards because of its various &quot;social&quot; features, such the option to become a member of the community of card holders who can vote on card features and submit ideas.&nbsp;The variable APR is 10.24% for purchases and balance transfers.</p> <p><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=23&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Barclaycard Ring&trade; Mastercard&reg; today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/8d827e50e648247b0a6906327928357a.png" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" width="154" height="97" border="0" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>Capital One offers the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname">VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> with no balance transfer fee. The 0% intro APR only applies to purchases for 12 months. The standard variable APR is 13.24%-23.24%. You can use this card to earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase and unlimited 10x miles on hotels when you pay with your VentureOne card at hotels.com/Venture. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/9cac7606371ffe30a1bd49c860235e9c.png" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" width="154" height="97" border="0" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" alt="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" title="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> does not charge a balance transfer fee and the variable APR starts as low as 14.24% (up to 24.24%). Earn unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase and unlimited 10x miles on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/Venture. There is an annual fee of $95, waived the first year.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=44&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Venture Rewards&reg; Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">The Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores">Best Credit Cards That Offer Free Credit Scores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/consumer-reports-picks-top-3-credit-cards-for-your-needs">Consumer Reports Picks Top Credit Cards for Your Needs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management balance transfer best credit cards Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:46:48 +0000 Christina Majaski 1505930 at http://www.wisebread.com Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT Offer Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt-or-does-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt-or-does-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cash_000015373407.jpg" alt="Woman with cash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are all sorts of tricks that credit card issuers can play on customers who are looking for the most cash back from a rewards card. They can offer bonuses for certain types of purchases, or feature extra cash back on categories of purchases that change every quarter. Others have limits on the rewards that can be earned on certain kinds of purchases each year, or charge a large annual fee that offsets much of the savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=review">How Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>But in this highly competitive market, Citi created a card that pushed past many of these traditional gimmicks. The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=102&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sname" target="_top">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</a> from our partner Citi offers cash back twice on every purchase &mdash; once when you buy, and again when you pay for those purchases. And there is no annual fee.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Cardholders can earn an unlimited 1% cash back when they make a purchase, and an additional 1% cash back when their purchase is paid. Customers receive their rewards as soon as they reach $25. There are no caps or restrictions on the amount of cash back that can be earned.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Travel benefits</strong>. This card features plenty of valuable travel benefits and protections. Get trip cancellation and interruption protection, worldwide travel accident insurance, and worldwide car rental insurance.</p> <p><strong>Citi Price Rewind</strong>. Citi's Price Rewind service automatically refunds customers when there is a price drop on a registered purchase found within 60 days of the purchase.</p> <p><strong>Shopping benefits.</strong> Cardholders will receive a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=review">extended warranty coverage</a> as well as theft and damage <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=review">purchase protection</a> which covers items damaged or stolen up to 120 days of purchase.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>14.74% - 24.74%* variable APR (0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers when transfers are completed within four months of account opening)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee ($5 minimum)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=102&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2" target="_top"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Cash back rewards and intro APR</strong>. Getting 1% unlimited cash back is pretty standard, but the 1% back when you pay makes this one of the best cash rewards credit cards available. In addition, the 18 months of interest-free balance transfers is also a very valuable feature.</p> <p><strong>No annual fee</strong>. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=review">additional benefits</a> of this card are as strong as they are on some high end reward cards with pricey annual fees. There's no annual fee for this card.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Split cash back rewards</strong>. It is unclear why Citi chooses to split awarding the cash back between the time of purchase and the time of payment, which runs contrary to its otherwise simple rewards program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=review">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. In addition, when traveling internationally, customers will want to use a different card with no foreign transaction fees, and leave this card at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=review">Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>This is a great product for rewards credit card users who would rather earn cash back than airline miles or other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=review">travel rewards</a>. For those who always avoid interest by paying their balances in full each month, Citi's Double Cash is now the product to beat among cash back rewards cards.