Moving your outstanding credit card debt from one card to another can significantly lower your promotional interest rate. As an individual looking to save money, you can use a balance transfer to move high-interest credit card debt to a card with a lower rate. Typically, balance credit cards come with an 18-month interest free introductory period. However, you need to know that many of these cards involve transfer fees and other conditions. If you violate these cardholder agreements, you could potentially void your low introductory annual percentage rate (APR) and cause penalty charges. On the other hand, when compliant with terms and fees, balance transfer APR boosts financial performance. Read on to learn how to transfer credit card debt for a lower interest rate.
Examine Debt And Credit Score
Before initiating your debt transfer, it is essential to examine your debt and credit score. Balance transfer credit cards benefit individuals with high-interest debt who need to pay it off quickly. You need to look at all of your credit card debts and high-interest loans to see the true value of what you owe. Then, make a list of each debt and its respective APR. In addition, obtain an estimate of your credit score to see if you qualify for a balance transfer card. Usually, most of the best 0% APR credit cards are only available to individuals with good or excellent credit. This tends to apply to consumers with FICO scores of 720 or greater. To lower your interest rate, you first need to examine your debt and credit score.
Choose An Appropriate Balance Card
Once you understand the true value of your debt, choose an appropriate balance card. Based on your current financial situation, choose a balance card that is best suited for your payment and debt circumstances. Most balance credit cards offer an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for a set period of time. Sometimes, these offers can range from 15 to 21 months. However, you may only have a few weeks to transfer your current balance and take advantage of these lower rates. The amount of time varies from offer to offer, so be sure to compare credit provider companies. Additionally, many balance transfer cards charge fees between 3 to 5% of the transfer amount. Therefore, you need to choose an appropriate card to pay off your credit card balance.
Check For Hidden Costs
In addition, it is imperative to check for hidden costs when initiating a balance transfer to lower your APR. First, you should look at the introductory APR compared to the length of time it’s offered. For example, a low rate that is only applicable for a short period of time is not truly a low rate. Transfer fees are another common hidden cost to look out for. Some offers come with a percentage transfer fee that increase your total balance. Moreover, you also need to consider how long it will take you to pay back your debt. Some promotional periods may not cover the amount of time to pay off your debts. Once the promotional period ends, you could be stuck with a much higher APR. Therefore, before you apply for a balance transfer to lower your interest rate, you must check for hidden costs.
Request A Balance Transfer
After you have a thorough understanding of the costs, you can request a balance transfer. To do this, communicate with your credit card issuer and provide details about the balance you are moving. Often, credit card companies have certain rules about the types of debt you can transfer. For instance, transfers to the same credit provider generally are not allowed. Typically, you can request a balance transfer online by logging into your online portal and filling out an application. Be prepared to provide the card issuer name, debt, and account information. You commonly call your issuer to request the transfer as well. To lower your credit interest rate, you need to request a balance transfer.
Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Furthermore, once approved for the transfer, it is essential to pay off your credit card debt. To avoid increased APR, be sure to pay it off before the reduced interest rate expires. It could be tempting to close your credit card from which you transferred the balance. However, you can keep your credit score healthy by leaving the card open and not using it. One strategy to pay off your debt before the low APR expires is to set up an automatic payment plan. You can use a payment calculator to determine how much you need to pay each month to get your balance to $0 before the low rate ends. You can also avoid using either credit card for purchases until you get your balance down. This can prevent you from accumulating more debt. It is critical to pay off your credit card debt before your promotional introductory APR expires.
There are several steps to transfer credit card debt for a lower interest rate. First, it is essential to examine your debt and credit score to understand exactly how much you owe. Next, choose an appropriate balance card based on your financial needs. Then, check that card for hidden costs and transfer fees. In addition, you need to request a balance transfer to begin the process. Furthermore, pay off your credit card debt within the low introductory APR to avoid lingering debt and make the transfer worthwhile. Follow these steps to transfer credit card debt for a lower interest rate.