As it SHOULD be, paying your entire outstanding balance is best! But when your finances can’t accommodate the amount, balance transfer credit cards can help you get your debt at bay. The plan is simple and straightforward, transfer your debt from a high-interest card to one with 0% introductory APR, and you’ll pay off what you owe sooner.
You can check credit card companies that offer such. Look for the following perks:
> It offers extra-long 0% intro APR to pay off what you owe interest-free.
> Offers great rewards potential, with 5% back on rotating categories and 1% on everything else.
> Its first-year bonus for new customers can match the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically.
If you have a huge balance to transfer, balance transfer fees might be your immediate concern. There are credit cards that charge no fee on balance transfers for your first two (2) months. Given the most cards charge fees ranging from 3 – 5%, this could make a big difference when transferring a large balance.
Here are some credit cards that you may want to consider:
Longest 0% Interest Period – It offers an extremely long 0% intro APR period with no annual fee, so you can make a big dent in your balance without paying a dime in interest. Discover’s popular cash back program makes it easy to earn rewards quickly.
Great Signup Bonus – offers access to a popular rewards program. Like the Discover it 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer, this card features rotating 5% cash back categories that change quarterly. There’s also an easy-to-earn $150 signup bonus – all with no annual fee.
> Chase Slate®
Best for Large Balances – If you have a high balance to transfer, rewards programs will likely be secondary to balance transfer costs and intro APR terms. That’s where the Chase Slate® really shines.
> Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Best Rewards for Everyday Purchases – Want a balance transfer card that will double as an excellent everyday card even after you pay your balance off? The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express hits all the marks.
Most cards offer a low introductory APR on balance transfers. However, it’s critical to look at the whole deal first to get an idea if the card fits your unique situation. Again, some of the most important factors to consider are:
> Introductory Balance Transfer Rate
> Introductory Balance Transfer Length
> Balance Transfer Fee
Depending on the card you get, the 0% intro balance transfer rate will vary. Remember, you want to get a card that has a 0% balance transfer intro period for at least 12 months or longer. This gives you ample time to pay off your balance.
Getting assistance during low tide of your finances should not be that difficult. There are countless ways to resolve IF, you are willing to change your financial status. There should be no circumstances that you feel there is NO choice but to turn to loan sharks, banks, and lenders which eventually leads to people become stuck in deeper debt-hole. Other, more positive options are available such as the following:
Credit Unions – a better alternative than payday loans – These are not-for-profit community-based organizations, the purpose of which is to offer basic financial services (bank & savings accounts, small loans etc.) to the members of a specific region who have pre-existing financial problems which often mean they cannot operate a high street bank account. As a charitable body Credit Unions also offer advice and guidance to their members on how to escape the cycle of debt, manage their money and establish healthy spending and saving habits.
Citizen’s Advice Helpdesks – you can ask around if this is available in your local area. These groups offer free and impartial advice on various issues from benefits, legal representation and housing through to debt and money management. They usually operate a drop-in service in most major towns and cities and they may also have a strong online presence which is full of well researched and factually excellent information.
Financial Advice Services – it is a specialist charity backed by the Government that offers sound financial advice, support and guidance specifically on personal finance and other money related issues. As they offer free financial impartial advice, covering everything from debt, borrowing, benefits and pensions. You may check websites to get an online assistance and they may even offer online chats to get a primer of what assistance you may specifically need.
Financial Advice services may also suggest websites for you to check wherein you can use online tools to find out where you stand with money, what areas to focus on and practical ways to improve your situation. They may also have a wide range of pages offering advice on how to minimize your expenditure on household bills (such as gas and electricity), mobile phone and broadband, insurance, accommodation, car and transport costs and also provide a comprehensive guide to benefits that you may be eligible for. These websites usually have lots of useful information including specific pages for students and tools, some of which are linked to below. These include a cut back calculator, money saving tips regular email, Budgeting tips for those on a low income, budget planner, a money health check.
If you are neck-deep buried by debt, one of the best things to do is organize your finances first; to determine exactly how much you owe and to whom. You can do the conventional way or you can download Apps to organize your finances.
The simplest and slowest way is to take each individual bills and find the balance due as well as the lender’s name. You should keep track of this information going forward, using a spreadsheet, an online service, or a personal finance computer program. While some programs can pull balance information directly from your lenders, if you are using a spreadsheet or notebook, you’ll need to do it manually. Consider signing up for online access for each of your lenders so that you can check your balance and payment information easily and frequently.
If you aren’t entirely sure that you are receiving all of your bills (especially if you’ve moved around quite a bit or have recently divorced), then it’s a good idea to pull free annual copies of each of your credit reports to find out what your lenders are reporting to each of the credit agencies. To get a full picture of how much debt you owe, you really should get reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, because different information may be contained on each of the reports.
Keep in mind that the information contained in the credit reports may not be the absolute latest, due to the lag in reporting. Therefore, once you obtain the credit reports, you should also contact each lender to find out what the current amount owed is. Then, sign up for online access to each of these accounts to accurately track payment amounts and balances.
The organization is essential to keeping your financial obligations up to date, so taking some time up front to set up access and find out balance and payment amounts will definitely save you some time later, and help prevent late fees.
Debt is everywhere, no matter where we look. Regardless of the source of non-mortgage debt, it can take years to pay off. This not only increases the possibility of running into debt fatigue but as well add the amount of interest that needs to be paid over the life span of the debt. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple ways to cut costs that can give additional funds to cover for the existing debt.
Here are some practical work around or opportunities that can be used to solve debt problems.
> Reduce Monthly Bill – Check the amounts you are paying for your bills. Do comparisons, or ask if you could switch to their going promotions. Or better yet, change to other providers that offer a more savings for your bill.
