How to transfer credit card balances the right way

Are you struggling to pay down high-rate credit card debt? So many single moms get stuck in a credit card debt cycle that can be so hard to break…but you can get out of it.

And paying off your highest-rate credit card debts as quickly as possible can get you to debt-free sooner. To make sure you stay out of debt, you will have to make some changes to your spending, your income, or both.

There are a few different strategies for digging yourself out of debt. But to make that a little easier, consider a balance transfer for your stickiest credit card debt.

A balance transfer can help you eliminate high-interest credit card debt, usually the most expensive debt single moms have. And as long as you handle it the right way, a balance transfer can help you pay your debt down faster…and let you save hundreds, even thousands, in credit card interest. That’s money that could be going toward building your net worth instead of fattening up the credit card company’s bottom line.

If you have a lot of high interest rate credit card debt, a balance transfer could help you pay it off faster and save a lot of money, as long as you do it the right way.

Here’s how it works: You get a new card that has a 0% or very low introductory interest rate for at least one year. Then you transfer your existing high-rate credit card balances to that new card, preferably one that does not charge balance transfer fees. [NerdWallet does a great job of sorting through the zillions of cards out there to find the best balance transfer deals.]

But, as you might expect, there’s a catch. In fact, there are a few catches, but you can easily avoid them with some careful planning.

  1. Don’t cancel your old credit cards. Doing that can hurt your credit score.
  2. Don’t run up new debt on your old high-interest cards. It’s ok to use them sparingly, but limit new purchases to what you will be able to pay off immediately.
  3. Make sure you never skip or are late with a single payment on the new card or you will lose your low introductory rate.
  4. Avoid using the new card for purchases. Any payments you make will go toward the new purchases first, and not toward your transferred balances, which could put your introductory rate in danger.
  5. Calculate your “mandatory” (for you) monthly payment by dividing the total transferred balance by the introductory period (so if you transfer $10,000 with an 18-month interest-free period, your monthly payment would be $556).
  6. Automate your payment to make sure it always gets made in full and on time.
  7. Pay off your transferred debt in full before the introductory period expires or you will have to pay interest on the remaining balance.

With those guidelines, you’ll be able to take full advantage of your balance transfer, pay down your high-cost credit card debt, and add the money you save on interest to your personal net worth.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram