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Balance Transfer, Pay Down My Debt

The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Digging out of the debt hole can feel frustrating, intimidating and ultimately impossible. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be any of those things if you learn how to take control.

Paying down debt is not only about finding the right financial tools, but also the right psychological ones. You need to understand why you got into debt in the first place. Perhaps it was a medical emergency or a home repair that needed to be taken care of immediately. Maybe you’d already drained your emergency fund on one piece of bad luck when misfortune struck again. Or maybe you’re struggling with a compulsive shopping problem, so paying down debt will likely result in you accumulating more until the addiction is addressed.

Understanding the why and how of your debt isn’t the only reason psychology plays a role in how you should create your debt attack plan.

You also need to understand what motivates you to succeed. Do you want to pay down your debt in the absolute fastest amount of time possible that will save more money or do you want to take some little wins along the way to keep yourself motivated?

The common terms for these debt repayment strategies are:

  • Debt avalanche: starting with the highest interest rate and working your way down, which saves both time and money.
  • Debt snowball: paying off small debts first to get the warm and fuzzies that will motivate you to keep going.

Whichever version you pick needs to set you up to be successful in your debt repayment strategy. Now it’s time to find the proper tools to help you dump that debt for good.

The first step in crafting a debt repayment strategy is to understand what you’re eligible to use. Your credit score will play a big role in whether or not you’ll qualify for products like balance transfers or competitive personal loan offers.

A credit score of less than 600 will make it difficult for you to qualify for a personal loan and will eliminate you from taking on a balance transfer offer.

If you have a credit score above 600, you have a good chance of qualifying for a personal loan at a much lower interest rate than your credit card debt. With new internet-only personal loan companies, you can shop for loans without hurting your score. Click here (you will be taken to the LendingTree site) to get rates from multiple lenders in just a few minutes, without a credit inquiry hurting your score. With a simple, single online form, you can get matched with multiple lenders. People with excellent credit can see APRs below 6%. But even if your credit isn’t perfect, you might be able to find a good loan because LendingTree partners with dozens of lenders. [Disclosure: LendingTree is the parent company of MagnifyMoney.]

If you have a score above 700, you could also qualify for 0% balance transfer offers.

[Click here if you’re looking to rebuild your credit score.]

Not sure what your credit score is? Click here to learn how to find out.

Now let’s talk about the financial tools to add into your debt repayment strategy in order to dig out of the hole.

Let’s say you have $10,000 in credit card debt, and are stuck paying 18% interest on it.

You already know that putting as much spare cash as you can toward paying down your debt is the most important thing to do. But once you’ve done that, so what’s next?

Use your good credit to make banks compete and cut your rates

MagnifyMoney’s Paying Down Debt Guide has easy to follow tips on how to put banks to work for you and get your rates cut.

You could save $1,800 a year in interest and lower your monthly payments based on several of the rates available today. That means you could pay it off almost 20% faster.

Here’s how it works.

Option One: Use a Balance Transfer (or Multiple Balance Transfers)

If you trust yourself to open a new credit card but not spend on it, consider a balance transfer. You may be able to cut your rate with a long 0% intro APR. You need to have a good credit score, and you might not get approved for the full amount that you want to transfer.

Your own bank might not give you a lower rate (or only drop it by a few percent), but there are lots of competing banks that may want to steal the business and give you a better rate.

Our favorite offer is the Chase Slate® credit card. There is a $0 intro balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening and 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. The card charges no annual fee.

Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>

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on Chase’s secure website

If you think it will take longer to pay off your debt, consider Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer, which offers an intro 0% APR for 18 months (with a 3% balance transfer fee).

MagnifyMoney regularly surveys the market to find the best balance transfer credit cards. If you would like to see what other options exist, beyond Chase and Discover, you can start there.

promo-balancetransfer-halfIt also has tips to make sure you do a balance transfer safely. If you follow them you’ll save thousands on your debt by remaining disciplined.

You might be scared of a balance transfer, but there is no faster way to cut your interest payments than taking advantage of the best 0% or low interest deals banks are offering.

Thanks to recent laws, balance transfers aren’t as sneaky as they used to be, and friendlier for helping you cut your debt.

Sometimes the first bank you deal with won’t give you a big enough credit line to handle all your credit card debt. Maybe you’ll get a $5,000 credit line for a 0% deal, but have $10,000 in debt. That’s okay. In that case, apply for the next best balance transfer deal you see. MagnifyMoney’s list of deals makes it easy to sort them.

Banks are okay with you shopping around for more than one deal.

Option Two: Personal Loan

If you never want to see another credit card again, you should consider a personal loan. You can get prequalified at multiple lenders without hurting your credit score, and find the best deal to pay off your debt faster.

Personal loan interest rates are often about 10-20%, but can sometimes be as low as 5-6% if you have very good credit.

Moving from 18% interest on a credit card to 10% on a personal loan is a good deal for you. You’ll also get one set monthly payment, and pay off the whole thing in 3 to 5 years.

Sometimes this may mean a higher monthly payment than you’re used to, but you’re better off putting your cash toward a higher payment with a lower rate.

And you’ll get out of debt months or years faster by leaving more money to pay down the debt itself. If you want to shop for a personal loan, we recommend starting at LendingTree. With a single online form, dozens of lenders will compete for your business. Only a soft credit pull is completed, so your credit score will not be harmed. People with excellent scores can see low APRs (sometimes below 6%). And people with less than perfect scores still have a good chance of finding a lender to approve them. (Note: MagnifyMoney is owned by LendingTree)

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If you don’t want to shop at LendingTree, you can see our list of the best personal loans here.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, Featured, News, Pay Down My Debt

Can a Balance Transfer Hurt Your Credit Score?

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

 

Can a Balance Transfer Hurt Your Credit Score?

