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Credit Card Consolidation - Make Your Debt Manageable

Aug 17, 2007
Debt consolidation is a term you'll hear often in the adverts for loans - especially home loans. The idea is to take out a loan large enough to pay off your credit cards and other loans, then pay off the loan at a lower interest rate than you were paying on the credit cards. It's a logical leap - except for one thing. It works even better if you use the lowest interest rate loan available - 0% balance transfer credit cards.

0% balance transfer cards were the product of a competitive marketplace - the credit card marketplace. After years of growth in the credit card market, the providers found themselves in the position of having to entice customers from each other in order to keep on growing their market share. In order to do that, they came up with several schemes to make their credit cards more attractive than those of their competitors. Balance transfer credit cards are specifically designed to get you to shift your existing balance from one credit card company to another by offering you a better deal. And while 0% balance transfer credit cards are a bit more scarce than they were two years ago, they do still exist - and they've been joined by other low interest balance transfer credit cards schemes.

The Benefits of Credit Card Consolidation with Balance Transfer Credit Cards
There are a number of benefits to taking advantage of a balance transfer scheme to get control of your credit card debt.

1. Low (or no) interest slows down the mounting of your debt. If you've been carrying half a dozen balances on higher interest credit cards, chances are your minimum monthly payment doesn't even nibble at your outstanding balance. That's because credit card interest rates are designed to KEEP you in debt, not get you out of it. By moving all of your high interest balances onto one low interest card, you can attack it more directly and keep it from spiraling completely out of control.

2. One monthly payment makes it easier to make the payment on time. Instead of remembering half a dozen different payment due dates, you only have ONE. No more worries about missing or late payments because one of your credit cards fell off the radar.

3. Having one credit card and one monthly payment lets you concentrate your efforts and apply a larger chunk of money where it counts. Add up all the minimum monthly payments that you're making now. Then compare balance transfer credit cards by minimum monthly payments to see how it stacks up to your current monthly payment. Chances are that the amount of money you're currently paying out to meet all of your minimum payments will be far above the minimum monthly payment on a balance transfer credit card - which means that with every payment you'll be hacking away at the outstanding balance and making your way toward being debt-free.

How to Compare Balance Transfer Credit Cards
If you do the math and decide that a balance transfer credit card is the right decision for you, then take the time to compare balance transfer credit cards and find the best one for you. While 0% balance transfer cards still exist, the days of no-strings 0% cards are fading away. Most balance transfer credit cards have certain limitations and requirements for their use.

You can check out balance transfer credit cards on offer at comparison sites to compare the various terms and find the balance transfer card that works best for you.

Once you've transferred all your balances to one card, be careful not to run your other cards up to limit again. Your best course is to keep one credit card active for use in emergency - or for your everyday purchases - and pay off that card in full every single month. That way you won't find yourself in the situation of paying down double the debt because you've run it up all over again.
About the Author
Jon Francis has been involved with finance for many years! With an in-depth knowledge of the credit card UK market help helps others get the best from a credit card.
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