Can a balance transfer cut debt?

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

Which bank should I choose?

Get personalized bank recommendations in 3 easy steps.

Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

If you’re looking to pay down credit card debt, one option is balance transfer credit cards.

A credit card that offers a zero percent interest rate on balance transfers can be an efficient way to pay down debt. But the move can backfire if you’re not careful. I’m Leslie McFadden with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

A balance transfer card is only a good idea if it’s going to help you aggressively pay down your credit card debt.

Before signing up for one of these cards, factor in the cost of doing the balance transfer. The key details to consider are the introductory interest rate, the length of the introductory period, the APR after the initial interest rate expires, the balance transfer fee and your new minimum payment. Balance transfer fees are often 3 percent of the amount being transferred.

Make sure your credit is good enough to qualify — many balance transfer cards require good to excellent credit. To see if you’re even in the ballpark, try the free FICO score estimator on Bankrate.com.

To learn more about balance transfer credit cards, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Leslie McFadden.