Keeping debts on multiple cards can cause huge problems and a large financial burden on family life, trying to juggle minimum repayments against a family budget, however there are cheap ways to release this pressure by consolidating everything into ‘one easy monthly payment’.
One of the best credit cards currently on offer to customers is the Halifax Balance Transfer card, which provided your credit rating is good enough, can earn you money for a small fee. The transfer rate is 3.5% for 22 months, however this only covers balances of up to £3,000. For balances above this is the Barclaycard Platinum, which offers a 2.2% fee, again for 22 months. These are correct at the time of writing for the UK, and if you are in the UK, the latest top cards can be found here. The trick is to place the money into a top savings account, for instance on a 22 month deal and £10,000 debt, to place £500 a month into a top savings account, details of which can be found here. This can often mitigate the cost of the transfer and a bit more, thus to use a £10,000 debt over 20 months as an example, can see you up to £200 better off over this period. Another good trick is not to use the card in this time, thus only paying the balance and not building new debt. If this cannot be done, a good trick is to ride the initial 22 months, then do the same again on a new deal, which can see you paying a cool 4% on the original debt, rather than interest at an average of over 15% each year.
Whilst borrowing to consolidate borrowing is never a good idea, an unsecured loan can be a good idea to consolidate debt. Loans can be as cheap as 7.7% at the time of writing, which means that on a £10,000 loan over 3 years, you could pay as little as £1,100 interest, which is still more expensive than the best balance transfer cards, however would cost £7,280 in interest over the same period for the same amount on an overdraft or credit card of, say 20%. This is only the best option if you have a regular income, and it can be important to budget for exactly what you need to borrow, including any possible expenses such as a car or boiler breaking down and needing replacing.
Remember to budget carefully, and good luck on repaying your debt as quickly as possible.