When you are carrying a balance on a high-interest credit card, receiving a 0% balance transfer offer can be enticing. After all, shifting the balance from a high-interest credit card to a no-interest card means saving money on interest and paying down the balance faster.

But how will the balance transfer impact your credit score?

First, you should understand three crucial elements that go into determining your credit score: inquiries, credit utilization, and length of credit history.

  • Inquiries – How many new accounts have you opened lately? Whenever you apply for new debt, the lender performs a “hard inquiry” to determine whether they will approve your application. According to FICO, hard inquiries account for about 10% of your credit score.
  • Credit utilization ratio – How much do you owe? Your credit utilization ratio is calculated based on your total outstanding balances compared to your total credit limit. It is calculated both per card and across all of your credit accounts and makes up about 30% of your credit score.
  • Length of credit history – How long have you been using credit? This factor looks at the age of your oldest account as well as the average length of all of your credit accounts. The longer your history, the higher your score. According to FICO, the length of your credit history accounts for about 15% of your credit score.

How balance transfers can hurt your credit score

Balance transfer applications count as a hard credit inquiry

When you open a new account for a balance transfer, the lender will perform a hard inquiry. One hard inquiry is unlikely to have a large impact on your credit score. If you have excellent credit and haven’t applied for a card in the last six months, one hard inquiry may not impact your score at all. Inquiries could have as much as a ten-point impact, but that would be very rare. The typical impact of one hard inquiry is about five points. However, if you apply for several cards at once, the applications could have a big impact.

Balance transfers lower the average length of your credit history

Opening a new credit account will lower the average age of your credit accounts, which can negatively impact your credit score in the short term.

For example, if you have one 5-year-old credit card, one 3-year-old credit card, and one 10-year-old credit card, the average age of your cards is 6 years.

When you open a new credit card for a balance transfer, you now add a less-than-one-year-old account to your balance. At the most, your average credit age will drop down to 4.75 years.

How balance transfers can improve your credit score

All in all, the benefits of balance transfers can far outweigh the negatives.

You will likely lower your utilization rate

Opening new credit accounts decreases your overall credit utilization ratio, which positively affects your credit score over time. For example, if you have one credit card with a $5,000 limit and a $2,500 balance, your credit utilization ratio is 50%. When you open a second account with a $5,000 limit and transfer the $2,500 balance to the new card while leaving the old account open, your total available credit is $10,000 ($5,000 + $5,000), and your outstanding balance is still just $2,500. You’ve reduced your credit utilization rate to 25%.

What happens if the new account’s limit is just $2,500 and you transfer the full $2,500 balance? You’ve still reduced your overall credit utilization ratio. Now you’re using 33% of your available credit ($2,500 / $7,500). However, the negative is that there are still some points taken away if you max out one card. You didn’t have any maxed out cards before, and now you do. Credit scores are very sensitive to people who max out their credit cards as they’re seen as high risk. Maxing out a new card could reduce your credit score by about 30 points in the short term.

You will be paying off debt faster, improving your score dramatically

Where balance transfers get exciting is that more of your money is going to paying off the balance of your debt as opposed to interest. Ultimately, the best credit score comes from carrying as little debt as possible.

Using our previous example of the $2,500 balance on one card, assume that card had a 21% interest rate and you could afford to pay $220 per month toward paying it off. According to MagnifyMoney’s balance transfer calculator, if you did not take advantage of a balance transfer, the card would be paid off in 13 months, and you would pay $309 in interest. If you transferred that balance, even with a 3% balance transfer fee ($75), you could pay off that balance one month sooner and save $234.

In the end, your goal should be to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. Over the course of a year, as long as you stick to your strategy, you can eliminate that debt in a year, and your score will go up a whole lot faster than it otherwise would.

When to avoid balance transfers

The short-term impact of a balance transfer on your credit score should only concern you if you are planning on applying for a mortgage in the next six to nine months. During this period, every point on your score counts. Just a 0.2% difference in your interest rate can cost a ton of money over the life of your mortgage. In that case, wait until after you get the mortgage to do the balance transfer.

The bottom line

People are so programmed to think about their score that they sometimes lose sight of what they want the high score for. A higher score saves you money and gets you out of debt faster. Don’t focus on short-term fluctuations of 10 to 20 points. Use your good credit score to save money. That’s what it’s there for.

Janet Berry-Johnson
Janet Berry-Johnson |

Janet Berry-Johnson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Janet here

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Balance Transfer, Reviews

BankAmericard® Review: 0% APR on Balance Transfers for 15 Months

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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If you’re looking for a credit card with a balance transfer deal that goes beyond a year, the BankAmericard® Credit Card is one to think about adding to your wallet. The BankAmericard offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months. After the balance transfer period ends, this card also has the lowest standard APR available of all the BankAmericard products. However, there are a few nuances to this deal you should be aware of before you sign on the dotted line.

In this BankAmericard® Credit Card review we’ll cover:

  • The BankAmericard® Credit Card basics
  • How to save the most from the balance transfer deal
  • The BankAmericard fine print, benefits and protections
  • The pros and cons

All You Need to Know About the BankAmericard® Credit Card

  1. 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months.

If you transfer balances to your BankAmericard within 60 days of opening an account, you’ll get 0% APR on those balances for 15 billing cycles. Purchases will also benefit from the same intro period.

  1. After the intro period, the standard interest rate of 12.99% – 22.99% APR applies to new purchases.

Once the 0% intro period is over, you will be charged an APR of 12.99% – 22.99% APR on all new purchases and balances.

  1. There’s a $0 intro transfer fee (for transfers made within 60 days of opening your account).

The $0 intro transfer fee applies to balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10)

How to Save the Most from a BankAmericard Balance Transfer

For a 0% APR balance transfer intro deal with a fee to be worthwhile, the interest you’ll save after transferring debt from a high-interest card must justify the fee.

