Is a Balance Transfer Right for You?
Q: I’m considering a balance transfer to a card with a lower interest rate. Is that a good idea?
A: Transferring some or all of your credit card debt to a card that includes an introductory low-interest period can help you move toward a debt-free life. However, there are some things to be aware of. Consider these pros and cons:
1. Lower interest rates for a time
Your biggest push for making a balance transfer is to get a break from the interest that’s added to your balance. Depending on the offer, that could mean a break of six months to more than 18 months. At Truity, you'll save with an introductory 1.99% INTRO APR* for the first 15 months for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances; then, your variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness, currently 8.99% - 17.90% APR. Making a balance transfer will allow you to take a real bite out of your debt and make progress toward getting rid of it completely. For details, click here.
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The more monthly bills you need to pay, the greater the chance of missing a payment. When you transfer balances and close those high-interest accounts, you’ll be able to consolidate several different cards into one, decreasing the number of monthly payments you need to make.
Taking this significant step toward paying down your debt may motivate more careful spending habits.
1. You may not have enough time to get your balance to zero
At the end of a predetermined amount of time with your new card, your interest rate on the remaining balance will rise. While you may plan on paying down your balance before the interest rate kicks in, you may not be able to do so. With some cards, you may pay a higher interest rate than the prevailing rate, but not at Truity. After Truity’s introductory period, you’ll pay your prevailing rate depending on your creditworthiness, currently 8.99% - 17.90%. The Terms and Conditions for your new card will spell out exactly what will happen after your introductory period. If you can’t transfer the entire balance for all of your high interest credit cards, transfer the balance on the card with the highest interest rate.
2. Transfer fees
Most balance transfer offers charge a minimum of 3-5% of the balance you’re transferring; Truity’s balance transfer fee it 3%. So, while you may not be incurring much interest, the transfer isn’t always free.
3. Negative impact on your credit score
Having less available credit while using a small percentage of it is considered the smart choice. Opening a new card without closing an old one means you will have more available credit, potentially lowering your score. There are many factors to consider when it comes to examining your credit score and ways to improve it. Truity can help you weigh your options and assess your overall financial health.
If you’re sinking in credit card debt but don’t think a balance transfer is for you, we may be able to help. A personal loan might be a solid first step toward debt freedom. Call or come by your nearest branch location and let us help.
**With Approved Credit. 1.99% Introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) good on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers for new Truity Visa® cards for the first 15 months; then, continue to save with the low prevailing variable rate.