SERIES: Restructuring Debt – Part Three

Welcome to the latest series at – Restructuring Debt

I am excited to embark on this series of posts because interest paid toward debt is one of the largest obstacles to gaining traction for one’s own Debt Freedom March.

Of course, one way to eliminate the interest is to sell some stuff and become debt-free.  But I recognize that for some people, they have debt that they are going to have to focus on and just pay it off.  If this describes you, then I trust that this series helps you gain speed in your Debt Freedom March!

Part One – Know What You Are Paying

Part Two – Lower The Interest Rates!

Part Three – Lower The Interest Rates! – Continued

There are many approaches one can take to lower their interest rates.  In Part Two, I covered the “negotiation” avenue.  Today, we will discuss moving the debt.

Surf The Debts To Lower Interest/Zero Interest Offers

If you live in America or any other heavily-leveraged society, then the chances are that you will receive numerous offers of debt every week.  Most of these offers have a “trickeration” ploy that generates consumer interest.  The trickeration is typically a “Zero-percent for some number of weeks/months/years” ploy.  The reason I call it a trickeration ploy is the fact that the majority of these debts are not paid off within the set timeframe and the interest rate is back-dated all the way to the date of purchase – usually at a very high rate.

But the zero-percent surfing game CAN work for you.  I have seen MANY people gain substantial traction with their Debt Freedom March through this technique alone.

Here is how the surfing game works.  You receive a “zero-percent for twelve months” credit card offer.  There is usually a $75 balance transfer fee, but there is no interest for the twelve month period.  One simply applies for the 0% card and transfers their high interest debt to the credit card.  When that introductory period is drawing to a close, surf the balance to another “zero-percent for twelve months” card.  Keep surfing the balance until the debt is paid off to $0.

If you successfully do this, you have actually tricked the trickeration ploy into working for you!

There are several 0% credit cards that you can apply for ON-LINE!  Click HERE to view the 0% credit cards available via the Next Steps division of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

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  1. Jon Smock on August 15, 2008 at 6:35 am

    What’s the lowest balance amount you’d recommend doing this with? Is there a lowest number? Can you really “surf” $20,000 from card to card at 0% for years?

    That’s probably a tough question, since different people have different amounts of expendable income to put towards debt repayment, but you probably have experience related to this. Have you ever told someone NOT to do this?

  2. Jon Smock on August 15, 2008 at 6:39 am

    By the way, this is a great series! I used the new tool from post #1 (see here).

  3. TurtleLover on August 15, 2008 at 8:08 am

    I had this one card, my highest balance and my highest interest rate (14.99%) they would NOT budge. When I started my journey this card was almost $13k. I told myself that when it got below $10k if they were still not willing to budge I would try for a balance transfer. I had been keeping all my credit card offers that came in the mail and reading the FINE PRINT trying to see what was out there, I had called this particular credit card every 3 months and asked to lower my interest rate, but no luck. It took almost a year to get below $10k … I made that one final try (I had had this card for over 10 years!) they said no.. I tranferred to another card… the offer was 5.99% for 5 years with no balance transfer fee. Now, this is far from 0% intrest but there was no transfer fee and it cut my interest payment to 1/3 ! Since my plan is to be debt free in 3 more years I thought the 5 years was a great deal for me! You gotta do what you gotta do!

  4. chris on August 15, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Turtle: You’ve got the right attitude. Get traction and improve the situation. You may not get to 0% yet, but with your stick to it attitude, you may get there and with no transfer fee.

    Jon: Yes, it’s possible, but you may have to break it up between two or three 0% or low % surfs to get all or most of your debt moved.

    If you guys follow Joe’s advice, you’re going to beat the debt. It may take a while and there may be bumps along the way. But you’ll get there.

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