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For those following and not following my saga... I came to the board with >70k in debt and am knee deep in pay down mode. My strategy is obviously reduce expenses, increase income, and reduce interest rates.

Shortly after my last post, Bank of America sent me a BT offer- 0% until July 2015. 4% transfer rate. I have two Bank of America cc. One with zero balance with a limit of 7200. And one with 3700 and a limit of 9300. I took the offer on the zero balance card. I took 6800 and now have a balance of 7072. I used that money to pay Amex. Along with an additional 3k that I threw at the card, my Amex now stands at roughly 3500. I should be able to pay that off next month. So that is the update. Amex at 15.24 is my highest interest rate card.
In January my balance was as high as 35k and at its highest 45k!
I can't believe it will finally be zero. I realize that not all the debt is gone, simply transferred but still feels good anyway.

The question, I am wondering if I should take the second balance transfer offer. I would take the roughly 5k available to me and pay off chase my next highest at 14+%. I owe 8k. By end of September, early October it would be paid off versus nov/dec.

My concerns are that in my debt payoff quest I have utilized a number of BT offers: citi, chase slate, and chase freedom for a total of almost 15k. Citi comes due first on April of 2015, with an interest rate rise of 22%! The balance is <3k so I could divert payments to clear that prior to the interest rate change. To save 6-8 weeks of higher interest, I will have five out of seven cards at >90% utilization. Also I don't have it clear in my head that I will be able to pay those amts off prior to their expirations. With th exception of citi, they will revert to their normal interest rates of 9.9 to 15%. I still have tons of debt at 10% to pay off, so the 0% would not be getting my attention for some time. My snowball calculator from April predicted 22 months of debt paydown. I would have to run numbers again given the new interest rates. Even if numbers are do-able, knowing that my eagerness to take these 0% offers landed me in part in this mess I am now in, makes me pause. Lastly because i know someone will ask, I have no plans to take on additional credit. My homeowner and car insurance premiums came due June and I am billed annually so don't anticipate another credit scan until prob may of next year. Obviously no new house/cars etc anticipated. Oldest car is from 2010 with maybe 36k miles.
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Neveragain -

If I understand correctly, you have another BT offer 0% till July 2015, but a 4% transfer fee. If you use the BT, you'll have an account closed out in Sept/Oct instead of Nov/Dec?

This is really a math question, but it sounds like you'll be free and clear without a BT in about 2-3 additional months. I think you'll pay less interest without taking the BT. If thats the case, I would not do the BT.

On a separate note, sounds like you are making progress. If you keep it up, In January I would start calling the folks where BT are about to go up and negotiate on the rate - basically, let them know if they can't do better on their interest rate, they are your next target for payoff. You'll probably be able to get a few percentage points shaved off of Citi.
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No. of Recommendations: 23
My concerns are that in my debt payoff quest I have utilized a number of BT offers: citi, chase slate, and chase freedom for a total of almost 15k. Citi comes due first on April of 2015, with an interest rate rise of 22%! The balance is <3k so I could divert payments to clear that prior to the interest rate change. To save 6-8 weeks of higher interest, I will have five out of seven cards at >90% utilization. Also I don't have it clear in my head that I will be able to pay those amts off prior to their expirations. With th exception of citi, they will revert to their normal interest rates of 9.9 to 15%. I still have tons of debt at 10% to pay off, so the 0% would not be getting my attention for some time. My snowball calculator from April predicted 22 months of debt paydown. I would have to run numbers again given the new interest rates. Even if numbers are do-able, knowing that my eagerness to take these 0% offers landed me in part in this mess I am now in, makes me pause.

There is the hard number analysis, and there are behavioral concerns. The numbers are easier to prove, but the behavioral concerns will have a bigger impact on your finances.

The key thing that jumps out at me is that you aren't sure you can manage the complexity you have built into your debt management. When this happens, it's time to stop adding more complexity, and may be time to reduce existing complexity.

Complexity is neither good nor bad in and of itself; but it can obscure what's really going on. Bear in mind that you have a life to live, while the credit card issuers create complexity so that some percentage of the borrowers will pay them more money than the advertised benefits. (This phenomenon is not unique to card issuers, but card issuers are what is relevant to you right now.)

The way you beat an army of paid lawyers and marketers creating a bewilderingly complex structure of rates, expiration dates, and hoops to jump through is not to play their game. When it gets so complex that you doubt your ability to clear the hoops and grab the low interest rates, stop chasing the low interest rates and focus on paying as much as possible toward the debt.

Remember that getting lower interest rates is not a primary goal. It is a tactic that enables you to have more of your payment applied to principal. You get out of debt from paying all the principal, not from paying less interest.

Yes, the structure of all the 0% balance transfers can by analyzed, and a plan can be made as to when you need to focus on the 0% debt that's about to transition to a higher rate than your currently highest rate. But if you can't keep clear what that plan is, and how to make reality match that plan, it's time to have a simpler plan.

The plan of throwing as much money as possible at the debt is a pretty good basic plan. Finding a way to squeeze $50 out of spending just this month, and sending that $50 as extra debt payment, could be a better use of your time and energy than analyzing a lot of zero percent BT offers.

Patzer
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The object of the game isn't just to get out of cc debt - it's to stay out of cc debt (unless you have a life threatening emergency and no other way to pay).

I've been a saver, and spender, and now I'm back to a saver.

When I was paying off cc debt, after 1-2 balance transfers I realized I made more headway just focusing on paying off my debt rather than trying to play the balance transfer game. As others have suggested, call your current cards to see if any will lower the current interest rate. But since you said 0% offers helped land you in the debt you're now trying to pay off, maybe in the long run they're not worth it.

I have to say, now when I look back on carrying credit card debt and the average interest rates, I realize how I really didn't get how it's impossible to get a 15%+ guaranteed return on an investment - so it's ridiculous to revolve that on a cc. Sometimes the more expensive lesson is better to pay, if that's the lesson that will sink into you and motivate you to change your ways.
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