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Ok, I am in a really bad situation and could use some prudent advice.

Here’s my info:

I have about 8k in debt with my Citigold debit card. 14.5 annual APR

I have about 23,800 in debt with my citibank platinum select card w/ 0% interest on it until January 09′. Upon which it reverts to 6.24 variable interest.

I have a bank of america balance transfer mastercard with a 12 month 0% account w/ 1200 credit line open being unused so far. The 0& offer on this card ends in July.

Now I have about 5k in cash I can use to reduce my balance. I’m thinking of just using the 5k to pay down my citibank platinum select. However, should I use that money to pay off my citibank debit card?

I’m very confused here. I also am thinking of asking for a credit line increase to Bank of america from 1200 to 10k. I started this account back in July. I’m hoping to do a balance transfer.

Basically I thought I could use balance transfers to deal with my debt but with the economy tanking, things are getting hard.

My credit score is around 740.

So my questions are:

1. With the 5k, which account should I pay down first?

2. Should I ask for a credit line increase on my bank of america card? Would it be smarter to just ask for 5k first instead of 10k? It was opened in June with no activity since.

3. Should I open a new balance transfer credit card and try to take advantage of a 0% balance transfer opportunity?

Thank you so much, any help would be appreciated!

4 Thoughts on Credit Card Debt Help Please! 14% APR?
  1. Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    First off I would stop getting more credit immediately
    Second I would pay the highest interest rate first
    Third Balance transfers cost 3%
    Finally stop charging things, your never gonna get straight if you keep charging things. Just pay it off little by little

  2. Reply
    Bobby C
    March 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I don’t have the high credit information on the Citigold, but if it’s $ 25k-ish like Platinum card then pay down the Platinum card to reduce the debt ratio.

    B of A might not grant you 10k because credit is really really tight; be ready for that.

    Sometimes you get hit with 3% upfront fees to transfer balances but it beats a year at 18% or even at 6.9%.

    You have a good credit score and my guess is that you make decent money but ran into a rough patch and have investments that now can’t pay off that balance since the investments decreased and need to juggle some bucks till Obama turns around the market with his “wand of Change” and cash them out before he taxes us to death (Long-term CAPGAINS going to 28% baby!!!). (…experience)

    1 – See what BofA will do. If they increase your credit your beacon/FICO score may go down 20-30-ish points, give or take. It is a recent account and it sounds like you may have had some recent inquiries on your credit.
    a – Citigold or Citibank may pull a periodic report and reduce or restrict your credit limit. Again, the market is getting tighter.
    b – Usually credit cards like a balance and payment history before they move. BofA would likely be more willing to move than CitiBank. They have had tighter reigns on credit and mortgages over the years.
    c – They may be willing to transfer your Citibank debt dependent upon whether or not you close out that account and whether or not you have other accounts, such as a home loan, through them. It’s not likely and banks aren’t taking that risk as much as they did in the past.

    2 – If you think you can get 0% interest for a year and transfer balances or fractions of a balance – do it.

    3 – Don’t use the other cards and continue to pay them off. The longer they are opened the longer and better the credit history.

    You seem like a smart person..

  3. Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    You always need to pay the debt with the highest interest rate off first. If you own real estate you may see if you can borrow on it at a lower interest rate and then stop charging unless you can pay the entire bill when it comes. You stated that you have a debit card. However, you say that you have a high credit on it. You don’t accumulate debt on a debit card. A debit card takes money from your bank account without having to use cash or checks. I think you must have a credit card that you refer to as a debit card. Since the card is so new with Bank of America I would doubt that they would immediately increase your credit line, plus I am not sure that it will help much since your 0% interest rate for transfer balances is only good for a few more months. And then there is that transfer fee. From your post it sounds like you may have charged more than you can afford. Hopefully, that isn’t the case. I would make sure the 6 3/4% variable rate you noted is not an add on to the federal reserve rate. If it is indeed the rate then that isn’t a bad rate, especially for a card. You may want to contact your card issuer and see if you can negotiate a lower interest rate. I would pay as much as you can on them to reduce the interest you pay. I would pay more on the higher interest card and try to pay it off first. Once you pay it off then you can pay that money on your other cards to get them paid off as early as possible. Anything over the minimum payment will go toward the principle. You will be amazed at how quickly your balance can go down when you pay a little extra each month. If you are having difficulty making the minimum payments you may consider getting a part time job and use everything you earn to pay down your debt. Paying an extra $ 50-100 or more each week can make a big difference.

  4. Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Pay the one that’s charging you interest.

    Do not get any more credit. Big lines of credit got you into trouble. More credit is not going to make things better.

    Adjust your lifestyle until you get down to zero. You took a while to get into this mess. There isn’t going to be a quick way to get out. It’s worth doing. Good luck.

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