28-year-old Amanda Hibbert is a debt slayer. Amanda made the decision last year to tackle her high-interest debt by transferring her credit balances to a 0% balance transfer credit card.
Not only was Amanda ready to put the hammer down on her debt, she also made sure she did plenty of research to find the best offer and most importantly, understood the rules.
Take SOT: Amanda Hibbert - Balance transfer consumer
"Paying even slightly more than the minimum or even double the minimum payments a month barely put a dent in any of the cards, whereas now, even if I just pay the minimum I start to see each month the statement actually going down instead of staying about the same."
Continue VO: When transferring a balance from one credit card to another, there are several things to keep in mind.
- First, to qualify for a zero interest balance transfer, you must have very good to excellent credit.
- You want to calculate the balance transfer fee. Typically, the transfer fee is three percent of your total balance transfer, but can vary. And a minimum fee may apply.
- Find out how long your zero percent introductory periods lasts. The average intro period is six to 12 months ... while some can go as high as 18 months.
- Know what your APR will be after the after zero percent expires.
Take SOT: Janna Herron, Credit Cards Reporter, Bankrate.com
"You're going to want to avoid new purchases on the balance transfer card. You want to keep in mind that the reason you got a balance transfer card was to reduce debt, not add to it. Plus, the zero percent APR does not apply to new purchases. Actually, the APR might be higher for new purchases, even higher than it was on your previous card."
Continue VO: In addition to paying down your credit card debt, a no interest transfer also helps to improve your credit score by dissolving your debt at a faster rate.
Take SOT: Amanda Hibbert
"I had close to ten-thousand dollars total on credit cards, as of right now I have about 4,500 dollars. So, the balance transfer cards were a very great option for me to reduce down a lot of debt while still paying about the same per month."
Continue VO: Before shifting your debt to a low-rate balance transfer offer ... do your homework. There's a plethora of different offers from numerous card issuers. You can find the best balance transfer credit card by searching Bankrate.com. Just go the credit card tab at the top of the main page, select your criteria ... and you can pick from a myriad of offerings. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.