Here’s a quick example:

If you have $3,000 in debt on a credit card with 20% APR, a monthly payment of $200 over 15 months will cost you about $457 in interest.

If you transfer this $3,000 balance to a new BankAmericard® Credit Card you’ll enjoy no interest for 15 months. In this scenario, a balance transfer with the BankAmericard® Credit Card will likely be worthwhile since it’ll save you nearly $457 in interest.

The second factor that will impact your interest savings from this balance transfer is whether or not you make new purchases with the card. Swiping the card while repaying your debt can easily get you off track. Remember, your mission is to pay off the balance within 15 months. If you decide to go with the BankAmericard® Credit Card for a balance transfer, tuck the card in the back of a drawer to avoid temptation.

(To find out more about how to get the most value from a balance transfer card, check out this post.)

BankAmericard® Credit Card

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on Bank Of America’s secure website

The Fine Print

When it comes to fees, the BankAmericard® Credit Card has relatively standard terms. The fee for foreign transactions and check cash advances is 3%. If you request a cash advance at an ATM or over-the-counter, the fee is 5%. The late fee is up to $37 and returned payment fee up to $27.

One red flag to be aware of is penalty APR. If you make a late payment, penalty APR of 29.99% APR may be applied to new transactions on your account. And when penalty APR is assigned to an account, it is assigned indefinitely.

BankAmericard® Credit Card Benefits and Protections

Besides the 0% APR intro rate on balance transfers for 15 months, there are other perks of using the BankAmericard® Credit Card, including the following:

Fraud Liability

The $0 Liability Guarantee will cover fraud transactions to your account. Bank of America will also block unusual activity and reach out to verify charges that seem suspicious.

Overdraft Protection

If you already bank with Bank of America, you can link your deposit accounts to your credit card account to avoid an overdraft, although fees will apply. Overdraft protection transfers funds into your account from your credit card in increments of $100. The fee for each transaction is $12.

Digital Wallet & Chip Technology

With Bank of America digital wallet, you can sink your credit card to Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay to make in-store or in-app purchases. For added security, the card has chip technology data encryption.

Mobile Bank, Account Alerts and Text Banking

Bank of America makes it easy to manage your credit card account. You can set up alerts to notify you of your credit card balance changes and when payments are due. Instead of logging into your account, you can also send text messages to get account information.

Pros and Cons

Pro: 0% APR for 15 months. You have over a year to pay off your debt aggressively without interest. This is a good length of time. Its main rivals are the Santander Sphere offering 24 months interest-free and Citi Simplicity offering 21 months interest-free.

Pro: The intro balance transfer fee. You can save with a $0 intro balance transfer fee on balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).

Pro: There’s no annual fee. If you pay your bills on time and avoid extras like cash advances, international transactions or overdraft protection, this card won’t cost you any money after you transfer balances.

Pro: The Bank of America perks. Major banks come with some major conveniences. The Bank of America app and website make it easy to manage your account. Fraud coverage and data encryption are also features that can keep your money safe.

Con: No rewards. There is no rewards program with this card. This isn’t a major con since your goal is to get out of debt and you don’t want to accrue more by spending out of your means just to earn rewards.

Who Will Benefit Most from the BankAmericard® Credit Card?

If you’re already a Bank of America account holder, the BankAmericard® Credit Card has a leg up on competitors because of convenience. You can connect your existing accounts to the card. If you’re not a customer of Bank of America, you can still benefit from the balance transfer since the card gives you an entire year and a half to chip away at your debt. Even after you pay off the balance transfer, the interest rate starting point for new purchases is competitive.

Whether you’re new to Bank of America or a faithful customer, when using the BankAmericard® Credit Card for a balance transfer commit to paying off your entire balance without new transactions to get the most from the promotion.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer

How to do a Balance Transfer with Bank of America

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Black woman using credit card and laptop

So, you have been approved for a balance transfer. Congratulations – there is no better way to save money and get out of debt faster. Just make sure you complete the transfer as soon as you receive your card in the mail and never more than 60 days after you apply, because you can lose the introductory offer.

Completing a balance transfer is easy. You can do it on the phone or online, and it should only take a few minutes.

What You Need

You will need the account number and balance of the credit card that has the debt.  These cards will be referred to as the “transfer from” account. If you have a $3,000 balance at Discover, and you want to transfer it to your new Barclaycard account, then you will need the account number and balance of the Discover account.  And, in this example:

  • The transfer from account is Discover.
  • The transfer to account is Bank of America.

Once you have that information, you are ready to go.

Call

You can call the customer service number on the back of your credit card, and they will be more than happy to help you complete the balance transfer. The phone representative will go through security checks and then ask for the credit card number and amount of debt that you want to transfer. Call center employees often receive a bonus to complete a balance transfer, so you will usually find a very eager person on the other side of the telephone line.

The bank makes the payment to your credit card for you.  If you are close to your due date, I recommend making the minimum payment to your card to ensure that you do not have any late fees. The payment (in this example, from Barclaycard to Discover), can take up to 3 weeks. It is usually faster, but you should not take any chances and want to avoid being hit with a late fee.

Online

Most banks make it easy to complete a balance transfer online. Once you receive your credit card, you will need to sign up for online banking. Below, we will show you how to complete an online balance transfer with Barclaycard. Click on these names if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide for: Discover, Capital OneChase or Barclaycard.

Step 1

Login to your account go to “Transfers” and select “For credit card balance transfers”.

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Step 2

Select which account you’d like to use.

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Step 3

Select an offer. You should see the introductory offer listed.

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Step 4

  • The account number of the credit card that has your debt right now.  This is the account number of the transfer from account.
  • The amount that you want to transfer

Most banks have a limit on the total amount that you can transfer.

