February 19, 2019 | 02:40 AM

Get Out of Debt

02.12.2008Solve your credit card dilemmas today

If your credit card balance is losing you sleep at night then for goodness sake do something about it today.

By Jill Fraser

If your credit card balance is losing you sleep at night then for goodness sake do something about it today. Thankfully there are some handy strategies that you can implement right away such as transfering your balance (your debt) to another card offering zero interest rates for a set period of time.

Balance transfer deals, one of the greatest selling points of card companies in recent years, provide you with the chance to save hundreds of dollars simply by switching to another credit card and taking advantage of the introductory transfer offer.

Balance transfer deals are special interest rates offered by a wide range of financial institutions to entice you to transfer the balance on your existing card over to them. The rate ranges from 0% to 7% and lasts for a specified length of time – usually six months.

In essence your new credit card repays the debt on your old credit or store card, hopefully at a cheaper rate, and sweetens the deal with an introductory transfer offer.

Your monthly minimum repayment will still apply but more or all will go towards paying off your capital. In other words, if you’ve got a 0% transfer rate deal, 100% of your repayments will be used to clear the balance.

Once the introductory offer period is over, you'll revert to the card's standard interest rate (always check that this is indeed the case).

Some people continually transfer their credit card balance from one card to the next to take advantage of zero interest rates. While this is indeed possible, be careful that it doesn't harm your credit rating, which is used by lenders to approve mortgages and investment loans. The last thing you want is for your credit rating to be impacted. 

As competition hots up between credit card companies more are offering very attractive rate transfer deals.

Currently cards offering 0% interest for six months for balance transfers include St George Vertigo, NAB Low Rate Visa, ANZ Low Rate Mastercard, Citibank Clear and HSBC’s Low Rate.

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