Considating credit cards

Most issuers charge a balance transfer fee of around 3%, and some also charge an annual fee.

Before you choose a card, calculate whether the interest you save over time will wipe out the cost of the fee.

You’ll need a good to excellent credit score — above 690 — to qualify for most cards.

Make a budget to pay off your debt by the end of the introductory period, because any remaining balance after that time will be subject to a regular credit card interest rate.

Consolidation works best when your ultimate goal is to pay off debt.

The four most effective ways to consolidate credit card debt are: This type of credit card charges no interest for a promotional period, often 12 to 18 months, and allows you to transfer all your other credit card balances over to it.

Since both types of loans are secured by your house, you could lose it if you don’t keep up with payments.

You can also consolidate your credit card debt by taking out a personal or consolidation loan to pay off your credit card balances.

Again, be careful to check the interest rate and terms and conditions to make sure you won’t be adding to your debt, or paying it back over a much longer period of time.

You can use that money to pay off your credit cards or other debts.

A HELOC typically requires interest-only payments during what’s known as the draw period, which can range from five to 20 years but is typically 10 years.

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