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No. of Recommendations: 3
After waiting and watching and shredding offers for months because 0% BTs came with a 3-5% front-loaded fee, a zero percent offer arrived today. By the numbers:

No annual fee
0% for 14 months on BT's
13.49-17.49% thereafter
NO BT FEE on transfers completed prior to June 10.

One negative is that it is an app for a new card, not an existing open account. We don't want or need another CC. We don't use any card, but have balances on three, and a couple more that are open with no balance. Those open cards won't waive their BT fee, so we are giving this new (Discover) account consideration.

I'd hope for a line large enough to transfer our largest balance from 13.49 to 0%, saving around $168 in interest PER MONTH. Our latest CC numbers:

6239.30 @ 16.49%
9545.62 @ 13.49%
15013.73 @ 13.49%

I would expect my side hustle to zero out the $6239 balance in the next 6-7 weeks, weather permitting. That leaves just under 25k on the cards. Would it be wise to ask for a BT on both the $15013 and $9545, and have all of our CC debt at 0%? (Pretty soon, and best case if approved). Or...is a smaller line likely going to be the case, and maybe I should only list one of the balances to transfer. ?

Without seeing info on how the minimum payment would be calculated, it would work for us even if it more than doubled. I will call and ask for the terms and see if I can get a rough estimate of the size of the line.

Finally, we are following Dave Ramsey, except that we don't care about any "pay the smallest balance" baloney. We are killing the highest interest rate first because that is the most gazelle intense way to go about it. We don't need quick wins for the thrill or to stay motivated. What motivates me is not losing, and my brain won't pretend that math isn't real! I am pretty motivated to save $168 or more monthly, as that will dollar-for-dollar decrease our balance.

Is this devil worth dancing with? Thanks, and sorry so long.

Walstib!
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Ok- I guess we aren't following DR very closely until we get to baby step 3. We are leaving accounts open and zeroed so that our credit rating doesn't take a hit and lessen the likelihood of money-saving BT offers.

Walstib!
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No. of Recommendations: 7
0% for 14 months on BT's

You need to carefully read the terms, and understand when interest will start being charged. If your rate expires May, 2021, does that mean that interest actually starts being charged on the balance in April, since the expiration is for the cycle that has a payment due in May? Or does it mean that interest will start being charged after the cycle that closes in May? Both scenarios are possible, so you need to be sure you understand which one it is.

13.49-17.49% thereafter

Yeah, you need to assume that it's probably the 17.49%, rather than the 13.49% - which means if you don't get the balance paid off by the time the promo period ends, you're going to be paying a higher rate, or you will end up paying a BT fee, effectively paying more than the 0% rate you are seeking.

I would expect my side hustle to zero out the $6239 balance in the next 6-7 weeks, weather permitting.

See, that's the thing - what if the weather doesn't permit? You are engaging in magical thinking when you are counting on things like the weather to go right.

Without seeing info on how the minimum payment would be calculated, it would work for us even if it more than doubled.

But if it more than doubled, would that still allow you to make more than the minimum payments on your higher rate debts? You need to be sure you understand this before you even apply for the card. Many credit cards have minimum payment requirements of (prior month interest + prior month fees + 1% of the principal balance) Assuming you don't incur any fees, on your 13.49% balances, that's going to be a little over 2% - about 2.1% If your minimum payment was instead, 5% of the original balance (i.e. more than double), and stayed at that level, would you still be able to do a snowball on the rest of your debt?

Is this devil worth dancing with?

Maybe. Since the lowest possible rate on the new card is the same as the rate on the debt you have suggested you will transfer, you must be:
- Totally confident that the newly freed up credit line(s) will not tempt you to use them
- Totally confident that you will be able to pay the entire balance transferred off before the promo rate expires
- Totally confident that you will be able to afford the new minimum payments on everything and still have money to put toward paying the higher rate debt back.

If you really want to spend the least amount on interest, I would actually suggest that you should transfer the 16.49% debt, and part of the 13.49% debt, but no more than you will be able to pay off in the promo period, while still making more than the minimum payments on your high rate debt.

AJ
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Thank you AJ. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on all points.

Assume 12 months, not 14.

