If you read your credit card agreement, it’s clear that your issuer can change or increase your current rates at any time. If you own a credit card, don’t be surprised if the great rates you once enjoyed are now replace by expensive charges. If this happened to you, what can you do?
It’s a good idea to check your monthly statement of account and any other letter from your credit card. Remember that companies must give their customers a 15-day advanced notice before implementing changes. If there will be changes on your rates, call your issuer immediately and negotiate. If your issuer refuses to maintain your old rate, it may be time to find another credit card.
The good news is, you can find many choices of credit cards in the market with great deals. Some cards have zero interest rate introductory offers that you can use to transfer over balances from your high rate cards. The key to using this strategy is to finish paying off your balances within the zero-interest period.
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Find a zero interest credit card with a longer introductory period. If you do your search carefully, you’ll find 0% APR deals that last for up to 6 to 12 months. A longer introductory promo should give you more time to pay off your balances without the additional interest.
Beyond the Zero-Interest Period
When applying for a 0% balance transfer credit card, see to it that the interest rate would stay low when the promo period ends. Don’t apply for too many credit cards just because all of them have zero interest. One 0% APR card should be enough to help you manage your credit card debt.
Check Your Credit History
Before applying for a 0% APR credit card, check your credit score and see if you’re qualified. Take note that most cards with zero interest offers require good or excellent credit. IF you have an average credit score, you may look for cards with low interest rate that accept average credit.
When getting a new card, don’t close out your old credit card right away, especially if it’s one of your first cards. Cancelling your old account would mean erasing your old credit history. Instead of closing your account, use your credit card occasionally on a small purchase and pay off your balance on the same day. This way, you can avoid the high interest rate while keeping your old card active.