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Best Balance Transfer Offer With Checks. Is That Smart? – D

“Dear Damon,

we have 94k on our 1st and 2nd mtgs, house value is 150k conservatively. 20k spread over 5 credit cards majority of it on 2 cards. co-signed student loans for son & daughter 75k. no car loans. no bankruptcies, late payments or other major negatives. a couple yrs ago when they were changing the cc pymt dates every month we missed a due date by literally a day or 2 which sent our default rate to 29% on 3 cards. one is now back down to 15%. I think our credit score is good but not great due to high debt usage ratio.

I recently balance transfer checks from 1 cc that has a balance of $7400, the rate is 0% for 12 months, fee is 5%. I received transfer checks for another cc that has balance of $750.00 again rate is 0% for 12 months and 5% fee. The latter has card a 12k limit. Both cc’s are at 29.99% right now. It seems to make sense to me to to use the checks to transfer the balances and take advantage of the lower rate. I’m just concerned that I’m missing something and i’m gonna find later find out later that I actually lost money. what is opinion? should I transfer balances? Ps my kids are both graduated, working and making student loan pymts on time(knock on wood). Thanks for your time.


Hello D,

Yes, you can transfer the balances to take advantage of the lower rate. One of their little tricks is to offer 0% for 12 months but charge you a 5% fee. So really it is 5% for 12 months.

The larger question I would have though, is what is your overall plan to retire this debt? My assumption is that after 12 months you will be back up to the high rate, so even though it is temporarily slowing down some of the pain, it is not solving the problem. Sort of like putting your finger in a dike that has 15 other holes.

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You should look into a more permanent solution to lowering the interest rates so you can attack the principle and retire the debt in a short amount of time. If possible you should look into a debt consolidation loan through either lending club or prosper, or working with a consumer credit counseling company, or even trying to get on an internal hardship program by working with the creditors directly.

Damon is a talented independent debt coach that provides in-depth assistance and consultations for people struggling with debt. If you want a personal debt coach to help you through a difficult situation or want assistance to find secret discounts offered by debt settlement companies I think Damon Day is an excellent person to contact for advice and assistance. He can be reached directly at

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Damon Day

Damon Day is a talented Debt Coach who offers fee based consultations to consumers as an alternative to the typical free debt relief consultations which are nothing more than thinly veiled sales pitches lacking any real information to help a consumer make a good decision. You can learn more about how he can protect you from getting ripped off at


  • As long as we keep making the same payment we will have the balance down to 2200 in 12 months so it is likely we can retire this debt in less than 2 years.Both of our children are finished with college and gainfully employed(knock on wood) so the need to charge anything has been reduced to zero for over a year now. I absolutely refuse to do anything that will put a big black mark on my credit history. Thanks.

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