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Step 5

You will then be shown the terms and conditions of the balance transfer offer, which you will need to accept.

Here are the most important items:

  • Make sure the terms of the balance transfer match the terms of the offer when you applied. If you are expecting a 0% fee and a 0% interest rate for 15 months, make sure that is what you see. If there are any issues, call the bank directly.
  • Make sure you pay on time.  If you go 60 days late, you will lose your balance transfer offer

Step 6

You will then receive your confirmation.  Bank of America will pay your existing credit card bill to roll the debt over to their bank.  But, it can take up to 3 weeks.  So, we recommend that you make the minimum payment if your bill is due in the next 3 weeks.

Remember

  1. Make sure you pay on time.  Paying late (60 days) can lead to a loss of your 0% interest rate.  And it would go to the penalty rate.
  2. Take full advantage of the balance transfer period to pay down as much of your debt as possible.
Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at brian@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, Pay Down My Debt

How to Use a Balance Transfer Check to Deposit Funds into Your Bank Account

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Pretty Young Multiethnic Woman Holding Phone and Credit Card Using Laptop.

If you’re struggling to pay debt on a high-interest credit card, you’ve probably considered using a balance transfer check.

A balance transfer is when you take a balance from Credit Card A with a high interest rate and transfer it to Credit Card B, which is offering a low or 0% APR promotional period. And your credit card company might send you checks in the mail to transfer a balance.

What is a Balance Transfer Check?

A balance transfer check is like a typical check except it’s issued by your credit card company and used to withdraw cash from your credit line. You can write out a check directly to the company that has the debt you want to pay off. Or you can write a balance transfer check payable to yourself for a cash deposit.

Here’s an example. Say you open up a balance transfer card with a $15,000 credit line and you want to pay off the last $5,000 of your student loan. You make out a balance transfer check of $5,000 payable to yourself.

Once you get the cash in your bank account, you pay off the student loan with your balance transfer. Then you enjoy an interest-free period on the $5,000 balance that’s now sitting on the balance transfer card.

The Good and Bad of the Balance Transfer Check

Besides using the balance transfer check to pay off debt, you may able to use it to obtain cold-hard cash. In this scenario, you would keep some of the cash or all of it instead of using it to repay a debt. This isn’t a good idea if you’re deep in debt. It’s not free money and you’ll eventually owe interest on it.

Some balance transfer checks have a fee of 3% to 5% per transfer, however, these fees are often much less than you’d pay in interest at existing rates. You’re also required to transfer a balance within a certain timeframe typically within 60 days for it to qualify for the deal.

You can avoid a 3% (or 5%) balance transfer by opening a new credit card that has a special intro offer waiving the balance transfer fee. Our favorite offer comes with the Chase Slate® credit card. There is a $0 intro balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening and 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. The card charges no annual fee. You can learn more and apply for the card on Chase's website. Just remember: you can only use a balance transfer to pay off other credit card debt. If you are looking for cash, this is not the best option.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when using a balance transfer check.

First, not all credit card companies offer balance transfer checks as a way to transfer money. If your sole reason for signing up for a balance transfer card is using a balance transfer check, you need to read through the terms or reach out to the credit card company to make sure it’s an option. Otherwise, you could end up with a balance transfer card promotion that serves no purpose.

Even if you do happen to find a credit card company that offers balance transfer checks, verify that the process of obtaining a balance transfer check will happen quickly. As mentioned above, balance transfer deals usually have a deadline. If you transfer a debt after the deadline, it won’t qualify for the promotion.

Try to pay off the balance before the end of the promotional period, especially on debts like student loans. If you use a balance transfer to pay off a student loan debt at 8%, then dropping to 0% sounds great. But if you have a lingering balance of say $1,000 after the promotional period is up, your debt has gone from a high of 8% to probably 18%! Be sure you have an actionable and realistic plan to pay off the debt before using your balance transfer.

Beware of the Cash Advance APR

If you receive a check in the mail from your credit card company, just make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully. Most of the time, credit card companies will only send checks that have 0% promotional APRs, or low rate promotional APRs.

This is a much better path than taking out a cash advance on a credit card. With a cash advance, most credit card companies will charge an up-front fee and there is no grace period. Even worse, most cash advance APRs are much higher than purchase APRs (although you should check with your card issuer).

In general, a check offered by your credit card company will be a much better deal than a standard cash advance.

Final Word

We can’t stress enough the importance of making sure a credit card company offers balance transfer checks if that’s the method you want to use. For the most part, transferring a debt from one credit card to another online is the most convenient way to take advantage of a balance transfer special which is something to consider.

If you plan to use a credit card check to increase your bank account balance, it may cost you. Do your homework before hastily writing out a check from your credit card company.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, Building Credit

How a Balance Transfer Affects Your Credit Score

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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A balance transfer is an extremely effective way to cut down the amount of interest you pay on your debt. Applying for a balance transfer does require a hard inquiry on your credit, which is likely to impact your credit score.

But there’s no reason to freak out.

How Your Score Will Be Affected

According to FICO, a hard inquiry on your credit results in a score drop of about five points or less. Then, after a few months of appropriately using your credit by paying your debts on time, you’re likely to see your score bounce back up.

In fact, you may even see your score increase. This is because while new credit makes up 10% of your credit score, the amount you owe accounts for 30%. A huge component of the amounts you owe isn’t necessarily dependent on the actual dollar amount, but rather on your credit utilization ratio. To find this ratio, you divide how much you owe by your total available credit limit (across all cards).

Let’s say you had $7,500 in credit card debt, and it was your only debt. You only have one credit card with a $10,000 limit. You applied for another card that was offering you a reduced interest rate to entice you to do a balance transfer, and you took it. That card gave you an additional credit line of $5,000.

