Transferring your debt to a 0% credit card could be beneficial for a number of reasons, but make sure you’ve got the full picture first.
If you’ve got debt - small or large - hanging over your head, there’s a very good chance you could be paying interest on what you owe. But what if there was a way to repay that debt without the monthly charge? Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, you could achieve this by transferring your debt to a 0% credit card. If you’re thinking about making the change, this blog will tell you everything you need to know about 0% credit cards, how you actually make the transfer, the benefits; and some all important things to consider.
What is a 0% credit card?
Quite simply, a 0% credit card is a type of credit card that doesn’t require you to pay interest on the amount you spend - but only for a limited time. This 0% interest period will vary from lender-to-lender, so it’s really important that you triple check what the term is to avoid getting caught out.
If you get it right, 0% credit cards are one of the cheapest ways to borrow money.
How do you transfer debt to a 0% credit card?
Transferring your existing debt to a 0% credit card is super simple.
1)Look around: don’t rush your research or make any hasty decisions. Invest the time into looking around for the best deal out there.
2) Apply: once you’re confident you’ve found yourself a decent deal and you’re looking to apply, there are a number of factors that could contribute to whether or not you’re accepted - like your credit history, employment status and income, and these may also impact how much you’re able to transfer to your new card, too.
3) Clear your debt: after you’ve been accepted for a 0% credit card, the next stage will be to clear off your existing debt by transferring the money over to the new card.
It’s worth noting that some lenders may charge you a fee to set-up your 0% credit card with them or a transfer fee. This is another element that will vary from lender-to-lender, and should be factored in during your research.
4)Meet your monthly payments: once you’ve set-up your account and transferred your debt to your new 0% credit card, all that’s left to do is to work out what you can afford each month to pay off the balance during the interest-free period.
So if, for example, your 0% credit card is interest-free for 24 months and you have a £1,200 debt to clear, you could pay £50 a month (every month!) which would wipe out your debt before the interest kicks in.
The primary benefit of transferring debt to a 0% credit card is to avoid interest. Typically, the more you pay in interest, the less you'll likely be able to afford to put towards your debt, meaning it’ll take much longer to clear it - which may mean you end up paying interest on more monthly instalments (it can become a bit of a vicious cycle, really!).
Another benefit is the ability to (providing your credit limit allows it) consolidate multiple debts with 0% credit cards. This may make managing any debts easier in terms of both keeping track of where you’re up to, and streamlining several payments to a single lender.
Things to consider
Nothing lasts forever
As with everything in life, all good things come to an end, and 0% credit cards aren’t interest-free forever. Because of this, as we touched on earlier, it’s imperative that you’re clear on:
When the 0% introductory offer ends
How much interest you’ll be charged when the offer expires
before you take out a 0% credit card.
Transferring your debt to a 0% credit card could prove counterproductive if you’re unable to wipe out what you owe before the interest-free period ends, and/or the interest you pay thereafter is more than what you previously stumped up.
Depending on how much debt you’re looking to transfer, a 0% credit card might not always be a wise solution. Why? Because your credit limit may be determined by things like your income and your credit history, and so if you have a large amount of debt to clear but too low of a credit limit offered, you may not be able to transfer the entire debt.
That’s not to say you can’t transfer some of the debt over, but bear in mind you’ll then need to juggle repaying two sets of arrears each month.
To transfer or not to transfer?
That is the question. And there isn’t really a set answer that applies to all. Transferring your debt to a 0% credit card could be a cheaper way to repay what you owe but, as we’ve highlighted throughout this article, only if you use them in the right way and aim to repay your debt within the interest-free period.
Whichever path you decide to go down, we hope you’ve found this blog useful and that we’ve answered some common questions.
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Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.