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=102&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send" target="_top"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt-or-does-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-costco-credit-card">6 Things You Need to Know About the New Costco Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews">Citi Credit Card Offers: Applications &amp; Reviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-millennials-guide-to-avoiding-credit-card-debt">The Millennials Guide to Avoiding Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-slate-visa-review">Chase Slate&amp;reg; Review: Balance Transfers With No Intro Fee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card">Retire Your Credit Card Debt With Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer cash back Citi credit card reviews rewards Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:00:11 +0000 Jason Steele 1263097 at http://www.wisebread.com Now Is the Best Time in Years to Do a Credit Card Balance Transfer http://www.wisebread.com/now-is-the-best-time-in-years-to-do-a-credit-card-balance-transfer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/now-is-the-best-time-in-years-to-do-a-credit-card-balance-transfer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-461520219.jpg" alt="credit card" title="credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most frustrating realities in personal finance is the high rate charged on credit card balances. Even if you pay more than the minimum each month, the high interest rate severely limits the effectiveness of your payment. Whether you are trying to deal with holiday debt or take control of your finances, a balance transfer can be just the thing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-do-a-credit-card-balance-transfer-and-how?ref=seealso">Why and How to Do a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <p>And the best part? Now is a great time to do a balance transfer.</p> <h2>Why Transfer Balances Now?</h2> <p>Balance transfer deals have been ramping up in recent months. The <a href="http://business.time.com/2013/09/06/0-balance-transfers-are-tempting-but-beware-the-risks/">credit freeze is thawing</a>, and 0% APR balance transfers are being offered to more people.</p> <p>During and immediately after the Great Recession, you had to have practically impeccable credit to receive these attractive offers. Now, however, with <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/sharding/2013/06/01/banks-making-record-profits-again-while-consumers-still-have-losses/">banks enjoying record profits</a>, they are willing to take a little more risk and expand the offers. Chances are that a 0% APR offer is coming to mailbox near you.</p> <p>Not only is the number of these offers increasing, but the deals are getting sweeter. The highest offers in the United States are at 18 months of that introductory rate. During the past few years, most of these offers were capped between six and 12 months. Now you have up to a year and a half to make a serious dent in your transferred debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-worst-ways-to-pay-off-your-credit-card-debt?ref-seealso">The Worst Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Use a 0% Balance Transfer to Help Your Finances</h2> <p>Using a 0% balance transfer credit card helps you demolish your debt because your entire monthly payment goes toward reducing your principal. You don&#39;t have to worry about how big a chunk the interest payment is taking out of your payment. Here are some of the ways a 0% APR credit card can help your finances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Get Rid of Holiday Debt Fast</h3> <p>Even with the best intentions, many of us end up carrying balances following the holidays. It&#39;s so easy to get caught up in the season with sales, entertaining, and gift giving. Transfer your high-rate balances to a 0% APR credit card, and you have a little breathing room to pay off your holiday debt and keep it from dominating your life. Plus, you pay it off faster when everything goes toward principal. If you have cash back from rewards credit cards, apply that to your debt, too, for even faster results. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">How to Deal With Post-Holiday Debt</a>)</p> <p>There&#39;s no reason to let holiday debt ruin the first few months of the new year. A 0% balance transfer will help you better manage that debt. And, since you have that breathing room, you can even start saving up for next holiday season now so that you aren&#39;t in this position again.</p> <h3>Reboot Your Personal Finances</h3> <p>You can reboot your personal finances no matter the time of year, and a balance transfer can help. When you&#39;re ready to take charge of your money situation, the first thing to do is organize a debt paydown plan. A 0% balance transfer card can help your efforts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=seealso">Which Debt Repayment Strategy Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <h3>Manage Your Debt Better</h3> <p>The great thing about long introductory rates with balance transfers is that you can tackle other high-interest debt without accumulating more due to interest. Take your highest-interest credit card balances, and transfer as much as you can to the 0% APR credit card. If you have balances left on other cards, you can call to ask for a reduction in the interest rate. Account holders in good standing can sometimes see a 1% to 3% reduction in rate just for asking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-must-know-before-transferring-credit-card-balances?ref=seealso">What You Should Know Before You Do a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <h3>Use the Snowball Method to Reduce Debt</h3> <p>Once you have re-arranged all of your debt, you can then tackle the high-rate debt while paying the minimum on the 0% APR card for now. The beauty of this method is that you are paying down your high-rate cards at a faster rate, and at the same time the minimum you put toward your balance transfer card is going toward reducing that balance. Here&#39;s an example, using three credit cards:</p> <ul> <li>Credit Card A has a balance of $2,500 and a rate of 19.99%</li> <li>Credit Card B has a balance of $1,500 and a rate of 15.99%</li> <li>Credit Card C has a balance of $3,000 and a rate of 13.99%</li> </ul> <p>You are approved for a 0% APR balance transfer card with a credit limit of $3,500 and an introductory rate of 18 months. The first thing you do is transfer the balance from Credit Card A and $1,000 of the balance from Credit Card B. Now you have balances of $500 (at 15.99%), $3,000 (13.99%), and $3,500 (0%).</p> <p>Call your credit card issuers and ask for rate reductions if you are in good standing. Let&#39;s say you are offered a reduction to 14.99% on the one card, and a reduction to 11.99% on the other card.</p> <p>After reviewing your finances, you discover that you can put an extra $300 per month toward debt reduction, on top of the minimum payments you are making on all of your cards. Start with the highest-rate card, which only has $500 on it. You put that extra $300 toward that balance and keep paying the minimum on everything else. (Don&#39;t reduce the amount you pay as the &quot;minimum&quot; as you progress. The minimum will drop with your slowly falling balance, but keep paying the level you started with.)