5 Options for When a Balance Transfer Credit Limit Isn’t Enough

When you should consider a balance transfer cardAccording to CompareCards’ 2018 Balance Transfer Credit Card Report, among the 41 percent of Americans who say they’ve used a balance transfer card in the past, four in 10 admit that they failed to pay off the balance during the introductory period.That’s why before you open a balance transfer card, the true test is to figure out if you can pay your debt before the interest kicks back in, says Mike Sullivan, a personal financial consultant with Take Charge America, a national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency. “Ask yourself: Can I pay this balance off while I’m getting the introductory rate?” To figure that out, divide your balance by the number of months in the introductory period offered by the card you’re looking at to see what your monthly payment should be to get to a zero balance within the promotional time frame. If you think you can swing that amount, you’ll have a higher likelihood of success.What to look for when applying for a balance transfer cardWhen comparing balance transfer cards, consider:How long the 0% introductory period is (generally anywhere from 6-21 months)If there is a balance transfer fee (usually between 3% and 5% percent of the amount transferred, which is added to your balance)What kind of credit score you need to qualifyCard terms after the introductory period expires

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