Earlier this year, I got my first balance transfer card in hopes of paying the bill in full before the 0% interest promotion ends in April 2016.
Well, I took advantage of another promotion. My main bank mailed a promotional offer to get 0% APR on balance transfers and direct deposits through November 2016. Initially, I just threw the paper aside. Then the bill for a major surgery arrived. I needed $1,800 and credit seemed like my only option. Previous medical bills had eaten most my HSA and regular savings.
So I called up the bank to learn more about he offer. The representative, Denise, was so helpful. We talked for 40 minutes. She helped me understand the conditions of the promotional offer, talked about her past issues with credit and gave advice on how to repay my credit card debt.
Denise said she was trying to keep up with the Joneses in Atlanta. She was charging purses and whatnot on her credit cards to look fly. Before she knew it, she had a major problem/ Just like me, she took advantage of balance transfers with 0% APR promotions to climb out of debt.
I decided to go ahead and get a direct deposit to pay for my surgery. Denise said she knows so many people who are using credit to pay off medical expenses.
I told her about the credit cards I’m paying off. Then she asked how much interest I was paying on a store card. When I told her, she was like, “Girl, go ahead and transfer that balance to this card.” She said it doesn’t make sense to continue to pay that high interest rate, when you can use this offer to pay if off without accruing interest until November 2016.”
Then she asked if I had more questions.
“Could you lower my interest rate?”, I asked.
“I’m so glad you asked,” she replied.
It cracked me up because although I’d read about asking for interest rate reductions, I hadn’t asked in such a long time. “Clothes mouths don’t get fed on the boulevard.”
Denise lowered my interest rate on that credit card and another card, which I’ve paid in full and haven’t used since, by 3 points each. She also gave me an extra year on the promotion and
With the direct deposit, I essentially created more debt. I hate that notion, but I realize that what’s more important is that I have a decent plan to pay it off in a decent fashion.
I’ve reworked by debt snowball plan, leaving out student loans. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. According to my calculations, I can get out of credit card debt in a year and 2 months—so before my 30th birthday. What a gift that would be!