Need more time to repay your debt? Move it to a new credit card at 0% interest for 12 months, with a long-term balance transfer.
If you feel like you might never have your debt under control, then a long-term balance transfer might be a solution. With an extended interest-free period of up to 12 months, you can repay your debt without the burden of high-interest rates.
Compare the benefits, features and restrictions of a long-term balance transfer to see whether it’s the key to your debt consolidation.
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What is a long-term balance transfer?
A long-term balance transfer allows you to transfer your debt from a high-interest credit card to a new credit card under a longer low-interest or no interest period. While some balance transfer offers only last for six months, a long-term balance transfer offer typically gives you up to 12 months to pay off the debt. Long-term balance transfer credit cards are designed for cardholders with a high outstanding balance, meaning they need a longer period to repay their balance. If you’re struggling to repay significant credit card debt, a long-term balance transfer gives you more time to repay your debt at a low or 0% interest rate before the offer ends and reverts to the standard high rates. For example, if you currently have a credit card debt of $5,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 20.00% p.a., you could save $927 over 12 months if you transfer to a Westpac credit card with 0% interest for 12 months.
How much am I allowed to transfer?
The total amount you can transfer will depend on the conditions outlined by the bank with who you complete the balance transfer. While some may let you transfer up to 95% of your credit limit, others may only allow you to transfer 80%. The bank will decide your maximum credit limit based on your financial circumstances and credit history.
If you’re carrying a large debt, it’s essential to consider whether you can transfer the entire amount before applying for the card.
Mistakes to avoid with long-term balance transfers
To ensure you make the most of the long-term balance transfer offer, you should avoid the following errors:
- Only meeting your minimum repayments. Just paying the minimum is unlikely to cover your entire debt by the end of the promotional period. If you have the opportunity to repay more than the monthly minimum requirement, you’ll clear the debt faster.
- Making purchases on your new credit card. The purpose of a balance transfer is to repay your debt in full during the promotional interest period and get your finances under control. Using your balance transfer card to buy goods isn’t recommended, as it only adds to your debt. Plus, your repayments may automatically go to the debt that’s accruing the highest amount of interest (which is most likely going to be the purchases), which means you are wasting time and money repaying the purchases when you should be taking advantage of the low or no interest balance transfer period.
A long-term balance transfer could be your solution to clearing your debt and having a healthy credit report. By designing a realistic budget and working hard to stick to it, you can have your debt cleared before the end of the promotional period.Back to top