How To Combine Credit Cards Into One With Lower Interest

••• Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

If you have several high-interest credit cards it might be smart to merge your debt and move it onto a lower-interest card. You pay less over the long run and consolidation can help you pay off debt faster. It also has the potential to protect your credit rating because you'll be less likely to miss, skip or be late on payments, which can have a bad effect on your credit score.

Go Low

Look into available low-interest credit cards and compare their terms. Keep in mind that some cards carry an low introductory interest rate but quickly move to a higher rate, which could put you back where you started.

Look for a card that doesn't charge a fee to transfer the balances of cards with higher rates. Paying a transfer fee could cost you just as much, if not more, than what you were paying before on individual high-interest cards.

Seek a card offering a high enough credit limit that you can consolidate all your other cards into a single account. If you can only transfer part of your balance you'll still face the issue of having several cards with various interest rates, which might not make sense.

Transfer the balances of the higher-rate cards to your new low-interest card once you've been approved. The card company may give you the option of transferring your balances using checks or electronic transfers.

Tips

  • Visit the U.S. Federal Trade Commission website to learn how to find a legitimate nonprofit credit counseling organization. These service providers can guide you to organizations in your area that can help you find ways to combine debt and lower interest rates and monthly payments. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with credit card debt, develop a plan for setting aside money to pay down your debt. Continually transferring high balances to lower interest cards can result in an ongoing cycle of debt that can be hard to escape. Avoid taking on new loans until you have existing debts under control.

References

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been an award-winning writer and author for more than 25 years. She specializes in business, finance, workplace/career and education. Publications she’s written for include Southwest Exchange and InBusiness Las Vegas.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images