There was a 3% fee to transfer the $7,500, so now your total debt is $7,725. Where your credit utilization used to be 75%, now it is only 52%. You may owe a bit more money, but since your credit utilization went down, you’re likely to see your credit score jump up a little bit. The $225 extra will probably end up saving you money, but let’s walk through how.

How a Balance Transfer Can Save You Money

The fact that you now owe an additional $225 may make you cringe, but in all reality, the balance transfer will save you money long-term. In this example, you were offered an introductory interest rate of 0% for 18 months and then 15% APR after the promotional period ends. You currently pay 18% APR on your $7,500 debt and make monthly payments of $200.

If you don’t take the balance transfer and make the $200 monthly payment, it will take you 56 months and cost $3,604 in interest to get debt free.

If you take the balance transfer and make the same $200 monthly payment, you could be debt free in 43 months and only pay $900 in both interest and fees (that $225 to transfer the balance). You could even transfer the balance at the end of your first promotional period to another 0% APR offer with no fee for 15 months and be debt free in 40 months and pay $423 in interest and fees.

That initial hit on your credit score and $225 fee will save you $2,704 in interest with one balance transfer or $3,181 with multiple balance transfers.

Well worth the price.

When You Might Want to Wait

If you credit score falls below the “good” range, which would mean your score is below 680, it may be wise to wait before applying for a balance transfer. Financial institutions generally will not accept your application if you’re at 679 or below, but they will have to complete the hard inquiry in order to get that information. That means your score is still likely to drop, but you won’t be seeing any of the rewards of decreased credit utilization.

If you’re close to the cutoff, waiting until you hit that magic 680 number may be a good idea. While you’re waiting, be sure to do things that are likely to improve your score, like:

  • Paying at least your minimum payments on time every month.
  • Paying all your other bills on time so nothing delinquent pops up on your credit report.

As you pay your minimum payments on time every month, your creditor likely be reporting positive information to the credit reporting agencies.  At the very least, they won’t be reporting negative information.

If you make more than the minimum payment, your balance will go down faster which will lower your credit utilization, and we’ve already seen how that positively affects your score.

After your score increases, you’ll be more likely to qualify for the balance transfer with low or no interest rates. At that point, taking the small hit will be worth it.

Another time you may want to wait before applying for a balance transfer is if you are thinking about taking out a mortgage in the near future. This is one of the biggest purchases you’re likely to make in your life. The higher your credit score when you apply, the lower your interest rates will be, so even a small hit from a hard inquiry could increase your interest rates.

Go For It

If you qualify and are not thinking about making a massive purchase in the near future, taking the temporary, small hit on your credit score is more than likely worth the savings. Just be sure to pay at least the minimum due every month once you’ve made the balance transfer; otherwise your interest rates will jump back up, negating the advantage of this strategy.

A good credit score is something to be leveraged. The entire reason you want one is to enable you to save money. While it might be nerve-wracking to watch it decrease slightly, paying more interest than you have to is a bigger cause for concern.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne at brynne@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, Earning Cashback, Reviews

Chase Freedom or Chase Slate: How Do You Know Which to Pick?

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Chase Freedom or Chase Slate

Are you looking for your next credit card? If so, one of the companies you may have considered is Chase. Two of the most popular products offered by Chase are the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Slate® credit cards. If you are wondering which card, Chase Freedom® or Chase Slate®, will best meet your needs, read on to see our head to head review.

Chase Slate®

Chase Slate® is a great credit card for balance transfers. Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free. Just make sure you get the balance transfer done within 60 days of opening the account. This offer can help you pay off your debt efficiently as your full payment will go towards the principal balance.

There is no penalty APR for paying late. However, other terms apply, like paying a late fee if you miss the payment deadline.

That may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t as long as you follow 3 rules:

  • Complete your balance transfer within 60 days of opening your account. Transfers made after 60 days will be subject to standard balance transfer fees.
  • Pay your bill on time every month. If you are one day late with your payment, you will be subject to a late fee.
  • Transfer debt from another bank. The intro 0% APR is not applicable to debt transferred from another Chase credit card, including co-brand credit cards issued by Chase like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and more.
Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>

LEARN MORE Secured

on Chase’s secure website

Chase Freedom®

Once you are at a point in your financial journey that you can trust yourself to use credit wisely in order to take advantage of credit card rewards, then Chase Freedom® is a strong contender.

Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

You also have to enroll online to activate the 5% cash back categories. If you forget to activate them, you will only earn the standard 1% cash back, even if you make purchases within the bonus categories of the current quarter. The good news is that you have a grace period of 2 months to get enrolled in the bonus categories each quarter, so you can earn 5% cash back on purchases in the bonus categories even if you didn’t remember to enroll right away.

Rewards are earned as points in part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® system, which you can then redeem for cash back as a statement credit, gift cards, travel, and more through your online account.

Chase Freedom<sup>®</sup>

LEARN MORE Secured

on Chase’s secure website

Pros and Cons

Chase Slate®

  • Pro: Balance transfer is a highly competitive offer.
  • Con: You can only transfer debt from cards not owned by Chase. Chase is a large bank, so some of your debt may already be held at Chase Bank even if you were not aware of it.
  • Pro: Interest charged during month 16 is charged going forward, not retroactively.
  • Con: Interest rates after the promotional period are 15.99% – 24.74% variable depending on your credit score.

Chase Freedom®

  • Pro: Bonus categories offer the opportunity to earn some serious cash back.
  • Con: You must actively opt in to the bonus cash back, currently 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases.
  • Pro: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it’s automatic.

When to Use Each Card

Chase Freedom® and Chase Slate® are not cards that will likely be used by the same target customer. The Chase Slate® card is a great tool to use if you are trying to get out of debt because you’ll be able to focus on paying off your principal balance instead of paying high interest rates. Just be sure to make your payments on time and pay as much above the minimum due as you can afford.

