Alternatives to a balance transfer.
A balance transfer is a great way to save money on interest and pay down your debt faster — but it’s not the only option. There are other ways to take control of your credit card debt without transferring a balance, such as taking advantage of financial tools that target specific types of debt or using a cash-back rewards program. If you have several high-interest credit cards and don’t qualify for a balance transfer, you might still be able to find new cards with lower rates by switching from traditional credit cards to those that offer rewards in some other form. Here are some alternatives to balance transfers that could help you get your finances in order faster than extending the timeframe on your existing high-interest balances:
Change your habits
A big part of getting out of debt is changing your habits. This might include everything from shopping less to spending less on gas. You might also want to think about where you are getting your income. Although it might be tempting to pull out a cash advance on a credit card to make ends meet, doing so can get you into trouble. Instead, explore other ways to make more money, like getting a side hustle, or making more at your current job.
Find the right credit card for you
Credit cards can be beneficial when used correctly, especially if they offer some form of rewards. It can be a great way to rack up rewards that you can use toward travel, gift cards, or even cash. If you are already carrying a balance on your credit cards, though, it might not be the best idea to go out and open up new ones. Finding the right credit card for you may involve closing some of your current accounts and focusing on paying down your debt. In order to open a new card, you’ll need to show that you can manage a new account responsibly. One way to do this is by paying off a portion of your existing balances.
If you have several credit accounts with interest rates above 10 percent, you might be able to lower your rates by consolidating your debt via a personal loan. Doing so could help you save money on interest, since rates on personal loans tend to be lower than they are on credit cards. Keep in mind, though, that taking out a personal loan will add to your debt and extend the amount of time you have to pay it off. You may also see a drop in your credit score, which could make it harder to refinance your car, get a home loan, or rent an apartment. Still, getting a lower interest rate could save you money over the long term. You can compare personal loan rates at websites like LendingTree or find a local lender near you at websites like CreditCafe or NerdWallet.
Lower your interest with a personal loan
If you have a high-interest balance on a credit card and aren’t able to qualify for a balance transfer, you can consider taking out a personal loan to cover your credit card debt. Doing so could lower your interest rates and save you money over the long term. Make sure you understand all the terms, though. You want to know exactly how much you’ll be paying and for how long. And always make sure you can afford the payments, since these loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have anything to guarantee you’ll pay them back.
Pay off debt with savings
If you have a large amount of credit card debt and not a lot of income coming in, it might seem impossible to pay it off quickly. In this case, one of the best ways to get out of debt is to put as much money as possible toward your balance each month. For example, if you have a $5,000 credit card balance and a high interest rate of 16 percent, you’ll end up paying around $2,800 in interest over the course of three years. If you put $200 each month toward your debt, you’ll have it paid off in about two years — without paying any interest. This method isn’t perfect, but it could help you get out of debt more quickly without changing your lifestyle or taking on additional debt.
Get a secured credit card
Another way to manage your debt without making significant lifestyle changes is to get a secured credit card. With this type of card, you put a security deposit (say, $500) into an account that the credit card company holds as collateral. This card works like a debit card, only it is connected to a credit account. If you make a purchase, the credit card company will take the same amount out of your security deposit to pay the bill. For example, if you have a $500 credit card and you make a $100 purchase, the card company will take $100 out of your security deposit to pay the bill.
Move your funds to Gauss
Pay off any credit card balance using your low interest credit line from Gauss, both on-demand and automatically. Your cards get lower APR, and you pay off balances much faster. Keep using your current cards and watch your savings go up.
Balances on credit cards are basically short-term loans, and most people don’t pay them off as quickly as they should. Many people don’t even make the minimum payment. In fact, the average person with credit card debt has $5,897 in balances, and only pays off 10 percent of it each month. Since credit card interest rates are often higher than rates on other types of loans, it’s even more important to pay off your credit card debt quickly. If you can’t pay it off quickly, consider a balance transfer to save money on interest or take advantage of lower interest rates by consolidating your debt.