Balance Transfer Credit Card Alternatives

Balance Transfer Credit Card Alternatives

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated November 30, 2021

Here’s the deal: a balance transfer of your credit card debt is one of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re trying to pay off your debt. If you can find one that looks and sounds like a good deal and you are able to qualify for it then you should definitely go for it. But here’s the problem: a lot of people aren’t able to qualify for balance transfer credit cards because they have a poor credit history or the transfer fees are simply too high, which makes the whole process not worth it in the end. Generally speaking you need to have good credit to qualify for a balance transfer credit card so it’s not a possibility for everyone, but there are lots of other ways to help improve your chances of paying off your credit card debt. Here are a few tricks to help make debt repayment just a little bit more affordable.

Simply Ask About a Lower Interest Rate

Yes, balance transfer credit cards are a great way to transfer your debt from a high interest rate card to one with a lower interest rate but it’s not your only option. Don’t give up and get stuck with a high interest rate, call up your current credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. Obviously there’s no guarantee that they say yes but they might and a lower interest rate is definitely worth one simple phone call on your lunch break.

If you never even try to ask for a lower interest rate then you won’t ever get one, but if you try your chances are already higher. Don’t force the subject because if they can’t offer you a rate decrease then there isn’t much you can do about it, but don’t give in right away either. Tell them that you really like and appreciate their services and want to stay a customer but you would really benefit from a lower interest rate because you’re trying to tackle your debt. Chances they’ll be able to help you out in some way.

Apply For a Personal Loan

If you’ve called up your credit card provider and they weren’t able to lower your interest rate then you might want to consider applying for a personal loan. There are lots of great private lenders who are willing to work with you to get the right kind of loan for your financial situation. You should also be able to find a loan that has an interest rate lower than your current credit card and to qualify you won’t need to have the best credit. Personal loans are a great option if you have more than one credit card that you’d like to pay off, you’ll be able to pay off all your debt and then only have to make one easy to handle payment instead of keeping track of several different cards.

A personal loan is also a great way to take control of your finances and make responsible decisions. With a personal loan you won’t be tempted to only make the minimum payment because there isn’t one. A personal loan will help you conquer your credit cards and become debt free.

Consider Asking for Professional Help

Credit counseling agencies or debt management programs can seem intimidating especially if you feel like you have a lot of debt and have no idea where to start. On the other hand you might not feel like you have enough debt to warrant professional help. Whatever amount of debt you have a professional will be able to help you, whether it’s to get back on track or to prevent your current debt from escalating until it’s out of control.

Here’s how it works. You choose the agency that you want to work with and then they use the relationships they have with creditors to get you a lower interest rate on your debt. The catch is you’ll probably have to pay your agency a small monthly fee but the work they do for you will most likely be worth it in the end. Once your agency has negotiated with your creditors on your behalf you’ll make on easy monthly payment to your agency who will then use that money to pay back off your debts. Typically you can look forward to being debt free in 4 to 5 years, this might seem like a long time but it could take you several extra years on top of the 4 to 5 if you were to do it with no help.

When deciding which option is best for your current financial situation remember that no one will pay off your credit card debt for you, you need to make your decision for you and no one else. If you feel like you need professional help, get professional help. Working hard and becoming debt free truly will be the best decision you’ve ever made.

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Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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