When combined with a strategy to reduce expenditures, consolidation of credit card debt is regarded as one of the most effective measures which can be taken for reducing and eliminating excessive credit card debt.
Credit card debt consolidation (also referred to as balance transfer) is the process of consolidating debt from multiple credit cards cards with a higher APR to credit cards with a lower APR (ideally one or two cards).
Credit card debt consolidation can also be accomplished by obtaining a bank loan (at a lower interest rate) and using it towards paying the debt on the higher APR credit cards. This loan is then paid-back to the bank in the form of monthly installments.
Whatever method you adopt to consolidate your credit cards, APR will always be the key. However, there is a catch that you must be aware of when making a plan to consolidate credit card debt. The low APR rates advertised by most credit card suppliers are the short term APR rates which are meant to lure you from their competitors.
Take some time to properly analyze the offers from various banks and credit card suppliers. Check the time period for which 0% APR is being offered and also the APR that would be applicable after the lapse of that period. Generally, 0% APR will apply for an initial period of less than 12 months or some other period after which time the APR rate increases. So, if you’re planning on paying off a considerable amount of debt in that time frame then this approach will work, even if the APR (post 0% period) is a bit higher. However, if that is not the case, the long term APR is going to be the most important thing for you to consider.
Before you move on to consolidate credit card debt it’s important to understand that consolidating credit card debt will be beneficial only if you pledge to adopt and follow a disciplined approach to controlled spending.