Consolidating your credit card debt

Credit Karma's favorite balance transfer cards Pros: If you transfer and repay the debt during the promotional period, you could avoid paying interest entirely.Cons: Some cards charge a balance transfer fee, such as 3 percent or , on the amounts you transfer.Also, the combined transferred amounts and fees usually cannot be higher than your credit limit, which might not accommodate all your debts.Some lenders also don’t allow you to use a balance transfer to pay off credit cards or loans from the same lender.

For example, if you took out a loan to pay down your credit cards, only to wind up maxing out your cards again, you’d end up with both a loan and credit card debt to pay off. Huettner says there’s no “silver bullet” to consolidating credit card debt because “each option is always relative to the others, and they all depend on each person’s financial picture.” However, you may want to start with the options that don’t require you to take on a new secured debt or threaten otherwise protected money.The other person might also expect you to reciprocate the favor when they need help.Credit card debt can have a relatively high interest rate compared to other types of debt.Then you can work on solving the cause of the problem.“No matter what option you choose, each has risks and trade-offs,” Huettner says.

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