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    2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 13, 2008 10:00 PM by LUCKIEST

    Balance Transfer of $19k? Need help!

    kristi459 Newbie

      I've had a Visa account with Providian (recently became WaMu) for 7 1/2 years. My limit is 20k. I have a balance of $19k. I have a great payment history... except last October, I got an over the limit and late pay from WaMu (just a couple of days, so not reported). WaMu upped my rate to 31% as a result. I called them and they refuse to negotiate the rate down. I've GOT to lower the rate as I am currently paying $500/mo in interest alone.

      My credit score is 647, due to high debt to income ratio. I recently got a decent raise. I can make the payment, but need to pay down my balance to improve my FICO.

      Is there any company out there that would open a new account for $19k and do a balance transfer? I really want to close the WaMu account.

      I'm not trying to buy anything, so this isn't urgent. It's just obsurd.
      Please offer any advise you can.
      Thanks.
        • Re: Balance Transfer of $19k? Need help!
          amspcs Ranger
          Wow!! $19K on a credit card is a lot

          Anyway. There are lots of credit card issuers out there offering nice introductory low/zero percent interest balance transfers out there. With a 647 beach, whether or not they'll write you is another question. Only one way to find out...get on the phone or web and apply. I would try www.Discover.com. Also Google "credit card balance transfer" and you'll see lots of offers from Chase and others.

          Here's the trick: All of them nowadays have 'transfer fees', usually either 3% or 4% of balance transferred. 3% of $19K still comes to a chunk of change, but it's a lot better than 31% of $19K, isn't it? So look at it that way.

          Here's where you need to shop around. Some plans have a max cap on the transfer fees, $75, $90 or whatever. In other words, it might be 3% of balance transferrred but not more than $90 for example. Try to find one with a cap of under $100 or so. No matter what the transfer fee is, if it's capped low, just pay the $90 or so (instead of $570 which is 3% of $19K) and go for it. Don't get one without a capped transfer fee, you'll get killed.

          The other important factor is for HOW long the introductory low interest is for. Try to get at least a year, some are as short as 6 months or so which won't give you much time to put a dent in your sizable debt.
          If you can get 18 months at 0% or 2% whatever, even better. You'll never pay off that debt if 90% of every payment you make gets eaten up by interest.

           

          So assuming you get a good transfer deal, say 0% for 12 months with a minimal transfer fee, here's what you do: Take advantage of the 0% interest and pay as much as you can every month til it hurts in order to put a dent in that balance and take advantage of the time in which your entire payment goes to principle instead of mostly towards interest. And most importantly of all: Show some discipline and keep that credit card in your wallet no matter what. Better yet, cut it up into little pieces. Sorry to be so blunt, but there's really no excuse for running up $19K on plastic. To your credit, you are attempting to pay it back instead of bailing or bankruptcy, which is to be commended. Good luck to you.

          AMSPCS
          • Re: Balance Transfer of $19k? Need help!
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Balance Transfer of $19k? Need help!, Welcome

            "amspcs" said it all.

            Need help, Talk to other banks, or talk to a Lawyer. Many times a Lawyer can talk
            to a bank and help get your problem resolved.

            Tell us more. What do you do?? Are you in business??

            Good luck, LUCKIEST