Balance Transfer Credit Card Facts and Myths
There are a number of balance transfer credit card facts and myths that are important to be cleared up. Understanding these facts and myths will help you to better keep your finances under control.
Myth: I can get arrested for continually transferring my credit card balances.
Legally, you can transfer your credit card balances as often as you want. So long as you are making your payments and not attempting to defraud your lender, the law does not concern itself with how you choose to handle you finances. It is, however, a bad practice to continually move your balance transfer credit card to another. This is because, in order to do this, you need to open up several credit card accounts. When it comes to your credit rating, having a large number of open accounts can lead to a bad credit rating.
Credit cards utilize what is known as "revolving credit." This credit is different from something such as a car payment, which is paid back in installments. Too much available revolving credit puts you in the high-risk category. The basic thought process behind this is that it would be too easy for you to acquire a great deal of revolving credit, use it all up, and then default on your payments. Therefore, using balance transfer credit cards to consolidate bills one time is a good idea, but it shouldn't be a routine practice.
Myth: The best balance transfer credit cards have a 0.00% APR.
While it is true that the best balance transfer credit cards should offer a 0.00% APR, there are more factors to consider when choosing the best card. For starters, you need to learn more about this special APR. Do you need to complete the balance transfer at the time of application in order to qualify for the 0.00% APR, or do you have a window of time during which you make transfers? Does the 0.00% APR last for the lifetime of the balance transfer, or will it rise to an above average APR within a few months? Does the balance transfer credit card offer other benefits, such as travel insurance and fraud protection? Does the card offer a low APR for purchases, as well, or is it best to use the balance transfer credit card only for transfers?
Myth: Balance transfer credit cards are the key to getting out of debt.
While balance transfer credit cards can assist you in taking control of your debt, they should not be considered your primary means of getting out of debt. Instead, you should look at the balance transfer credit card as one tool in your tool belt of obtaining financial freedom. You can consolidate all of your higher interest rate credit cards onto one balance transfer credit card, thereby paying less in finance charges. It also makes it easier for you to keep track of your debts and your bills because all of your payments will be made to just one credit card. Nonetheless, it takes responsibility, diligence, and proper planning to get out of debt - not just getting a balance transfer credit card.
Myth: Balance transfer credit cards are hard to find.
Many people mistakenly believe it is difficult to find a great balance transfer credit card, but this is not true. Many credit card companies offer special introductory rates in order to entice people to apply to their card. After all, the more money you transfer to their card, the more money they can potentially make on the finance charges you have to pay. In fact, you might even be able to make a card you currently have into a balance transfer credit card by calling the credit card company and asking them if they would be willing to give you a special deal. Many companies will waive fees and lower interest rates to keep you with them.