Archive for Debt Management

Pay No Interest Until 2019 with These Credit Cards: Recommended by Paul Ferraresi

Updated: December 12, 2017
If you’re carrying a balance on a credit card (or cards), it’s likely you’re wasting your hard-earned money on interest fees. Did you know there’s a way to avoid paying interest? 0% intro APR credit cards can save you a ton of money because they don’t charge any interest for the term of the card’s 0% intro APR period, which means they can help you pay down (or off) your balance as well as save you some dough on new purchases. Right now credit card issuers are offering surprisingly long 0% intro APR periods, and the best part is you don’t need excellent credit to get them. If you have good credit — usually thought to be a score around the 700s — you can save some serious cash with five cards that have 0% intro APRs so generous you won’t pay a dime of interest on balance transfers or purchases until 2019! There’s even a great card for those with average credit, typically considered to be a score above 670, who also want to earn cash back.
We’ve researched the top 0% intro APR credit cards on the market, and narrowed the field down to the 5 that have the longest 0% intro APRs that we’ve reviewed. These cards will give you the biggest bang for your buck, and as we mentioned above, are available to those with just good (or even average) credit.
Longest 0% Intro APRs
Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever
If you want to transfer your balance to a card with a REALLY long 0% intro APR that’s available to those with good credit, the Citi Simplicity Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser) is the perfect fit. You’ll enjoy an incredible 21-month 0% intro APR on both balance transfers and purchases. That means you’ll sail interest-free straight into 2019, saving a bunch of money in the process. The Citi Simplicity Card has a 3% balance transfer fee, but when compared to the interest you’d pay on your current credit card for 21 months, this one-time fee is no big deal — and you’ll still save a ton of money. In addition to the super long 0% intro APR, the Citi Simplicity Card also has no late fees — ideal for anyone who might be a bit tardy with their payments — no annual fee and no penalty rates for late payments. Add free monthly Equifax FICO Scores to all these benefits, and the Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever is a smart pick for anyone with less-than-perfect credit who wants to save money on interest fees.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Just like the Citi Simplicity Card, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers a ridiculously long 21-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases. This phenomenal 0% into APR is available to you if you have just good credit, and the card has no annual fee. Note that there is a 3% balance transfer fee (min. $5), but this is a pretty standard charge, as we noted above. Additional card perks include the ability to select your payment date, allowing you to sync it up with your paycheck, a personal concierge service, extended warranty protection and free monthly Equifax FICO Scores. The Citi Diamond Preferred Card will hit the spot if you want a card with a crazy long 0% intro APR term and a low ongoing APR.
No Balance Transfer Fee
BankAmericard Credit Card
This card is the perfect fit for anyone who doesn’t want to pay to transfer their credit card balance. That’s because in addition to having no annual fee, BankAmericard Credit Card charges absolutely no balance transfer fees as long as you make your transfers in the first 60 days you have the card (after that, it’s a 3% balance transfer fee, $10 min). You’ll also enjoy a lengthy 15-month 0% intro APR on both purchases and on balance transfers (balance transfers must be made in the first 60 days). Although it’s not quite as long as the 21-month 0% intro APR offered by Citi cards we detailed earlier, the no balance transfer free might make up for it. To find out for sure, use our free and easy Balance Transfer Calculator to see which card will save you the most money.
Long 0% Intro APRs and Cash Back Rewards
Discover it — Cashback Match
Providing the same features and benefits usually only given to those with excellent credit, the Discover it – Cashback Match card is an excellent combination of a 0% intro APR, no annual fee and great cash back rewards, and it’s available to those with average to excellent credit (typically a credit score of 670+). First off, you’ll get an 14-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases (note there is a 3% transfer fee). Plus, you’ll earn a very generous 5% cash back in categories that rotate each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum (currently $1,500), and an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases. From now through December 31st the 5% back categories are Target and Amazon.com, just in time to earn cash back on all your holiday shopping. You do need to sign up each quarter to receive the 5% back, but this is quick and easy to do with reminder emails from Discover. On top of that, Discover will match all of the cash back you earned at the end of your first year. So if you earned $300 cash back in your first year, Discover will match it and give you a total of $600 back! All-in-all, Discover it is the perfect combination of a 0% intro APR and lucrative cash back rewards, and you only need average or better credit to qualify.
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
If you like generous intro bonuses, cash back, and 0% intro APRs, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) is right up your alley. It starts off with no annual fee and a 15-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases (there is a 3% balance transfer fee, $5 min). On top of that, you’ll get a $150 intro bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. And you’ll get an ongoing 3% back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores like JCP, Kohls and Macy’s, and 1% back on all other purchases. Other card perks include purchase protection, extended warranty, return protection, car rental insurance and travel accident insurance.
Long 0% Intro APR and Mobile Phone Protection
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa
If you want to protect your mobile phone, take advantage of crazy-long 0% intro APRs, and pay no annual fee, Wells Fargo Platinum Visa is the card for you. It starts off with an 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases. There is 3% balance transfer fee for the first 18 months, then it’s 5%, but if you’re moving your balances over from higher-interest cards it could definitely be worth it. A big card bonus is that you’ll also enjoy mobile phone protection if you pay your phone bill with this card, reimbursing you up to $600 if your phone is stolen or damaged (there is a $25 deductible and a max of 2 claims annually). This protection is perfect for anyone who has known the pain of dropping their phone or having it taken from them. Altogether, this card hits the sweet spot for those interested in protecting their mobile phone who also want to pay no interest fees until 2019.
To see more cards that will help you avoid credit card interest, check our rankings of the best 0% intro APR credit cards. And if you’re planning to transfer a balance, be sure to plug in your transfer amount, monthly payment and credit level into our free Balance Transfer Calculator to see which card will allow you to save the most money.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

FINANCIAL EDUCATION FOR YOUNG ADULTS by Paul Ferraresi

This is a great online program to help young adults master the basics of finance.

