CC Balance Transfer #2 - Yay or nay?

Hi all! I am very new to YNAB (only about a week+ in) and after some initial frustration getting started, I am now ready to crush this budget thing! Prior to finding YNAB I had started to take a closer look at my finances because I could feel the creep happening again, and of course upon actual inspection saw the reality of my situation - $18k debt across two credit cards. I have been here before and clawed my way out years ago, but find myself here again! 

My first step (before YNAB) was to do a balance transfer from a high APR CC to a promo 0% for 15 months on an existing card I was carrying no debt on. I crunched the numbers and would be able to make the payments in time to avoid the uptick in APR after the 15 months and the savings in interest would be around $900 after the fee so it felt like a good idea. So far so good and still on track with that one. 

However, I have another card that has crept up and the card I transferred to is offering another promo for 0% until Feb 2020 with a 4% fee. Should I move the balance ($8900) on card #2 as well? I know typically the advice is to pay down the higher APR first (card #2 is 17.74😳) then tackle the next but wondering what you wise folks think about this scenario? Ultimately it means a faster forced payoff to avoid the uptick in APR which probably isn't a bad thing, right??

Any thoughts appreciated!



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  • Hi Jen !

    It's great that you're taking a full look at things and making a plan to be debt free! Before crunching the numbers, the "faster forced payoff" stuck out to me. Can you comfortably make both payments or is there a possibility that taking on both loans at once would be too much? I know some credit cards backdate interest for the 0% promotion if not paid off by a certain date.

    If you can manage to pay both, what's the cost to your budget? Do you already have an emergency fund saved in case something pops up? You want to have enough in savings that, should something happen, you don't have to go back into debt to deal with it. 

    Some people can get into trouble with dealing with their debt too quickly. The debt is gone, but so is all your cash. Set aside a little emergency fund, fill up your True Expenses, then make a debt plan. :)

    • Faness Thanks so much for your insight! I was a bit concerned with the amount I would have to pay each month but ultimately I'll have to pay both cards anyways so thought this might be a way to save a little bit and get there quicker. I don't have as much in an EF as I would like but there is some. Additionally my boyfriend is willing to kick in some towards the credit cards as they are joint expenses though we keep things fairly separate. He has yet to get serious about his budget - lead by example, right? 😉 

      As for the interest - there is no backdate, it will just go from 0% to 14.74% after the promo period which is still better than the 17.74% it's at now. My first transfer will be paid off by Dec 2019 giving me also 2 additional months to pay off the 2nd transfer at 0%.

      All that being said, I am going to wait until the next paycheck arrives for the 2nd half of this first month and see how everything shakes out. I'll have a better for things then and can probably make a more informed decision. I guess I just wanted to see if anyone had done this with success or if there were any immediate red flags. I'll continue to mull! Thanks again!

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    • Jen Wilson Ah, in that case it doesn't sound like there's any huge pitfalls (if the interest rate will be lower even after the promotion, that's still a win!). There's no harm in taking time to flush out the idea - I hope someone else will weigh in with another opinion! If you have a moment, take a look at our Join Forces Guide - it may help with getting your boyfriend on board! ;)

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