Another balance transfer option to consider besides the Chase Slate® credit card is the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever credit card. The Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever credit card offers a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. However, there is a 3% balance transfer fee on the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever credit card.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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on Citibank’s secure website

Chase Freedom® is a rewards card that may make sense to have in your wallet if you are able to use credit responsibly. However, you might want to consider a flat rate cash back card, like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1% cash back upfront and another 1% cash back when you pay off the bill, which is double the cash back of the Chase Freedom® outside of the 5% cash back bonus categories.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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on Citibank’s secure website

Which card you use, Chase Freedom® or Chase Slate®, depends on your personal financial situation and your goals. If your goal is to pay off debt, Chase Slate® is the way to go out of the two, but if you are interested in earning rewards for your everyday spending, Chase Freedom® may be right up your alley.

Kayla Sloan
Kayla Sloan |

Kayla Sloan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kayla at Kayla@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, Reviews

Chase Slate or Citi Simplicity: Which Balance Transfer Should You Pick?

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Chase Slate or Citi Simplicity

Credit cards can be a great financial tool – if you know how to use them properly. But if you’ve found yourself in credit card debt, that may be hard to believe.

One way to help you pay off your credit card debt efficiently is with a balance transfer. A balance transfer can allow you to move debt from one credit card to another to obtain a much lower interest rate so more of your money payment is going toward paying off the principal balance of your debt instead of those pesky interest charges.

In order to take advantage of a balance transfer to save the most money and help you get out of debt as fast as possible, you may have to open up a new credit card. Yep, you heard right. Sometimes opening up a new credit card can save you money. That’s because some credit cards offer great promotional deals for balance transfers with 0% interest rates for a period of time so you can pay off your debt faster.

Once you’ve come to that conclusion, the far more challenging decision is which credit card to apply for so you can get the best deal possible. Choosing one of out hundreds of offers can be tricky.

Two popular cards are Chase Slate® and Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever. But which one is a better fit for you?

Let’s dive in and take a look with a head-to-head review of these popular credit cards.

Chase Slate®

Chase Slate® is a great credit card for balance transfers. Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free.

There is no penalty APR for paying late. However, other terms apply, like paying a late fee if you miss the payment deadline.

Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>

APPLY NOW Secured

on Chase’s secure website


Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever is another popular balance transfer credit card choice. This card offers a 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers and new purchases, which offers a notably 0% duration difference to Chase Slate® card. After the promotional period ends, your APR will be between 13.49% and 23.49%.

However, the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever does charge a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. This is not waived for a certain time period for new customers, and the balance transfer option with 0% interest for 21 months is only available to new card members on balance transfers made within 4 months of opening their account.

Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever has no annual fee and also promises not to charge a penalty interest rate on late payments. It also does not charge late fees.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Pros and Cons

Now that you’ve seen an overview of each card, let’s sum up some of the pros and cons of each as a balance transfer credit card to help you pay off debt.

Chase Slate®

  • Pro: You can save a lot with the balance transfer. Credit card interest rates are high. By taking advantage of Chase Slate®, you could significantly reduce your interest expense.
  • Pro: No penalty APR for a late payment.
  • Con: There is a late payment fee, so make sure you pay on time.
  • Con: You can only transfer balances from non-Chase banks. You cannot transfer debt from another Chase credit card or from a co-brand, like Southwest Airlines or United Airlines.

Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever

  • Pro: 0% intro APR on balance transfers and new purchases for 21 months. After 21 months, interest is charged going forward, but you will not be charged deferred interest. This is longer 0% period than the Chase Slate®.
  • Con: Interest rate after 21 months will be high.
  • Pro: No penalty APR or fee on late payments.
  • Con: 3% balance transfer fee from account opening which is relatively common for similar balance transfer offers.
  • Pro: No annual fee.
  • Con: 0% promotion expires. Balance transfers must be made within 4 months to qualify for the 0% interest promotion. So don’t delay in moving any debts over once you’re approved.

When to Consider Each Card

Obviously both of these cards can be useful if you are trying to transfer your credit card debt to save on interest and pay off your balance faster. However, which card you choose comes down to doing a little math and considering your personal circumstances.

On one hand, the Chase Slate® card offers a $0 intro balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days, which makes it an attractive option if you hate paying fees. However, it charges a fee for late payments, unlike the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever. This fee can add up quickly if you are notorious for paying your bills late and may more than make up for the 3% balance transfer fee charged by the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever.

Another consideration is how much debt you plan to transfer. You want to make sure you can pay off your transferred balance in full before the promotion expires to avoid paying interest charges. The Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever is popular because it offers such a long promotional period in which you’ll be paying no interest. But once again, you need to consider how much it will cost you to transfer your debt with its 3% balance transfer fee.

Finally, if the debt you are wanting to pay off is on a Chase card already or held at a co-brand, like Southwest Airlines or United Airlines, you won’t be able to transfer the balance onto the Chase Slate® card to save on interest. In this case, the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever card clearly wins out.

Neither card charges an annual fee, which works in your favor.

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either card as long as you are using them to save money on interest and pay off your debt. It’s all about personal preference and your debt situation.

Other Balance Transfer Options

There are a lot of other balance transfer credit cards to consider. In fact, we’ve put together a list of credit cards that offer great balance transfer options, which you can check out here.

One that made the list is the BankAmericard Visa, which offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months. Like the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever card, the transfer fee on this card is 3%. You must also make your balance transfer within 60 days of account opening.

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Apply Now Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

 

Feel overwhelmed with how to get started? Check out our guides for how to complete a balance transfer here.

Kayla Sloan
Kayla Sloan |

Kayla Sloan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kayla at Kayla@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, Reviews

Review: BankAmericard Visa 0% for 18 months Balance Transfer

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

review-cc-full

Need to take control of your credit card debt? Try a balance transfer. It’s a great way to get a majority, if not all, of your payments to actually be applied to the principal balance. An interest-free introductory promotional offer can give you the head start you need to crush debt for good.

