If you have multiple credit cards and multiple interest rates, you may be wondering if consolidating credit cards could help you, or would hurt you in the end. While there isn’t a right or wrong answer for your individual situation, here are some things you should think about when considering credit card consolidation.
Will It Make It Easier?
Many people look to credit card consolidation because having one credit card payment instead of multiple tends to be a lot easier from a bill paying and money management perspective. Most financial pundits don’t recommend that people have more than 3 credit cards, because it can get really difficult to manage your spending across so many cards. Then, the logistics of paying each of those bills can be challenging as well.
Will It Make It Cheaper?
Consolidating your credit cards can also make it cheaper to pay them off. Many credit card companies offer 0% or low APR balance transfers for a set period of time. If you have multiple high interest rate credit cards (say 19.99%), transferring to a lower interest rate card will save you on interest each month. Then, if you do that for multiple cards at a high interest rate, you can really save a lot of money. That is where credit card consolidation can really help you get out of debt faster.
Can You Qualify?
The biggest question when it comes to consolidating your credit cards is if you apply for a credit card, will you be approved? If you have a lot of credit card debt and haven’t really been responsible with it, it could be difficult to get a new credit card to consolidate all your other cards onto. In order to qualify for the best interest rates (especially the 0% APR balance transfer rates), you typically need to have excellent credit. To get excellent credit, you need to pay all your bills on time, including your multiple credit cards. You also need to show the ability to pay off future debt, since the credit card company will not know you are looking to consolidate.