You’re trying to fix an expensive financial mistake: You ran up too much debt on your credit cards, and now you’re carrying a balance of thousands of dollars from month to month. The interest that this balance generates makes it even harder to pay down the debt.
Consumers often turn to a balance transfer — moving high-interest credit card debt to a new card offering a promotional 0% APR — to help tackle their debt repayment. Once you move your debt to your new card, you’ll have a window (usually between six and 18 months) to pay off the balance before that promotional APR window closes and the card’s actual interest rate kicks in.
But what if the balance transfer limit on your new card is too low to accommodate your existing credit card debt? What steps can you take to reduce the burden that high interest is adding to your credit card problem?
Call the financial institution behind your balance credit card
Your first step should be to call the bank or financial institution that issued your new credit card (you’ll find the number on the back of the card). Simply ask a representative if you can have a higher balance transfer limit. Explain that you want to transfer the entire balance from another card, and that the limit on your new card isn’t high enough to accommodate this.
Now, there’s no guarantee that this will work. The issuers of credit cards rely on a formula to determine your credit limit. That formula includes your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and the income you earn. If your financial numbers aren’t strong enough to justify the higher limit, your issuer probably won’t budge. You won’t know, though, until you ask. (See also: 7 Important Things You Should Know About Balance Transfer Cards)
Transfer as much of your balance as you can
Say you owe $10,000…
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