Are you looking for the best way to pay off your credit card debt faster? Do you want to reduce your interest payments, preserve your good credit score, and get out of debt in less time?
If so, let me explain an available tool that you must use if you have $1,000 or more in credit card debt. It’s completely legal and it even uses programs the credit card issuers themselves have created.
Here’s how to pay off your credit cards once and for all, faster than you thought possible:
Step 1: Move your high-APR credit card balances to a new card with an introductory 0-percent APR
If you have a credit card balance of $10,000 at 15 percent APR, you are paying $1,500 a year in interest! These finance charges make it extremely difficult to pay down your debt. For example, if you made a $200 monthly payment, you would only reduce your balance by $50 after paying the interest!
So the first thing you need to do is stop wasting money on finance charges.
Okay, but how? It’s simple:
The offers are yours for the taking
Credit card companies are competitive. They make money every time you use your card (and, of course, also when you carry a balance and pay them interest). Either way, if you have a credit card with Bank A, then Bank B would love to make you an offer to switch. These promotions can be quite generous and include cards with a long 0% intro APR balance transfer.
This means that you actually open a new credit card and request to transfer the balances from your existing cards to the new one. The new bank will pay off your old debts and you will begin making payments to the new card. The beauty of it is, the new card will not charge interest for a year or longer (sometimes up to 21 months).
Think about the $200 monthly payment on a $10,000 balance again. At 0% APR, all $200 will go to paying down the balance. Suddenly, a debt that would’ve taken a decade to pay off can be paid down in just a couple years.
How much can you save?
How much could you save by doing a balance transfer? Hundreds—if not thousands—in interest charges! Our simple balance transfer calculator can show you almost exactly how much you might be able to save.
Of course, your actual savings will depend on just how fast you can repay your balance. Which brings us to:
Step 2: Focus all of your financial efforts on paying down your cards debt at 0%
One of the most common questions I get here at Money Under 30 is: “I have so many dollars left over after essentials each month; should I save more or pay more toward my debts?”
If you have a big credit card balance, you should be using every spare dollar you have to pay it off!
This is especially true when you have a 0% APR to take advantage of because every dollar you pay goes toward reducing the debt, not interest.
A top intro APR balance transfer credit card
Applying for a balance transfer card is very easy: find the best card for you, fill out a quick five-minute application, and check the mail for details on making payments to the new card.
Here’s one card we highly recommend:
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
One great way to save money on interest is to transfer your balance to a card with a 0% introductory APR. You’ll get a little extra time to work on paying off your balance! The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers from date of first transfer (a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% applies, whichever is greater) and 0% for 12 months on Purchases after you open the account.
Balance transfers must be completed within the first 4 months of account opening and the ongoing APR after the intro period is 17.49% - 28.24% (Variable).
Best if: You want a great introductory offer.
Keep looking if: You want a card you can earn rewards with after you’ve paid off your balance.
Credit required: Good to Excellent. You’ll need at least five years of credit history. This usually equates with a FICO score of 700 or better.
Read our Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card reviewCard info has been collected by MoneyUnder30 to help consumers better compare cards. The financial institution did not provide or approve card details.