Assume 17.49% after the 0% intro for 12 months.

Assume 12 weeks to complete the side hustle even though 6-7 weeks accounted for a nice cushion to allow for uncooperative weather. Meanwhile the $6239 still drops every month until the side project is completed and this balance is zero.

Mathematically, I'm still calculating a savings of over $2000 with a no fee BT. This even assumes I DON'T get it paid off during the 0% intro period and the rate jumps to 17.49% for another 6 months.

$24,500 can stay at 13.49% and a payment of $1511 will zero it in 18 months.
Interest paid over 18 months: $2699.00

or...
$24,500 at 0% for 12 months minus ($1511 payments x 12) leaves a balance of $6,368.
$6,368 balance, rate soars to 17.49% and payments of $1330/month pays it off in 5 months.
Interest paid over 18 months: $281.00

If the difference was just a few hundred, I wouldn't split hairs, but I'm not really trying to end the debt cycle if I'm willing to forego $2400. Twenty four hundred dollars! There's no way I can call myself "gazelle intense" if I don't seek and seize $2400 advantages. I do realize that there are some assumptions/projections here, but I'd say it's generally more mathematical than magical. You can bet against me if you want. I understand. There are a million "what if's" that aren't addressed here. The credit limit on a new card will probably be more like 10-12k which shrinks the pennies saved/earned, but this is all worth a phone call on Monday anyway.

Thanks again!

Walstib
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Assume 12 months, not 14.

Assume 17.49% after the 0% intro for 12 months.

Assume 12 weeks to complete the side hustle even though 6-7 weeks accounted for a nice cushion to allow for uncooperative weather. Meanwhile the $6239 still drops every month until the side project is completed and this balance is zero.

Mathematically, I'm still calculating a savings of over $2000 with a no fee BT. This even assumes I DON'T get it paid off during the 0% intro period and the rate jumps to 17.49% for another 6 months.

$24,500 can stay at 13.49% and a payment of $1511 will zero it in 18 months.
Interest paid over 18 months: $2699.00

or...
$24,500 at 0% for 12 months minus ($1511 payments x 12) leaves a balance of $6,368.
$6,368 balance, rate soars to 17.49% and payments of $1330/month pays it off in 5 months.
Interest paid over 18 months: $281.00


Or...

Request* that the BT pay:

$6,325** to the 16.49% card
$9,650** to the lower balance 13.49% card
$15,180** to the higher balance 13.49% card

*Balance transfers will pay the amounts that you request in your order of preference, until the limit is maxed out. The most cost effective way to do so is to list the highest rates to lowest rates, and if there are multiple cards with the same rate - list lowest balance to highest balance.

**You should request that the BT pay the balance plus the prior month's interest in order to pay residual interest that has accrued. If you end up with a credit balance on the card(s) that get paid off, request the company send you the money and turn around and apply that money to your snowball.

You can then apply your side hustle money to your snowball, and if you happen to get all of your debts transferred to the 0% rate, you won't pay any more interest until that rate expires, other than the interest that you've already accrued on your current balances.

AJ
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Makes sense AJ.
I like that it sticks to the commitment of paying down the highest interest rate first.

Update: We applied and were approved for a CL of $14,300.

Walstib
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No. of Recommendations: 1
We applied and were approved for a CL of $14,300.

I'm glad this worked for you, Walstib. You are steadily building both success and greater discipline. Trying new approaches is a good way to level up your game. Keep up the good work!

ThyPeace, part of the build the inner discipline and cheerleading section, not the "here is how the math works" section.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Update: We applied and were approved for a CL of $14,300.

Great. That will pay off the entire 16.49% card, and almost all of the lower balance 13.49% card. Hopefully, your side hustle will pay the rest of that card off in a few weeks. When making the final payment, either get an actual balance from the lender that includes the residual interest, or include your estimate of what the accrued interest would be, so you can actually zero out the card. (There have been cases where people think they have paid off a card, and don't pay any attention to it, and then start getting hit with late charges because they didn't pay the accrued interest - don't let that happen to you!)

At that point, you can focus your gazelle intensity on the higher balance 13.49% card.

BTW - what rate did you get?

AJ
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