</p> <p>After two months, you&#39;re ready to tackle the next card on the list. Bring the $300, plus the minimum you had been paying on your other card, and add it to the minimum you have been paying on the second card. It&#39;s important to transfer the original minimum you have been paying so that your payment snowballs and gets bigger. It takes another nine months to pay off the next debt, for a total of 11 months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0?ref=seealso">Guide to the Debt Snowball Method</a>)</p> <p>Now you&#39;re on to the balance transfer card. You still have another seven months to pay off this card before the 0% runs out. Remember, every penny that you&#39;ve paid in the minimum balance for the last 11 months has gone toward reducing the principal. So let&#39;s say you&#39;ve managed to knock off close to $1,100 of the balance. So you have seven months to pay of the remaining $2,400. Since you&#39;ve moved your other minimums over, along with your original $300, you should be putting $350 or so toward debt reduction on your final card. That should be enough to allow you to finish paying off your debt before the 0% introductory period ends.</p> <p>Adding a balance transfer card to the mix can be an amazing way to re-order your finances and fix your debt problem. Just make sure you create a plan that allows you to pay off the balance before the intro period runs out.</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of long introductory periods on balance transfers to reduce debt? Were you successful?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-is-the-best-time-in-years-to-do-a-credit-card-balance-transfer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-steps-to-eliminating-your-debt-painlessly">6 Steps to Eliminating Your Debt Painlessly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">How Much Does Your Credit Card Debt Cost You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees">The Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal">Is a Balance Transfer Offer a Good Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management balance transfer credit card debt reduction Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:36:41 +0000 Miranda Marquit 1123544 at http://www.wisebread.com Chase Slate&reg; Review: Balance Transfers With No Intro Fee http://www.wisebread.com/chase-slate-visa-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chase-slate-visa-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_laptop_credit_card_000034561642.jpg" alt="Man at laptop with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although the ultimate solution to eliminating credit card interest is paying off your debt, there is an interim strategy that can eliminate interest charges. Promotional financing offers common on many credit cards can allow new cardholders to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=review">transfer their balance</a> from an existing card to the new one, which can offer interest-free financing for a period of 6-18 months. The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=93&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sname">Chase Slate&reg; Card</a> offers 0% intro APR for 15 months on both new purchases and balance transfers. With no balance transfer fees for transfers made within 60 days, and no annual fee, the card can be a powerful tool for eliminating debt.</p> <h2>How the Balance Transfer Works</h2> <p>Once approved for the Slate card, customers have 60 days in which to execute the promotional balance transfer. In effect, you are asking Chase to pay off your old credit card's balance and apply that amount to your new Slate card. Just note that the old balance must be on a card that is <em>not</em> from Chase.</p> <p>Most cards require an additional 3% balance transfer fee. So this is clearly one of the best balance transfer offer on the market since it offers a 0% intro period, $0 balance transfer fee, and $0 annual fee. In addition, new purchases can also be made interest-free for a period of 15 months. Always keep in mind that you will still have to make a monthly minimum payment, and you will still have to pay off all charges within 15 months in order to avoid interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=review">When to Do a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>Credit Score and Credit Dashboard for Free</h2> <p>This card includes access to your FICO&reg; Score, as well as the Chase Slate Credit Dashboard for accessing and viewing helpful credit information. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=review">Credit Cards With Free Credit Scores</a>)</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>0% Intro APR for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers. After that, a variable APR of 16.24%-24.99%</li> <li>$0 Balance Transfer Fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening. After that, 5% or $5, whichever is greater.</li> <li>Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=93&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton1"><img class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>No intro fee on balance transfers</strong>. With 15 months of 0% intro APR on your existing balance and no balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days, you will not find this offer anywhere else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=review">Best Credit Cards Without Balance Transfer Fees</a>)&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Promotional financing on new purchases</strong>. New transactions are also interest-free for 15 months.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>No annual fee</strong>. Don't add unneccessary expenses when you're trying to pay down debt.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>No rewards.</strong> There is no sign-up bonus offer, and there are no spending rewards for this card.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=review">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fees.</strong> For all transactions processed outside of the United States, this card charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=review">Credit Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>If you have credit card debt, your number one priority should be to pay it off. The Chase Slate card helps you to do that by offering a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on both new purchase and balance transfers with no balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of opening the account. With these features, the Slate card can be an important part of paying off and eliminating credit card debt.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=93&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1051">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Slate&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-slate-visa-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review">Get The Most Value For Your Travel Rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews">Chase Credit Card Offers: Applications &amp; Reviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt-or-does-it">Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT Offer Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-freedom-a-more-rewarding-way-to-shop">Chase Freedom®: A More Rewarding Way to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer chase credit card reviews Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:03:42 +0000 Jason Steele 957658 at http://www.wisebread.com