Having one or two credit cards which need your attention is commonplace. To have multiple credit cards which need paying off is a sign that things are out of control. Interest is charged on each outstanding card balance with monthly regularity thus increasing the total amount of the overall debt. The most practical way to tackle it is to consolidate the whole of the outstanding credit card balances into one easy to handle payment. When multiple cards need your attention then a balance transfer is called for as the most sensible plan.
Balance transfer cards enable you to pay off each individual card at once and transfer the cumulative balances onto one card, thus leaving you just one monthly payment to meet. There are many balance transfer cards which offer an attractive low rate of interest for an introductory period of generally between 6 and 18 months. Some cards are now increasing terms to 21 months but a good credit score is needed to qualify.
As long as the interest rate is lower than that on your current cards then you will stand to make a substantial monthly saving on the total interest that you pay, and as there is only one payment to make you should also be able to make inroads into paying down the total balance.
It is important to understand the terms offered regarding the introductory period as it may make better financial sense if faced with a choice of two balance transfer cards to take the one with the slightly higher interest rate if the introductory period is longer. Once this period expires the card will revert to the standard variable rate so you should apprise yourself of this figure in advance.
Most balance transfer cards carry a flat fee of 3-4 % for balance transfers but in most cases this still represents a substantial saving on the interest you would have paid. It is important to understand that if at any time you default on the terms and conditions of the card you will lose the introductory interest rate and immediately be placed on a penalty rate which would then make the whole exercise a futile one.
Balance transfer cards are thus only suited to those who are prepared to use them to make a concerted effort to clear the full balance and not to use the card for additional spending. If you are not able to obtain a good balance transfer card then the next best approach is to contact your current card provider and negotiate a lower interest rate. The next move is to then aggressively pay down the card which still has the highest interest rate first to reduce the overall interest burden.
There are other methods of reducing credit card debt, but when dealing with multiple cards a balance transfer is the most desirable and wisest option. It will allow you to focus on reducing just one debt without being distracted by the sight of rising balances on multiple cards.