> Switch to a Zero (0%) Interest Card. – This may not give you extra money, but it will make the money being wasted to pay off debt work better for you. You can also consider debt consolidation to significantly lower your interest payment.
> Reconsider you Membership Cards – Sometimes, membership fees and other payments in joining your club makes such a waste of precious funds. Good example is your gym card, you can substitute gym by jogging along your neighborhood or do some housework to burn those extra calories!
> Rid of your junk! – Look around your house and surprisingly, you will see a lot of things that can be converted into good old cash! Earning few hundred dollars out of your “junk” items should not sound too boring, right?
> Eating Out. – Many of us spend at least extra $20 – $30 per week just to eat in a restaurant or fast food chain. Instead of doing that, the old reliable brown bag sandwich will do some magic to sate your hunger instead of buying food which obviously cost higher. In a month’s time, you will save at least $80 extra!
> Cut some of your “extra” entertainment and energy sources. – Having your internet and cable connections at the same time can rob you out of some money. If you don’t really use your cable connection and you only watch your favorite shows/movies occasionally, you can access those through internet then take the cable out of your system. For your monthly energy bill, save on heater or air conditioner when necessary.
There are many ways to cut expenses that will enable you to divert more money into your debt. The challenge is to be mindful of where you can cut back and convert your savings to pay off your debt. At times, it may require a mile of sacrifice, but it will significantly correct your finances in a way that your debt can be obliterated sooner than you think!
If you owe money from your bank, DO you somehow expect them to automatically take money out of your savings to SET – OFF what you owe them IF you are lagging on your payments either from your credit card or loan/s?
It is a hidden danger for anyone who has credit card, loans or mortgages at the same outfit where one banks or keep the savings. Banks can, and do, use your money to repay overdue debts, which can cause financial hell. Here is a guide that could help one beat this concern:
Know your right to “set-off”
Most of the financial institutions have the right to transfer cash from your bank or savings account to pay off debts held with them. It is known as the right to set-off or to link your accounts. This may not happen to most people, but to those struggling financially must be wary and prepare.
At times, there is a term or condition in your contract allowing it to happen, such as:
“The Bank may, without notice, set off a debit balance, or debit interest, on an account against any account with a credit balance or credit interest held by the same account holder”.
Some firms can add set-off into its contract, in banking and tax, there’s an automatic right to use the procedure. However, it is also important to check with your bank first as sometimes, we tend to overlook the terms and conditions on the contract.
End results of setting – off.
Setting-off can cause various problems – anything that affects how people budget can have long-term detrimental effects. If you’ve money set aside to pay for imminent cheques or direct debits from your accounts, but it’s taken without notice before, your payments to bounce and you to face bank charges. Technically, the rules give wide-ranging powers to banks, way beyond just sorting out unpaid accounts.
How to prevent this to happen?
Best way to avoid this is to keep your debts and bank/savings accounts in separate institutions. It is easier to move savings than debt. If you’re having financial difficulties, go for the Basic Bank Account or check with your local credit union offers current account.
Rules with Banks on setting – off.
You can check on the Lending Code, a voluntary code of practice and most banks subscribe to it, and the rules are binding.
While banks don’t directly divulge before they are going to take your money, they need to inform people of the circumstances of setting off rules.
The bank also need to look into whether you are having or heading to financial difficulties before they take money out of your bank/saving account. They should leave you with enough money to cover reasonable daily expenses and priority debts (mortgage. rent, tax, food bills).
It is always good to know your bank and lender rights, even if you are in debt.
There are no debt problems that cannot be resolved! We may not be able to come up with quick solutions or immediate fix, but there should always be a way to solve it. And the earlier you deal with it, better debt management.
Debt is not just a monetary issue, it involves the wholeness of your life. So, solutions are wide and varied – from cutting on spending, finding lower interest rates, budgeting, or simply getting out of your debt with a help solution from experts.
There are ways to deal with debt problems. Which one is right for you will depend on whether you’re in a technically defined debt, or if you are just worrying or due to huge debt.
There’s a strong indication if you answer yes to either of these:
Are you having difficulty paying all your basic outgoings: mortgage, rent, energy bills or credit card minimums?
Are your debts (excluding your mortgage) bigger than a year’s after-tax income?
Before you start tackling your financial problems, the basic and most important thing to do is get a disciplined handle on your spending. Stop borrowing and maximize repayments. Focus on cutting the cost of debts, rather than looking at the bigger picture of all spending.
Refrain from borrowing more. Traditional debt help say: Never borrow your way out of a debt problem.
If it’s possible to borrow more cheaply elsewhere to replace existing borrowing, this can provide a huge boost as lower interest rates mean more of your cash goes towards paying the actual debt rather than just covering the interest.
If you can’t cut cost on debt, or if after doing that you’re still struggling, then consider some severe measures.
- Talk to your lender, let them know if you are unable to pay; it’s always better to talk to them.
- Get help from the government – There are few ways which may be able to provide you with interest-free borrowing than getting into commercial loan. You could get as much as $1000 lent, and repayments are dependent on what you can afford to pay.
- Free Debt Counseling – If all options are exhausted, it is worth talking to the right people to counsel you, the non-profit debt counselling help. Be careful not to confuse this with ‘free help’: many commercial companies say they’re free as you’re not charged directly, but you’ll still pay somehow.
These non-profit agencies are also the ideal people to go to if you’re being harassed and bullied for payments by debt collection agencies. The debt counselling service will inform collectors, which will then give you a month’s breathing space to get yourself on a better footing. And take care of your debt at a manageable pace.