The financial recession the world is currently undergoing has left many people in debt, following the credit bubble that occurred in the late noughties. Many then rushed to take out loans, either for personal use or in order to get their businesses up and running. As the overall economic situation worsened, those very same debtors found themselves unable to repay those loans. There are now many people out there whose credit card debt has surpassed psychological thresholds beyond belief and are now forced to carry around debt well into the tens of thousands of dollars. If you find yourself in such a situation, there are several options you can go for, the most viable of which is applying for a credit card balance transfer. However, before you do, you need to know what such a credit line involves, if you can actually benefit from it and what terms and conditions apply.
Defining Credit Card Balance Transfers
First of all, you need to know that there are not many such credit lines freely available out there, as there used to be in the past. The financial crisis, corroborated with the high degree of risk that balance transfers entail, have made lending institutions much more cautious and weary of giving out such loans. The main reason behind this is that the introductory interest rate on such credit lines is zero. This is a great perk for the debtor, yet a potential risk factor for the lender. You can only apply for a balance transfer if you have good, or even great credit rating. If, in the past, you have been in the habit of not paying back the money owed on time, then perhaps you should consider other options, as you might not be eligible for this.
Differences from the Past
Credit card balance transfers are nowhere near as permissive nowadays as they used to be in the past. For one thing, there are not as many available on the market to begin with. On the other hand, they also tend to be offered in the shorter term than before, for spans of time that range between six to twelve months. Yet another recent development on the balance transfer scene is that transfer fees appear to have embarked on a growing trend. They don’t appear to be stopping any time soon, and there is also no margin nor cap for them to stop at.
Your Personal Situation
To decide whether or not you can actually benefit from such an operation, you need to carefully analyze the particulars of your situation. For one thing, what is the amount of credit that you would be willing to transfer to your new lender? For another, you need to be almost completely sure that you can pay back a large part, if not all, your debt, during the introductory zero interest promotional period. Otherwise, if this doesn’t seem feasible, you’d be best advised looking into a different option. However, if you think you can pull of this feat and cover your debt from the money you’d be saving by not paying interest, then look at the balance transfer programs on the market.