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Using balance transfers to tackle unmanageable debt

Many consumers are aware of offers to transfer the balances of high interest credit cards into a new account with a lower interest rate. Known as balance transfers, these offers can turn the tide for individuals in California who are faced with seemingly unmanageable debt. However, making balance transfers work in one’s favor requires a high level of determination and patience.

The process begins by finding one or more credit cards that offer a low or zero percent interest rate for balance transfers. Be sure to look for those cards that stretch the introductory rate for a period of six months or more, because the rates will usually revert to a higher rate after the introductory period is over. The longer the low rate can be had, the better deal a given card should be.

Next, gather all of the recent statements from the high interest rate cards, and take the steps needed to transfer those balances onto the new accounts. At this point, some consumers will close the old accounts. Others, however, choose to leave the cards active but make no additional purchases. This tactic can help improve one’s credit scores, and also provides access to emergency credit if needed.

Once the balances have been transferred, the total amount owed will then be subject to a lower interest rate. Consumers can then begin to aggressively pay down the account, and can save a great deal of money on interest charges and fees at the same time. With the right degree of attention and effort, California consumers can address unmanageable debt and avoid excessive interest charges using this method.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Easiest Way to Stop Paying Interest on Credit Card Debt", , July 22, 2014

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