Consolidating your debt is basically the strategy of taking all that you owe on credit cards and transferring it onto one low interest rate, high credit limit card. Often you can utilize a low “teaser” interest rate to get started, but you’ll need to alter your strategy if you haven’t significantly paid down the debt before the rate jumps up.
The following guidelines are designed to help you make the best consolidation moves:
- Consolidate your credit card debts onto the lowest-rate card you can find by using balance transfer checks.
- Find a card that doesn’t charge an additional fee (usually a percentage of the transfer up to a maximum amount) to make balance transfers.
- Find a card that guarantees a low interest rate for at least a year.
- Use the amount you save each month on minimum requirements to help pay down your debt.
- Pay half of your credit card payment twice a month instead of one large sum once a month (you’ll save on interest and the excess will be applied to your principal).
- Transfer the balance remaining on the card to a new lower-rate card before the teaser rate jumps back up.