How to Avoid Dying in Holiday Credit Card Debt

Category: Credit Card Debt
Published: Thursday, 21 January 2016
Written by Super User

One in five of you is going to die in credit card debt.

That isnt our opinion, and it isnt some prediction from a credit agency talking; thats the cardholders themselves talking. More than one in five Americans currently carrying some debt (21%) think they will never get out of it, according to a new CreditCards.com report. That's more than double the 9% who gave that response when CreditCards.com asked the same question in May 2013 and up from 18% last year.

Even when Americans think theyll be able to pay off debt, they dont expect to do so until theyre on the verge of receiving AARP magazines. On average, Americans expect to be debt-free by age 54. The definition of debt-free includes credit card debt, car loans, student loans and other types of debt but also includes mortgages -- which skews that number a bit for folks carrying a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. However, 48% of those with debt expect to remain in debt at age 61 or later, including those who predict they will still owe money when they die.



7 Ways to Get the Most From a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Category: Credit Card Debt
Published: Thursday, 21 January 2016
Written by Super User
For many the holidays have an unpleasant side effect--debt. Its estimated that the average consumer spent $805 on gifts this past holiday season. It was fun passing out presents in December, but in January the credit card bills start rolling in. For others, the start of the new year brings extra motivation to finally tackle their debt. In either case, consumers flock to 0% balance transfer credit cards at the start of every year.

Transferring high interest credit card debt to a 0% card is appealing. The savings in interest can be substantial and it accelerates getting out of debt. Its nice when the entire credit card payment goes to principal, not interest.

Transferring balances to a 0% card is not rocket science. There are, however, some traps to avoid. Further, not all balance transfer cards are created equal. Some are notably better than others. To get the most out of a balance transfer credit card this season, here are 7 tips to keep in mind.

1. Type of Debt: Its most common to transfer high interest credit card debt to a 0% balance transfer offer. In some cases, however, some want to transfer other types of debt, including school loans, car loans, and medical debt. Not all credit cards, however, allow consumers to transfer non-credit card debt. You can find a breakdown of what type of debt can be transferred for the major card issuers in this guide to balance transfer credit cards.

2. Length of 0% Offer: The longest 0% balance transfer offered today is from Citibank and it lasts for 21 months. After that, the rate on any remaining debt is subject to Citis regular APR. The offer can be found on the Citi Simplicity card. So if youve been looking for a longer 0% offer, you can stop. They dont exist.

3. Balance Transfer Fee: With one exception, every balance transfer card charges a transfer fee. The fee is typically a percentage of the amount transferred. The most common fee is 3%, which results in a $30 fee for every $1,000 transferred. The one exception is the Chase Slate card. For transfers initiated within the first 60 days there is no transfer fee. The 0% introductory APR lasts for 15 months.

4. 0% on Purchases: Dont confuse balance transfers with offers of 0% APR on purchases. Many cards offer both. With 0% on purchases, the card issuer waives interest charges on revolving balances from purchases for a set period of time, often the same length as the balance transfer offer (but not always). If you need to transfer a balance, make sure the 0% offer applies to balance transfers.

5. Credit Score: Most of the top 0% offers require good to excellent credit. As a rule of thumb, a FICO score of at least 700 or higher should be expected, although many factors go into underwriting and lower scores have been approved.

6. Regular APR: Even the longest balance transfer offers eventually expire. When they do, any remaining balance will be subject to the cards regular APR. As a result, its important to plan now for how youll handle this debt when the 0% interest is gone.

7. Think Beyond 0%: While paying no interest for an extended period of time is an attractive offer, many balance transfer cards offer significant benefits. For example, the Chase Freedom card offers a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on the card in the first three months. It also offers cash back of up to 5% and comes with no annual fee. Those benefits are in addition to a 0% APR introductory rate on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.

No interest credit cards can be an excellent tool to help get out of debt. The key is to avoid any new debt after transferring existing balances to no interest cards. Once transferred, work hard to pay off the card by the time the 0% introductory rate expires. Alternatively, you could transfer the debt again to a new balance transfer card until the debt is paid, a strategy I deployed years ago to pay off my credit card debt.

Two strategies for paying off holiday credit-card debt

Category: Credit Card Debt
Published: Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Written by Super User
Two strategies for paying off holiday credit-card debt

If you ended up going over-budget this holiday season, you're not alone. But if you ended up in credit card debt, you need a game plan.



Decatur Has Georgia's Lowest Average Credit Card Debt

Category: Credit Card Debt
Published: Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Written by Super User

Decatur has Georgia's lowest average credit card debt, according to a new ranking by CardHub.

The city's average debt is $5,526 with 22 payoff months, according to CardHub's report. Decatur is the only city in Georgia to make the top 25, reports the AJC.