We all, over the course of our lives, sometimes rely on credit to get by. Whether it is for a mortgage on our home, a loan for a car, or a payday loan to get by until next Friday, there’s little we can do to escape the effect of a debtors society. But the way you handle your debt is something you can have a say in, and indeed the way you do so could mean you save – or spend – thousands of dollars a year.
Let’s imagine you have a few credit cards on the go. One of them, the card you had since you were in college, has a few grand racked up on it, and because you missed a few payments way back when, the interest rate is at 19%. Ouch.
But most of us never look at the interest rate we’re paying, because, quite frankly, we don’t give it a second thought. MasterCard says we owe them $184 this month, so we pay $184.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many credit card companies will give you a card, albeit with high interest after a period of time, that for the first 6 months to a year comes with 0% interest on all credit card transfers. What this means is, if you use your new card to pay a big chunk of your old card, you pay no interest on the new card for a set period of time.
Now, of course once that time is up, they’ll put you right back on the expensive interest rate, but for a short time, the money you pay on your credit card is ALL-principal.
Credit card companies don’t like you doing this too much – in fact, they’ll put it on your credit card report if you do it more than a couple of times – but if you’re looking to get out of a short term financial logjam, look for those introductory offers and use a new card to pay off your old card.
Oh, and when you do – shut the old card down!