Credit Card Debt – Factors to Consider When Consolidating
by Debt Jerk
If you like so many other consumers are trying to eliminate credit card debt, you more than likely have been told to consolidate it. Consolidation is when you combine your debt in a manner that is more affordable and that can reduce the amount of time you are paying it off.
There are two ways to go that follow: transfer debts with higher annual percentage rates (APR) to lower APR cards; transfer your debts to a new zero percent or lower interest card; and combine all your debt with a low rate, simple interest loan. We will only look at the first two options.
Obtaining a lower APR is your goal and there are two ways to do this.
First contact your current credit card companies and ask if they can lower your interest rate. They will often offer you lower interest rate, minimum payment plan than the minimum payment you currently have. You also need to stop using the card while you pay it off. They will typically do you this if you have paid your minimum payments on a regular basis.
If you can’t negotiate with them, mention that you will be transferring the amount to another card and that you will be closing your account with them. This sometimes helps them open up to other options or the agent might transfer you to a billing agent with greater resources in the interest of keeping your business.
Investigate the current APR on your cards and shift your debt to lowest rate cards. It is important to spread you debt out on several, if the amount will bring you over your credit limits.
The last option, you have to be mindful with. Apply for a zero percent, introductory rate credit card. The catch is this is an introductory rate that will last anywhere from six months to a year. They also normally put a lower credit limit than your total debt and the post introductory APR will be astronomically higher than the cards you have debt on. Your best bet with this form of consolidation is to remember the cut-off date and start all over again with a new zero percent credit card.
For either of these methods to really work, don’t accumulate more debt, make payments on time, and add some money to your minimum required payments. By doing this, you’ll be out of debt sooner and happier because of it.