Question by Karl: Anyone take a personal loan to pay off credit cards?
I was wondering if anyone took a personal bank loan in order to pay off their credit card balances? Do banks actually offer a credit card consolidation loans yet and for that purpose only? From what I understand this would be better than a 401K loan. Forget the home equity loan. Also heard enough about those so called “credit card repair companies” that they are not worth it. About 16k owed and I am sick and tired of their finance charges , late fees, etc. Want rid them once and for all!
Answer by Nuke
Because you mentioned “late fees” I’m guessing you’ve already shot yourself in the foot a few times by not making a payment on time, and the late payment(s) are going to show up on your credit report. Many banks offer automatic bill paying services… if it’s $ 5/month vs. the $ 20+ late fee, then if the dollars don’t match up, consider what it’s doing to your credit. If you can make the minimum payments regularly, do it. If your minimum is, say, $ 250, and you’re making payments of $ 275, then you’re doing it regularly you’re not making much of a dent, but you’re showing that you’re a safe bet.
Yes, banks offer personal loans to pay off credit cards but banks are more conservative about lending in my personal experience. Banks also offer personal loans to pay for other things, frequently at an even lower interest rate, and several credit card companies will offer a balance transfer to get you to switch. If you can’t afford to make anything more than the minimum payment, then getting a 0% rate for even as little as 6 months might be worth it if the terms after the initial period are comparable to your current card(s).
Once you’ve shown a history of making payments on time and companies start offering to take your balance for 6 months at 0% before jacking up the interest rate again, it means that your credit is good enough that you COULD do that. What *might* be better would be call up your current company and tell them that you have an offer, but it’s a lot of hassle, and is there any way they can give you a break for a little bit so you can work your balance down and actually make progress in paying off your debt. From the company’s point of view, it’s better to steal a little regularly than to starve the person once and never be able to steal from them again.
Hope this helps.
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