If you are carrying a large amount of credit card debt, this question is likely to pop into your head from time to time.
While it is possible to pay off your credit card with another one, there are a number of things you need to know before you go down that route.
Paying Your Credit Card Debt with a Different Credit Card
There are two ways in which you can pay a credit card with another one.
- Cash advance or convenience check
- Balance transfer
Cash Advance or Convenience Check
A cash advance is the amount of money that you can withdraw from an ATM using your credit card.
There is usually a cap on the amount of money that you can withdraw using your credit card. You can withdraw the money, deposit it into your savings or checking account, and pay your credit card bill.
You can also use a convenience check, which is mailed to you by your credit card provider, to pay off credit cards. You deposit it into your savings or checking account and use the money to pay the bill.
While it might sound really convenient, paying bills using a cash advance or a convenience check might be a really bad idea for two key reasons.
- Credit card companies tend to charge a fee, which is usually a percentage of the amount you withdraw, for cash advances as well as convenience checks.
- The money you withdraw from your credit card starts accruing interest right away and the rate of interest could be as high as 25 percent in many cases.
This is a better and cheaper alternative to a cash advance. In this method, you simply transfer your existing credit card’s balance to a new card, which typically has a lower rate of interest.
You can also take advantage of the low-interest or zero-interest offer provided by credit card companies. The offer usually lasts for a specific period of time, during which you will be charged a very low interest rate or no interest at all on the transferred balance.
Once the offer ends, you will be charged a higher interest rate, which is applicable to the total balance (the transferred balance from the old card and the balance on your new card).
While a balance transfer is a better option than a cash advance, it has its own downsides as well.
- The first thing you need to know about balance transfers is that they are not free in many cases. The credit card provider is likely to charge you a fee, which could be 2% to 5% of the balance you transfer.
- Once the low-interest or zero-interest period is over, you will be charged the regular rate of interest, which could be anywhere from 14 to 22 percent. If you are unable to pay off your credit card debt within this period, you will find yourself in the exact same situation again.
- Not everyone is likely to qualify for a balance transfer. If you have a poor credit score and a less-than-satisfactory repayment record, you could be declined.
Finding the Right Solution for Your Credit Card Problems
If you are a homeowner, a reverse mortgage might be a better option than piling up your credit card debt with more and more cards. Particularly, if you are a retiree, you are better off using the built-up equity in your house rather than adding more debt, which you might find it hard to pay off.
If you want to know how you get rid of your debts and be financially secure in your retirement, get in touch with us today.