Keeping track of your finances can often be a difficult thing to do. If you’ve got several credit cards then knowing how much you owe to each creditor and remembering when your payments are due can get tricky. Also, if you are finding it increasingly difficult to meet your monthly payment demands because of unrealistic interest charges on more than one card, then falling behind in your finances could become a problem. If you’re experiencing any of these issues or having any similar problems with multiple credit card debt then a balance transfer credit card could be a fantastic way for you to manage your finances in a simple way.
A balance transfer credit card gives you a way to consolidate all of your existing credit card debts onto one credit card. You then make your monthly payments on just this one card which makes the whole process of paying your bills much easier then attempting to juggle several. Additionally, you will then only be paying interest on one lump sum which will usually be lower than many cards combined. Also, bear in mind that balance transfers aren’t just for those with more than one credit card, even if you just have the one card and want to move from your existing creditor then it’s an option for you.
According to www.creditcards.com, the average number of credit cards owned by individual cardholders at the end of 2008 was 3.5 and the average debt per household who has credit card debt is $15,956. From these statistics alone it’s plain for anyone to see that credit is easy to obtain but not so easy to manage.
As with most things of this nature there are many different balance transfer credit cards to choose from, all of which have varying terms and rates. Selecting a card that offers the best deal for your situation is essential in ensuring you are able to gain full control of your finances. It is also important to remember that each of these cards will have certain criteria that you will have to meet in order to be eligible to apply. These criteria will often depend on your income or who you currently bank with.
The concept of balance transfer credit cards can be traced back several decades to the behaviour of citizens around the world looking for a way to make ends meet. Countless people became aware that when the time rolled round once again to make monthly payments on one credit card they could simply use a second credit card to do this, and of course vice versa. This idea also stretches into people taking cash advances from new credit cards to pay for their existing ones. This practice allowed people to keep creditors at bay for as long as possible and potentially preserve their credit history for as long as they could keep it up.
It didn’t take long for the credit card companies to catch on to this method of paying the bills and soon enough the first balance transfer credit cards were introduced. When the credit card companies first introduced this kind of package it didn’t have a whole load of success and not much profit was made. However as the economic climate has worsened over the past few years, the popularity of such an attractive deal has increased massively. Those who have lost their jobs, reduced their income or simply built up far more debt than they can handle are amongst many other groups of people who are turning to balance transfer credit cards.
Through this method of debt management people are able to have more control over, and reduce their outgoing payments to creditors. In comparison to other types of credit cards, balance transfer credit cards are a very popular choice for people with previous experience of credit. They can provide a great deal of financial relief that can’t be obtained in the same way through other more conventional cards that still maintain a high interest rate.
Always take into account that most balance transfer credit cards are advertised as coming with a 0% interest rate. It is therefore more important to look past this and notice what other terms they are offering that are beneficial to you. The variable APR after the 0% period ends is the most important thing to look for. This is usually offered between 16% and 19% although you may be lucky enough to find a better deal. Your existing credit history will have a huge influence on the rate of interest for your new credit card so bear this in mind when searching for the best option. And of course, always read the small print!
|Written by :|
|Jemma is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com.
Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.
For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.