Considating credit cards

Most issuers charge a balance transfer fee of around 3%, and some also charge an annual fee.

Before you choose a card, calculate whether the interest you save over time will wipe out the cost of the fee.

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Most will give you a rate without a “hard inquiry” on your credit, unlike many banks and credit unions.

For online lenders, the lowest rates go to those with the best credit; rates top out at 36%.

You can also consolidate your credit card debt by taking out a personal or consolidation loan to pay off your credit card balances.

Again, be careful to check the interest rate and terms and conditions to make sure you won’t be adding to your debt, or paying it back over a much longer period of time.

And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free. Ideally, that new debt has a lower interest rate than your existing debt, making payments more manageable or the payoff period shorter.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. " Debt consolidation is a strategy to roll multiple old debts into a single new one.

We’re on your side, even if it means we don’t make a cent.

The option that best suits you depends on your overall debt load, credit score and history, available cash and other aspects of your financial situation, as well as your self-discipline.

That means you’ll need to pay more than the minimum payment due to reduce the principal and make a dent in your overall debt.

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