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‘Credit card debt consolidation’ seems to be the most talked-about term in the world of credit cards. It’s true that credit cards have been very useful and convenient for us and we, in fact, treat the credit cards as a necessity. However, with every good you have evil too. In the world of credit cards, ‘Credit card debt’ is that evil and ‘Credit card debt consolidation’ is often regarded as a medicine for treating credit card debt.
Anyone who has read any newspaper articles on ‘Credit card debt’ would already know what credit card debt consolidation is. However, just for the benefit of others, credit card debt consolidation, in simple terms, is the process of consolidating debt which you hold on various high APR credit cards onto just one low APR credit card. Thus, the main benefit of credit card debt consolidation is realised in terms of APR reduction (and hence reduction in credit card debt growth rate). This is touted as the most important benefit (and sometimes the sole benefit) from credit card debt consolidation. However, credit card debt consolidation comes with few more benefits as well. Some of these credit card debt consolidation benefits are widely publicised by the credit card suppliers and some not so much:
1. Initial APR: As mentioned above, lower APR is the biggest benefit from credit card debt consolidation. Since credit card debt consolidation is used by credit card suppliers as a tool to attract consumers, they generally offer a 0% APR for a initial period of 6-9 months of you joining their credit card debt consolidation programme i.e. first few months after you get the new credit card.
2. Standard APR: Lower standard APR (i.e. the long term APR) is the other important benefit from credit card debt consolidation. Though not all credit card suppliers offer a lower standard APR with credit card debt consolidation some do design credit card consolidation programmes with good standard APR. These credit card debt consolidation programmes offer a trade-off between initial and standard APR rates.
3. 0% on purchases: This is another common benefit from credit card consolidation. The 0% interest (or some lower percentage) on purchases is offered as an incentive for credit card consolidation. This credit card debt consolidation benefit is again applicable only for a short initial period.
4. Easy management: This credit card debt consolidation benefit is not as discussed as others. However, one benefit is the fact that you need to track and manage a lesser number of credit cards.
5. Other benefits: The credit card debt consolidation exercise might bring you some more benefits in terms of rebates, discounts and reward points (especially if you move to a co-branded card as part of credit card debt consolodation)
Credit in Minutes Tip #1
Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.
Credit in Minutes Tip #2
Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?
Credit in Minutes Tip #3
The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.