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Transfer of power: Is balance transfer always good idea?

Anyone who has battled debt in the form of credit cards knows that bleak, uphill feeling when you reach a maximum ceiling as far as how much you've spent on a card or several cards and are looking for a way out.
For some, that might be using your savings account and spending that toward paying down your credit cards or paying them off all together or looking to consolidate through a debt company or perhaps borrowing a lump sum through a credit union, usually one at work will be a little more lenient with approval.
One option that always remains a favorite is the credit card transfer, from one to another in order to take advantage of lower introductory transfer rates and to pay off one card and move it to another so there's little to no interest involved for a certain time period, typically 18 or 24 months.
But is a credit card transfer always a good idea?
In theory, it allows you to avoid interest rates that are typically already steep on the current card in question, but you also have to look at two initial items: percentage of fee on the transfer and what the interest rate is going to be after that introductory rate comes and goes. Anyone can enjoy a zero percent interest rate for a year and a half or two, but after that are you dealing with a double digit interest rate that pushes 20 or 30 percent?

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And as far as this new card, can you use it on new purchases? You also want to determine what that rate is for new purchases and if it is reasonable since you are going to have to assume you'll use the card here and there or sporadically for things that are more conducive to credit cards: renting a car, hotel room, etc.
Finding the right card to complete a balance transfer is really the first of many decisions you have to make regarding the process. In a perfect world, when you assume debt, your goal is to pay it off as soon as possible. That doesn't work all that well or the way it is supposed to all the time, so alternative measures are much needed.
In the case of a balance transfer, the interest rate and fees make or break the deal, and if the card is really worth the trouble after the fact.

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