CashCourse (www.cashcourse.org) is a free online resource that helps young people to track spending, create budgets and, most importantly, understand how their current decisions will affect their future financial well-being.

In addition to a Budget Wizard, calculators, worksheets and the Financial Experts Wall, where students can get answers to their real-world financial questions, CashCourse has articles on everything from repaying student loans and living with roommates to choosing a career and making sense of workplace benefits.

About CashCourse

Launched in 2007 by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), CashCourse is non profit and non commercial – the program never charges for resources. The sole purpose of CashCourse is to give young adults the information they need to make informed, thoughtful and beneficial financial decisions aligned with their values.

CashCourse is used in more than 1,000 schools – including small private colleges, large public universities, and both two-year and four-year programs – in all 50 states. About 40 percent of CashCourse schools are community colleges.

Many schools use CashCourse in freshman orientation sessions to help new students think about how they will manage their money during their college years.

Loan from a Stranger

You might consider peer to peer lending as a way to get rid of those huge credit card debts.

Two companies that could be of assistance are “Prosper” and “Lending Club.” The borrower gets a lower interest rate to pay off those high rate credit cards. Rates are set based on your credit scores, but, in general are below 12% for card consolidation loans.

For loans of $1,000 to $35,000 you will need a credit score of 640 (Prosper) to 660 (Lending Club) or higher to qualify. There are origination fees based on your credit score. Excellent credit could get you at 7% rate with a 1% fee. Good credit is a 15% rate with a 3-4% fee.

This may or may not be for you. Check it out.

Reveals on Debt Consolidation

A Publication of NEFE Digest
Nov./Dec. 2012 Issue

RESEARCH REVEALS REAL THREAT OF DEBT CONSOLIDATION ADS

Debt consolidation loan (DCL) providers often market their products as no-hassle solutions that can lower consumers’ monthly payment and overall debt. But NEFE-funded research found that DCL ads also can lead consumers to take on riskier money behaviors rather than find solutions to their debt problems. Specifically, the ads make consumers feel that once they enroll in a DCL program; they have a “get-out-of-jail-free” card and can start spending again, without regard to their debt levels. To combat this “boomerang effect,” researchers at Pennsylvania State university, Duke university, and the University of Florida crafted a financial literacy intervention that gave consumers full disclosure about DCLs. Armed with this knowledge, consumers made different decisions about the loans and about managing debt compared to when they encountered the DCL provider ads alone. To read more about the research, visit: www.nefe.org

Improve Your Financial Future

Here are a few simple strategies to build your wealth:

• SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN. You can’t make your money grow if you spend it all.
• LIST YOUR FINANCIAL PRIORITIES. Put your retirement at the top of the list.
• ESTABLISH AN EMERGENCY FUND. Low-risk, accessible cash will lessen the temptation to dip into retirement savings in an emergency.
• MAKE SAVINGS A HABIT. Even a little can add up, thanks to the power of compounding.
• PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Stock away at least 20% of your pay. Have the money automatically deposited so you’ll never miss it.
• CUT EXPENSES. It’s one of the fastest and best ways to make money. Clip coupons, buy second-hand on eBay, eat out less often. Funnel this “found money” into your investments.
• CREATE INCOME. Take a second job, rent out a room or downsize and invest the profits.
• INVEST REGULARLY. Use time and timing to get into the marketplace. If you don’t know how to invest, find out how! Go through training, read books, ask an expert and then apply your knowledge. Remember: Don’t work for money. Let money work for you.
• CREATE LONG-TERM WEALTH. Money in a savings account is safe, but inflation will erode its value. Stocks provide long-term growth.
• DIVERSIFY. The best way to balance your risk is with a portfolio that spreads your money out over a variety of financial instruments.
• REVIEW. Revisit your spending plan, savings and goals monthly to be sure you are on track.
• AVOID BAD DEBT. Don’t borrow for things such as vacations, clothing or furniture. Borrowing to remodel a home, on the other hand, may be good debt that can provide long-term financial benefits.
• BEWARE OF HIGH-INTEREST LOANS. Look at the total cost of repaying the principal and interest, not just the low monthly payment.
• GET OUF OF BAD DEBT. Otherwise, finance fees eat up principal that could be earning interest.
• HANDLE CREDIT CARDS WISELY. Keep only one or two cards. Transfer high-interest balances to zero-interest cards.
• PLAN TO RETIRE LATER. If you’re doing what you love, work is fun! You can work longer, work part-time or become a consultant.
• DELAY TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY. Benefits will be higher when you start.