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Your money Q&A: Options for cutting credit card debt


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I’m struggling to pay my credit card debt. I have already convinced my card-issuer to cut the interest rate. Are there other options?

You can try a balance transfer. The options for doing this have improved recently.
A balance transfer makes sense if you can significantly lower the interest rate, which will direct more of your money toward paying off the balance. It makes even more sense if after the transfer, you don’t add any more purchases and spend your time whittling away at that balance.
There are some interesting deals being advertised. Among them: Discover More card, which has a zero percent rate on balance transfers for 12 months, plus no fee for the balance transfer.
Citi Platinum Select Master Card offers 0 percent on balance transfers for 21 months. However, that offer comes with a balance transfer fee of 3 percent and no cap on that fee.
You can shop around for card deals at Bankrate.com, CreditCards.com, CardRatings.com, LowCards.com. But be sure to look carefully. Each card comes with its own terms and conditions. The Citi card offer is only available to new customers.

Categories: Personal finance questions and answers (36)
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About the author
You've got the job of managing your money. No one in school taught you how. But you and I, we can teach each other, how to handle it, how to save for retirement, how to make money last, how to educate the kids, how to make a budget work. The conversations I have with my readers are fun. Money's important, but discussing it does not have to be boring.

Harriet Johnson Brackey Harriet Johnson Brackey, the personal finance columnist for the Sun Sentinel, is an award-winning business reporter. Her columns for 2008 were named "The Best in the Business," a national award chosen by her colleagues at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Brackey has worked at Business Week magazine and at USA TODAY, where she was a founder and part of the original staff of the Money section at the country's first national newspaper. After nearly 11 years there - spent covering the 1980s bull market, the insider trading scandals, the 1987 crash - Brackey left Washington, D.C., and came to The Miami Herald. She spent the next decade writing a column about personal finance that chronicled the stock market's Internet boom and bust, as well as the popular Money Makeover features.

Brackey also has done commentaries for Marketplace Money, which airs on National Public Radio and The Nightly Business Report which is broadcast on more than 250 PBS television stations nationwide. She also has been a radio guest on WLRN’s Miami Herald News.
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