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You need to crunch numbers to compare the fee to the interest you’d pay if you don’t consolidate, she says.
Typically, with a balance transfer card, you are only allowed to transfer other credit card debt onto your new card, so it might not be the best option if you have a mix of debt to consolidate, Berger says.
How to shop: Look for an offer with no balance transfer fee, Berger says.
He recommends starting with the Chase Slate card because there’s no balance transfer fee for transfers made within 60 days of account opening.
In some cases, you might be able to keep one credit card open if you need it for work to pay for hotels, car rentals and other expenses reimbursed by your employer, Opperman says. How to shop: Look for a reputable nonprofit credit counseling agency.
If you’re approved, your new credit card company will pay off the balance for you and move that balance to the new 0 percent card.
You won’t always get a high enough credit limit on the new card to transfer all your debt, says Rob Berger, founder of the personal finance site Dough Roller.
If you have a mix of unsecured debt, your credit is shaky or you’re late on payments, a debt management plan (DMP) through a nonprofit credit counseling agency might be your best bet.
You can enter into a debt management plan by going through a reputable nonprofit credit counseling organization affiliated with either the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Financial Counseling Association of America, for example.
Many also have other unsecured debt, such as medical debt, personal loans or installment loans from appliance or furniture retailers, Opperman says.