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A Great Credit Card for Paying Down Your Debt

August 11, 2016 at 12:00 AM

If you are struggling to make a dent in a large credit card balance, and you have a strong FICO score, I want you to look into what could possibly be the ticket to finally being able to pay down your balance. As reported by NextAdvisor, the Citi Simplicity Card offers 21 months of no interest payments on balance transfers or new purchases. That’s nearly two years to make progress paying down your credit card debt.

I am also pleased to see there is no annual fee. And, somewhat amazingly, Citibank says it will never charge a late fee. While I am always going to insist that everyone can-and should-pay their bill on time, it’s nice to know there’s no nasty fee if you trip up. (And keep in mind, that late payments will negatively impact your credit score, so don’t you ever think there’s no price to pay for late payments.)

The one cost that you will pay upfront is to transfer balances over to this card. And that charge is 3% of the amount you transfer. But paying $300 for the opportunity to pay off a $10,000 balance with the interest ticker turned off is still worth it as long as you are serious about getting the debt paid off.

So before you pay for the transfer, I want you to take a serious look at your monthly spending with an eye on freeing up enough money to get your balance paid off in the 21 months. If you have a $5,000 balance you will need about $240 a month. With a $10,000 balance about $475 a month will polish off the balance before interest starts being charged in month 22.

Don’t tell me you don’t have options. Everyone can figure out a way to save. Scale back the data plan on your phone, cut the cable, gift friends and family your time (babysitting, gardening, handling a few weekends of kid-shuttling to games/activities). You get the idea. Strategic nips, tucks and cuts can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars a month in savings. And I can’t think of a better motivation than to know you will be out of credit card debt in 21 months.

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