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Balance Transfers: Playing the Credit Card Game | Credit Union 10/24/2019

a wallet, coffee cup, keyboard, and a plant on a desk

So, you’ve had a lot of expenses pop up out of nowhere. Your kitchen has been remodeled for a refi, you’ve replaced your busted washer and dryer, and you’ve had to buy new furniture because some visitors decided to bounce up and down on your couch and break it. Just like that, you’ve run up your credit card and you’re past your no-interest pay period. It is a pickle. There is, however, a way to get around it. You can have a high balance and not be stuck paying high interest on your credit card. You might ask how.

Well, here’s the big secret; Balance transfer.

How does balance transfer work?
A balance transfer occurs when you take the existing balance from one line of credit and put it on another line of credit. In doing this, your previous card shows a zero balance. All credit used then appears on your new card.

But doesn’t that just shift the problem?
Not exactly. Just make sure you find one that has no balance transfer fees. Couple that with a card that has no interest for awhile, and you’re actually doing well. 

What does it mean?
Once you’ve transferred your balance to your new card with deferred interest, you can start making monthly payments without that interest charge wafting over your shoulder. It’s a simple way to take some of the pressure off of you. 

How long can I do this for?
For as long as you can get a new card to transfer your existing balance to. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to do this very much, if at all. But if you still haven’t been able to pay off the full balance of your card, look for another card that has a balance transfer offer. You get the new card, and you continue to pay it down.

A caveat
The only slight impediment is that there is no guarantee that a financial institution will extend the amount of credit you need to cover the full balance transfer. Just make sure this is doable before you start applying for a new card.

 

Interested in a Balance Transfer with Direct federal?

 

  • 0.00% APR* for first 6 monthly billing statements
     
  • After 6 months you pay just 6.74% APR, The Wall Street Journal Prime Rate +1.74%, until transferred balances are paid in full.
     
  • NO balance transfer fee

 

Click here to learn more about Direct's Visa Balance Transfer Special 

 

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