“I think a lot of us do become ashamed. We don’t even have enough to make our ends meet. Being in debt is not living life.” That’s what a middle-aged woman from Baltimore who works the night shift said when she participated in a focus group about debt.
Her story only gets worse. Her debt payments were more than she made each month. She wasn’t able to even make the minimum payments due to all of her creditors. One of them took court action, which ultimately led to her arrest.
For many, debt is a cause of a lot of stress, sleepless nights, and friction in relationships. Has debt caused any unease or anxiety in your life?
If you allow your debt to manage you instead of you managing your debt, you will waste a lot of money and time. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, when used appropriately, managed properly and paid quickly, debt can be a tool to help you instead of harm you.
Credit Card Debt Refinancing
Sometimes we can make good money, but life keeps coming at us, causing us to fork out hard-earned money for car repairs, fix a leaking roof, replace a flat tire, or pay for medicine because we got sick. When this happens, money might not be a problem overall, but it creates a cash crunch. The unexpected emergencies might have hampered your ability to pay your credit card payments. For times like these, you might consider credit card debt refinancing.
What is Credit Card Debt Refinancing?
With credit card debt refinancing, all of your existing credit card debt is transferred to one credit card. Why? Because that credit card offers 0% APR for a certain length of time. You will pay less in interest (i.e. become debt-free faster!). This special credit card is called a Balance Transfer credit card.
What is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?
Credit card companies offer what is known as a balance transfer credit card. They offer a 0% APR for a period of time, usually between 12 to 18 months. After that, the interest rate will rise (but it will be less than the current interest rate you are paying now). The rate you pay will be based on your credit score.
Is it Smart to Pay Off One Credit Card With Another?
Yes. You’re not taking on more debt. You’re transferring your debt to a new credit card with low interest – potentially even 0% interest. If you are struggling to make payments on your credit cards, using a balance transfer credit card to decrease your interest payments is extremely helpful. However, you need to be smart about using one.
When you transfer the debt balance to your new card, cut up your old card, and stop further pilling on your debt.
What Should I Look For When Deciding on a Balance Transfer Credit Card?
Here is what you should look for when shopping for a balance transfer credit card:
- Make sure they offer 0% APR on transfers
- How many months will the 0% APR be in effect?
- What fee will I be charged to transfer balances?
- What will my interest rate be after the introductory period?
- Does the card have an annual fee?
- If the card has an annual fee, is the first year free?
Are Balance Transfer Fees Worth It
If you decide that a balance transfer credit card is the best solution for your situation, then the fee will likely be worth it. Fees range between 3-5% of your total balance.
When it comes to choosing a balance transfer credit card pick the card with the lowest interest rate. Remember that as long as you are paying less interest than your current card, you will get out of debt faster while spending less money on interest in the process.
Do Balance Transfers Hurt Your Credit
How credit scores are calculated remain largely a mystery, however, Experian provides us a glimpse into the process. Some of the factors include:
- The number of accounts you have
- The types of accounts
- Your used credit vs. your available credit
- The length of your credit history
- Your payment history
When you apply for a new card, the company will make a hard inquiry, which can drop your credit score a few points. This should not be a problem. Also, when you add a new card, you will now have a line of credit without much history. This might lead a small, short-term reduction in your credit score.
However, as you make consistent, on-time payments, your credit score will rise higher than ever before as you pay down this credit card debt.
Where Can I Find Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers?
We like to work with our friends at Credit-Land.com. They have taken a lot of the guesswork out of finding a whole range of cards, including balance transfer credit cards that offer 0% APR with Cash Back rewards and more.
Credit-Land.com spells out everything for you, and they provide ratings about how good each card is. For example, if you want a credit card with no fees to transfer a balance, they have them. If you need 0% APR for as long as possible, you’ll find a credit card that meets your needs.
Spend some time on Credit-Land.com to find the best card for your situation. They give you plenty of options.
Credit Card Debt Consolidation
When you look for alternative ways to deal with your credit card debt, if refinancing at a lower rate with a balance transfer card is not an option, then another tool to consider is credit card debt consolidation.
What is Credit Card Debt Consolidation?
A Credit Card debt consolidation loan is similar in strategy to a Balance Transfer credit card, but rather than transferring debt to another credit card—you’re able to use a personal loan to pay-off all of your credit card debt, and then make payments on that loan over time.
Is It Better to Get a Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Card Debt?
When people take out a personal loan to pay off credit card debt, a couple popular selling points are:
- It reduces the number of payments to one all inclusive payment (remember, the average American has four credit cards),
- They usually get a lower, fixed interest rate. Sometimes balance transfer cards can have a variable interest rate.
Personal loans are normally “unsecured” loans. Unsecured loans benefit you, the consumer, because none of your assets are at risk.
Conversely, your auto loan and mortgage are “secured” by the lending institution. If you fail to make payments on secured loans, then you are at risk of having them being repossessed or foreclosed upon. Again, personal loans, are normally unsecured.
What Should I Look for in a Credit Card Consolidation Loan?
Just as there are a number of balance transfer credit cards, there are several credit card consolidation loans. Some things you will want to consider:
- What interest rate will I pay?
- How many months is the loan for?
- Does the lender charge an origination fee?
- Will the lender pay off the credit card companies directly?
Does Getting a Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards Impact Your Credit?
In the short term, a submitted application with a lender will result as a hard inquiry on your credit report. There is a possibility a consolidation loan could impact your credit score. However, if you make your payments faithfully and on time, your credit score will rise (potentially to new highs).
Credit Card Debt Refinancing vs. Credit Card Debt Consolidation
When trying to decide if it is better for you to use a balance transfer card to help manage your debt, or if a consolidation loan is better think about what you are trying to achieve.
If you want a little reprieve to gather yourself and get back to paying off the credit card debt, then refinancing might be the better choice. You will have at least 12 months of 0% interest where you can knock out the credit card debt without having to pay interest.
Find the best 0% APR Balance Transfer Credit card here at CreditLand.
If you have a number of high interest cards, then a consolidation loan might be better because you will probably land a lower interest rate, and you will have a single payment that will be the same over the term of the loan. You will pay interest from Day 1, but it will be lower.
Should You Pay Off Credit Card Debt Early?
If you are wondering whether it is worth it to pay off credit card debt early, then the answer is a resounding YES!!! The obvious reason involves saving a ton of money by not paying more interest than necessary. But there is much more at stake, and it might not be as obvious.
Dr. Galen Buckwalter, a research psychologist, asserts financial trauma, a dysfunctional reaction to chronic financial stress, can be likened to the symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Debt plays a role in financial trauma. So, debt can negatively impact your physical and emotional health.
But, there is good news. A 2019 university research study, considered to be the first of its kind, concludes reducing debt improves a person’s mental health, and I would add physical health, too. If you get rid of debt, you will feel better and make better decisions.
If you have suffered the negative consequences of credit card debt, and you want a better future, take action. Becoming debt free starts today.
Pay Off Debt With a Balance Transfer Credit Card
Paying down debt is an uphill battle only if you’re stuck with a high interest rate. Every month you fork over money that you didn’t borrow. You have to both pay back your debt while pay interest. With a high interest rate, it takes longer to pay down debt and it costs more money.
With 0% interest, every cent you put towards your debt actually goes towards paying down your debt. Without an interest payment, you will pay down debt faster AND spend less money in the process
Browse creditland.com for debt consolidation credit cards. Go for the card that offers the lowest interest rates so that you can get out of credit card debt on easy street.