As the year winds down, the first of all those Christmas bills has undoubtedly already arrived in your mailbox, and if you’re anything like the rest of us, the bill is more than you expected. And it will take longer than you thought to pay it off, too. I don’t know about you, but I hate starting off the new year with last year’s bills hanging over my head, knowing that the interest alone will keep me from paying it off anytime soon. That’s why one of the first things I do after the holidays is to take a long, hard look at my credit card bills.
How much did I charge this year? What’s the interest rate on the credit cards with balances? What fees do those credit cards charge? How long will it take me to pay the credit card balances off if I only make the minimum payments? What impact will the bills have on my monthly budget? And if I’m not happy with the answers to those questions? Then I look for options.
What are your options? You could get a personal loan to consolidate all of your credit cards into one lower monthly payment, and if you have a lot of debt, that can be your best option. But a personal loan also has an interest rate attached to it and the term is usually anywhere from two to five years, so you’ll want to take both into consideration when figuring out how to pay off your debt. The other option that you have is one that I personally like to use when I’ve got a couple of credit cards that I want to get paid off quickly.
Balance transfer credit cards typically come with an introductory period of 0% interest on either purchases that you make with the card or on balances that you transfer from other credit cards. This introductory period can last anywhere from a few months to almost two years. That means you won’t pay any interest if you pay the card off within that introductory period! That’s right, NO INTEREST. That can really save a lot of money AND you may even have extra in your monthly budget. Just make sure that you plan your payments so that the balance transfer is paid off before the introductory period expires!
Where do you start? Why not start with one of these offers: