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Our Credit Card Debt is Now Simplified

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Earlier this month, I realized that my low balance transfer rates were expiring. One thing that I always thought would be great to do is to only have our debt on one or two cards at most. That way, I’m not worrying about making as many payments on time. It gets stressful trying to remember all of the payment dates.

I ended up transferring our credit card debt to one of our credit cards. The transferred balance now has a rate of 9.9%.

I haven’t even looked yet at the possiblity of transfering that balance to a new card to take advantage of a low balance transfer percentage. Something is telling me to hold off for a little bit.

That’s the weird thing about me. If I get a feeling about something, I usually listen. Yes, it may cost us a little bit in interest to wait and who knows if my feeling may be right or not. But I listen.


20 Comments

  • Reply Brenna |

    My husband and I did a combination of balance transfers to lower our credit card debit and APR. We went from two credit cards to three credit cards all with lower APR rates and minor balance transfer fees for two. We also put our credit cards on automatic debit so we don’t worry about when we have to pay the cards. So far, this month we saved over $500 in payments and over $150 on interests.

  • Reply nomorespending |

    I have all my credit card debt on a ‘life of balance’ interest rate of 6.9%. I find this easier after all the switching around I’ve done in the past.

  • Reply nomorespending |

    I have all my credit card debt on a ‘life of balance’ interest rate of 6.9%. I find this easier after all the switching around I’ve done in the past.

  • Reply bella |

    There’s something to be said for simplifying one’s financial life! Now I suggest that you cancel all of your cards other than the one that has a balance and maybe 1 other if you insist. In the long-run, I promise it will not adversely impact your credit score. And it will simplify your financial life and give you fewer sources of stress to worry about in terms of identity fraud and future credit card spending.

  • Reply Patrick |

    Holding off for a month or two will probably work out. Before long one of your current cards will offer you a very low rate on a balance transfer. You may have to pay a small transfer fee, but it will be worth it over paying higher interest. Congrats on your progress!

  • Reply Courtney |

    Does your bank offer free on-line bill paying? If so, it saves enormous amounts of time as well as the cost of stamps and checks. I have all my bills set up and if I have a bill that changes amounts monthly like electric, I change the amount when I get the bill. And if I forget, which happens, it still goes out.

  • Reply Kasey |

    American Express has some good balance transfer deals right now for the life of the transfer. I believe it’s at 3.99%. Might be worth you checking out.

  • Reply rj |

    Have you checked Discover? They are offering 3.9% through 2011(?) but check the fine print (which I am sure you already do).

  • Reply Karen |

    I consolidated all my credit cards to one with a “lifetime until the balance is paid off” (which I vow to be much less than a lifetime lol) low interest rate. I have one other card I use for day to day stuff that is (mostly) paid up each month. It is much easier to keep track of payments and to track the balance going down, down down!!

  • Reply MVP |

    9.9% seems high to me. We were able to find a couple introductory 0% cards last year. We just had to be sure to pay them off before the introductory rate expired – and we did. Saved us a boatload of interest payments.

  • Reply Matt |

    Most people completely ignore their gut feeling which might save them some grief and at the worst case it might make them seem cautious.

    Tranfering all your credit onto one or two cards has benefits but you might want to make sure you won’t impact your credit if you remove or get rid of any of your cards. I’m not sure what impacts your credit score and how myself but I will by trying to find out in the next little while.

  • Reply Don |

    You’re probably a lot better off sticking with one with a reasonably low rate till payoff than jumping around looking for near-0 rates. After all, their every intention is to have you NOT at that 0% rate – that’s a money loser for them. So the game is rigged in the direction of pushing your rates up or getting you into new charges.

    9.9% is a rate where they still make money, if not a lot. Plus you can wait a few months as Patrick advises and when you see one of those 0% deals you could call them up and ask them to make it 8.9% to keep you.

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    I am constantly contemplating moving balances to a lower APR card. The advantage of a combined balance is the interest is calculated on the bulk and any extra attacks the principle harder. At the same time though, having smaller balances and paying them off one at a time helps motivate paying the next one off. As long as you keep driving that debt down, it doesn’t matter how many accounts you have as long as the balance goes down.

  • Reply Eva |

    You are wise to follow your gut. It may be telling you that if you add another card to keep track of, you’ll get mired in the details and possibly let one of those juggled balls drop.

    Simplifying is good, and as Don said, a few months later, one of your other accounts could offer you something even better.

  • Reply EMF |

    I firmly disagree with Bella who suggested cancelling your other credit cards. That could backfire. When you cancel the other cards, your debt to credit limit ratio will increase, which could lower your FICO score. A lowered FICO score could have negative effects, higher car insurance premiums, maybe even raising the interest rate on the card you keep.

    Bella, you can cut up a card without cancelling it. If that’s the only thing that will keep you from charging to it. But I don’t think Tricia has that problem.

  • Reply irish rebel |

    I have been following Dave Ramsey’s ideas for a while. I have basically eliminated all credit card debt , and though I keep them I tend not to use them .
    I believe the psychological impact of paying off the smallest first is definitely the better as I have tried both.

  • Reply Starving Artist |

    I just juggled a balance over to a Bank of America card, which didn’t have a balance transfer fee, keeps me at 0% for six months, and then goes to about 12%, by which time I will have paid it off. I don’t know what your credit score is (it requires a decent score), but it was a nice move for me.

    Oh, I just created a real budget spreadsheet! I’m excited.

  • Reply Starving Artist |

    I just juggled a balance over to a Bank of America card, which didn’t have a balance transfer fee, keeps me at 0% for six months, and then goes to about 12%, by which time I will have paid it off. I don’t know what your credit score is (it requires a decent score), but it was a nice move for me.

    Oh, I just created a real budget spreadsheet! I’m excited.

  • Reply Hazygrey |

    I have multiple cards to take advantage of various rewards. To make keeping track of them easy, when I get a new card, I change the payment date so that the payment date for all my cards are roughly the same. Then when I start getting my bills, I just take care of all of them at the same time.

So, what do you think ?