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Money Hack: How to pay off your Christmas debt cheaper and faster



Use a 0% balance transfer to pay off your Christmas debt without collecting any interest.

Now that the New Year has begun and the festive season is well and truly over, many Aussies are faced with post-holiday debt. According to a new forecast of Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) data analysed by finder, the average Aussie cardholder has $1,727 debt left from the 2017 Christmas season. This collective $29 billion debt is predicted to cost Australians $230 million in interest.

Do you want to get your Christmas debts under control without forking out for interest? If so, it might be time to do a balance transfer.

The hack

If you’re struggling to pay off your holiday debt hangover, you could transfer it to a card with 0% on balance transfers. The interest-free period can generally last from 12 to 26 months, meaning you could pay off your current debt without any interest until the beginning of 2020.

Depending on your debt, you could potentially save hundreds to thousands of dollars in interest with a balance transfer credit card. For example, let’s say you have a debt of $5,000 and current interest rate of 20%. You could save upwards of $1,500 in interest with both the St.George Vertigo Platinum and NAB Premium credit card 0% balance transfer offers.

You can use the balance transfer calculator on finder to calculate exactly how much you could save. Just enter your transfer amount, the current interest rate you’re paying and the calculator will show you how much you could save over the promotional period across the different products on the market.

As well as the savings, you can also usually pay off your debt much faster without the additional burden of interest.

At this time of year, Australian banks and card issuers are ramping up their balance transfer offers to entice cardholders who are weighed down with debt. So it’s important that you compare your options to make sure you’re getting the right deal for you. Consider factors such as the annual fee, balance transfer fee (a one-off fee of usually 1.5% to 3% of the balance) and length of the promotional offer.

If you want to clear your debt without forking out for interest in 2018, you can compare the latest 0% balance transfer credit cards on finder.

finder money hacks is a bi-weekly roundup of the latest tips and tricks to improve your finances. Check back every Wednesday and Saturday for new hacks.

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