Although there are a few things to think about before making a transfer, like if you plan to use the new credit card to make purchases. Not all deals include new purchases in the 0% APR promo, so to make the most of a balance transfer you should avoid swiping the card altogether. Instead focus your energy on paying off debt.

The BankAmericard Visa is one of many cards that offer a balance transfer deal with a promotional interest rate, which excludes new spending. You may want to consider it if you already use Bank of America, but you’re moving money over from a non-Bank of America credit card.

The BankAmericard Visa Balance Transfer Offer

The BankAmericard Visa offers a 0% APR promo deal on balance transfers for 18 months. Out of all the BankAmericards, this one has the lowest standard interest at 10.99% to 20.99% APR. Ultimately, how much interest you qualify for depends on your credit score and history. Again, standard interest applies to new purchases and not 0% APR. This means if you transfer a balance to this card you shouldn’t use it for purchases in order to take full advantage of the promo.

The BankAmericard comes with chip technology for security when you travel. There’s also ShopSafe for online shopping protection and a $0 Liability Guarantee for fraud. When you become a cardholder, you can sign up for the entire suite of Bank of America services like spending alerts, mobile banking and text banking.

You can also attach your credit card to your Bank of America checking account to protect yourself from overdraft. Transfer charges may apply if you use overdraft protection and we’ll touch more on that in the next section.

Fees and Gotchas

There’s no annual fee. The balance transfer fee is 3%. You need to make balance transfers within 60 days to qualify for the deal. If you enroll in overdraft protection, there’s a $12 per transaction fee if your checking account overdraft is more than $12. Interest for the cash advance to cover overdraft is 24.99% APR. Basically, don’t link this for overdraft protection unless it’s your last resort and you have absolutely no savings. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.

The late fee is up to $38 and the returned payment fee is up to $27. You’re given a 25-day grace period from the bill closing date to make payment. Penalty APR can be up to 29.99% depending on creditworthiness and it can go into effect if you make a late payment. Once applied, penalty APR will remain indefinitely.

Pros and Cons

Pros

This card has a long promo period, which is useful if you need to pay off a sizeable amount of debt. Over a year of no interest saves you money while you attack the principal balance directly. And the standard interest is still competitive even when the promo period ends. Convenience is a benefit if you’re already a Bank of America account holder because you can manage accounts on one dashboard.

Cons

The BankAmericard Visa balance transfer is straightforward with no frills, yet there’s fine print. Sure connecting the credit card to your checking account for overdraft is a perk, but it’s also costly if you have to use it. The transfer fees and high interest on the advance can quickly add up. In addition, this card charges a balance transfer fee when other deals don’t have one. And if you need a longer balance transfer there are other cards available.

BankAmericard® Credit Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

BankAmericard Against the Competition

Let’s compare the BankAmericard balance transfer to the Chase Slate® and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases cards.

It’s hard for deals to compete with Chase Slate®. You can save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days, and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers all for a $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free.

Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>

APPLY NOW Secured

on Chase’s secure website

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases offers a 21-month promotion with 0% interest for new purchases and balance transfers as well. The balance transfer fee is 3%, just like BankAmericard, but you get three more months of 0% APR. This card also has no annual fee.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Who Will Benefit the Most From This Card

Consider this card if you already have an account with Bank of America. It’s convenient to access all of your accounts in one place and you can fall back on overdraft protection if you’re in a real bind. But, it’s a little heavy on the fine print and if you want to transfer your balance with introductory 0% APR and intro no balance transfer fee, Chase Slate® is the way to go. You can also find other 0% with no fee offers here.

promo balancetransfer wide

 

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Balance Transfer, College Students and Recent Grads, Pay Down My Debt

Guide to Paying off a Student Loan With a Balance Transfer

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Pretty Young Multiethnic Woman Holding Phone and Credit Card Using Laptop.

Do you have a loan with a high interest rate you’re trying to pay off? Is it frustrating you to see so much of your monthly payment going toward interest instead of principal?

If you’ve been looking for solutions, chances are you’ve come across 0% interest balance transfer offers from credit card companies. What you might not be aware of is that you can use these offers to pay off personal loans and student loans – not just other credit card debt.

How a Balance Transfer Works

Is the concept of a balance transfer new to you? Here’s a quick example of what it looks like:

You have a $2,000 balance on Credit Card A with a 15% APR. You get a 0% APR balance transfer offer from Credit Card Company B.

You can transfer the $2,000 from Credit Card A onto Credit Card B (you may incur a balance transfer fee, depending on the offer), and pay 0% APR for a select period of time instead of the 15% APR you were paying.

Note that you’re not actually completely paying off your debt. The balance from Credit Card A might be paid off (thanks to Credit Card B), but you’re still on the hook for repaying the $2,000 you transferred to Credit Card B. Balance transfers simply mean you’re shuffling your debt around to a lower interest rate in order to pay it down faster, not eliminating it with the move.

Many credit cards offer 0% APR periods from 12 to 18 months, with some even over 20 months. Why bother with a balance transfer? You’re saving money because you’re paying less interest. With a 0% APR, your payments go directly toward the principal of the balance.

There is one catch, though – you must be able to pay off the balance by the time the 0% APR promotion expires.

We used credit cards in this example, but the same holds true for other loans. If you have a personal or student loan, you can transfer that debt to a credit card with 0% interest while paying off your original personal or student loan. Let’s take a look at how this is possible.

How to Pay Off a Loan With a Balance Transfer

Before you consider using this strategy, you should have a decent credit score; at least 700 and above. People who have been completely responsible with credit in the past (they haven’t missed any payments, and can afford to pay extra) would be the best candidates for this strategy. They simply have debt that’s costing them too much.

