There are many reasons to consider a credit card balance transfer, including the benefit of consolidating all your credit card debt under one “roof.” If this is something that intrigues you, it’s important to learn how the process works. This allows you to move forward in a timely and confident manner.
Here are the five steps to successfully completing a credit card balance transfer:
1. Tally your credit card debt
During this step, make note of how many credit cards you have and the balance associated with each one. It’s likely that you’ll want to consolidate all of your credit card balances, but this is up to you.
Note: it’s possible that your combined balances may be too high to transfer. In this case, you have to decide what to transfer and what to leave where it is.
2. Compare balance transfer credit cards
With so many balance transfer credit cards to choose from, take the time to find and compare three to five of the best offers. Compare offers based on factors such as interest rate, introductory rate, and the fee schedule.
3. Choose the best offer
After you compare all your options, it’s time to choose an offer. Don’t do this until you’re 100 percent confident that you’re making the right decision. This will impact your finances now and in the future, so you don’t want there to be any gray area. You want to know that your chosen path is your best path.
4. Complete your transfer
Once you know the best offer, complete your transfer. Once you do this, you’re left with one credit card balance to manage.
Note: this is the step where you pay the balance transfer fee. This is typically in the range of three percent of the balance you’re transferring.
5. Get serious about paying off your balance
The process itself is in the past, but you’re far from the end of the road. Now, it’s time to get serious about paying off your balance. You take all the time to make your situation better, so you might as well finish things off the right way.
Set a plan for how you’ll pay off your balance. For example, consider if you can eliminate it before the zero percent introductory rate expires.
Now that you know the five steps to completing a credit card balance transfer, you’re in position to take action and reap the short and long-term benefits.
Do you have any experience using a balance transfer credit card? Is there anything you would have done differently?