During the holiday season, retailers rake in about 25% of their yearly sales. So it's safe to assume the month of January most likely yields the highest consumer credit card balances. Impulse buying results in over-spending and it's not hard to get carried away during the 'season of giving.'
Then January rolls in, along with the bills. And two or more credit cards with high balances can take a significant bite out of your budget. For many consumers, the easiest solution is to apply for a 0% APR introductory credit card with balance transfer options. It can lower monthly payments by consolidating bills at 0% interest.
However, before you apply for a card, be sure to compare offers carefully and always read the fine print. First, look at how long the introductory period is as it varies from card to card. It can range from six to eighteen months – so figure out how long it's going to take to pay down the balance to a comfortable amount.
Then there's the issue of the balance transfer. Find out if there's a fee. Some cards do not charge and others require as much as 3% to transfer. Likewise, determine whether or not the 0% offer applies toward any amount you transfer over from other cards as well as to new purchases.
Lastly, establish what the interest rate will be after the introductory period ends— it can vary by several percentage points. And be aware that if your account becomes delinquent prior to the end of the twelve month period, that 0% APR is gone and companies can then charge a high premium.
The 0% APR introductory offer can be a considerable help to your financial situation, if you understand exactly what you're getting. Visit your neighborhood North Country Savings Bank for more information – our knowledgeable financial professionals are happy to advise you. Happy New Year!