You can use a variety of methods to transfer a balance: you can call the credit card company offering the 0% APR promotion and inquire about it; you can log onto your account online if you already have a card with an offer; or you can use a balance transfer check that was mailed to you to write a check to yourself, and receive the funds in your bank.

Just beware, if you log into your account for an offer, it likely won’t be the most competitive option on the market. Instead of getting 0%, you might get 5% APR or something similar. The best offers come when you actually move your debt from one bank to another.

Warning before you proceed. Different lenders have different policies on whether or not you can pay using a credit card. Check with your lender first to see what payment options are available to you. A balance transfer check may be the only option for you.

Calling a credit card company may be the best idea as you can ask the representative questions about fees and the overall process. You can also attempt to negotiate the balance transfer fee. That might sound a little crazy, but Sandy Smith of Yes I am Cheap has successfully negotiated her balance transfer fee down a few times and highly recommends others do the same. You have nothing to lose by asking.

Stephanie from Six Figures Under used this strategy to pay off student loan debt as well, and recommends calling and asking for a better rate if you’re unable to receive a 0% APR offer (some credit card companies offer 1% – 2%).

What happens after you write a balance transfer check? Once the check is cashed, the balance is drawn from your credit card. If you have a limit of $10,000 on your credit card, and you write a check for $5,000, you’ll then owe $5,000 on your card. It’s very similar to a “traditional” balance transfer.

In some cases, you may be able to call a representative from the credit card company and give them the loan account information. They can then initiate the pay off and transfer on their end, with the same result of your credit line being drawn upon.

Please be wary of using balance transfer checks as there can be a lot of hoops to jump through. Some credit card companies won’t send you balance transfer checks, even if you call and request them, until months after you’ve been approved for the card. Unfortunately, balance transfer offers typically expire after 60 days, so this might not work out.

Others have had trouble cashing the checks. If you’re considering using a balance transfer check, read the fine print to make sure the math works in your favor, as some have higher balance transfer fees than credit cards.

When Should You Consider a Balance Transfer?

There are many factors to take into consideration. Besides being able to pay off the balance in full before the 0% APR rate expires (which will require a large monthly payment in some situations – be sure you can afford it), you have to see if you’re actually saving money. 0% interest sounds great, but if you’re paying off student loans, you should be aware the interest you pay on them is tax deductible.

To compare whether or not you’re saving money, consider the balance transfer fees you’ll have to pay, the amount of interest you’ll be able to deduct on your taxes (if applicable), or the amount of money you’ll be saving by transferring. Is it worth it?

For example, let’s say you have a $10,000 balance with a 6.8% APR and you have 5 years left on the loan. Your monthly payment is currently $197.07. You’ll pay a total of $11,824.20 over those 5 years.

If you were to transfer this loan to a 0% APR credit card with a promotional period of 18 months, you’d be paying $558.33 per month, saving you $1,774.18 in interest (paying nearly $10,050 total). This is assuming balance transfer fees cap out at $50 – each credit card is different.

You need to be very disciplined in making your payments. Your current loan is likely an installment loan, which means a set amount is due every month to pay off the loan in a certain period of time.

Credit cards are revolving, which means it will take you longer to pay off your balance if you only pay the minimum each month as interest continues to accrue. Obviously, this is the perk of the 0% APR balance transfer; all your money is paying down principal. Know what you need to pay each month to pay off the balance in full before the introductory 0% APR expires!

What to Watch Out for in the Process

Balance transfers might sound like a great solution, but they are not for everyone. We mentioned this before, but you should only consider doing this if you know without a doubt that you can pay off the balance in full by the end of the 0% APR period.

Why? Credit cards still have very high interest rates. If you don’t pay off the balance, then you’ll start accruing interest at the regular APR for your credit card. These can be as high as 11% to 15% – not what you want to deal with, especially if your original loan had a lower APR.

Also, depending on the card, if you miss a payment, your 0% APR may expire as a penalty. It’s extremely important to keep on top of your payments.

[Balance Transfer Traps to Avoid]

You should only be using this strategy if getting out of debt – for good – is your goal.

The other thing you must watch out for is the terms of the balance transfer, especially if you’re using a balance transfer check. Do not confuse a balance transfer offer with a cash advance offer. There are times credit card companies will send out blank checks for both in the same envelope. You have to read the fine print on the check. The last thing you want to do is take out a cash advance because those have higher rates.

You also need to watch out for balance transfer fees (typically around 3% of the balance you wish to transfer), which may be capped at a certain dollar amount. You should do the math before deciding a balance transfer is right for you.

Lastly, we want to repeat that this strategy is not for everyone, especially for those who haven’t been responsible with credit in the past. You should not add any additional debt onto this balance transfer card – you should only use it to transfer your existing debt. Otherwise, the balance will be more difficult to pay off.

Credit card companies bet on this happening, which is why they’re able to offer the 0% APR balance transfer in the first place – they make money off of the offers. Keep in mind that on most cards, new purchases aren’t covered under the 0% APR offer – they accrue at regular (high) rates. Read the fine print!

Parting Advice

Using a balance transfer check is one way to get around not being able to pay off a student or personal loan with a credit card, but you must be 100% aware of the terms and how the math works.

Don’t be afraid to call up the credit card company presenting you with the 0% APR offer to get clarification on what is or isn’t allowed with the balance transfer. If your credit isn’t sufficient, you may not be approved for a credit line that will allow you to transfer over all your debt. You may only be able to transfer over a portion.

If getting out of debt quickly is your goal, and you don’t qualify for a balance transfer (or a check won’t work out for you), then consider making extra payments on your debt. You’ll still save on interest, and you won’t have to worry about fees or having your payments denied.

promo-balancetransfer-wide

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erinm@magnifymoney.com

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