Credit Card Balance Transfers

 

There are many different credit cards available - through banks, stores, dedicated credit card companies and other organizations.  Since it is a competitive business, many companies will offer benefits for transferring to their card - a balance transfer.  Typically this will take the form of a period for which interest is not charged on the balance transferred.

Balance Transfer deals may be accompanied by conditions - you may be tied to the new card for a period of time and you may be charged higher rates of interest for any new purchases.  You should look at the small print - the benefits may not be as much as they seem once you take your particular circumstances and lifestyle into account.

Online ads and links as included on this page are useful to compare credit card balance transfer rates and terms - check a few - before applying online.

Sensible use of a credit card balance transfer would include using the transfer to obtain 0% interest whilst you pay off a balance over a longer period.

If not used carefully, credit card balance transfers provide a dangerously easy means of building up debts at relatively high interest rates.  Do not think of a balance transfer as a means of increasing your income or gaining a higher credit limit: it may appear to do this in the short term, but if you continue to use it to spend more than you earn, your debts will snowball and the cost of servicing your debts will reduce rather than increase your spending power.  If your do find yourself in difficulties, debt consolidation  may provide a lifeline - but only if accompanied by lifestyle changes.

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