Transferring your credit card balance can save you thousands in interest. Find out what's involved and compare your options.
Credit cards offer you a convenient way to spend, but they can leave you with a hefty bill at the end of the month. If you're looking for a way to get control of your credit card debt, a personal loan is an option to consider.
Why should you consider consolidating your credit card debt to a personal loan?
Here are the main benefits to keep in mind:
- Reduce the interest you're paying. Interest rates differ, but personal loan interest rates are typically lower than credit card interest rates.
- Have a fixed repayment period. Credit cards are ongoing lines of credit, while personal loans give you a fixed date to repay your debt.
- Access finance for other purposes. You can also use the personal loan to make other large purchases or to finance any other purpose you need.
Unsecured personal loans that could help you consolidate
How to compare your personal loan options
If you're considering a credit card consolidation loan, you have a few options available. Here's what to keep in mind when you're comparing:
- What is the interest rate?
You need to check how competitive the rate is and whether it's fixed or variable. A fixed rate means your repayments will remain the same for the duration of the loan, while a variable rate may fluctuate.
- What fees will I be charged?
Look out for upfront fees, such as establishment fees, and ongoing fees, such as monthly or annual fees. Other fees should also be checked, such as late or missed repayment fees or redraw fees.
- How much can I borrow?
Ensure the loan amounts on offer will be sufficient to cover your credit card debt. Unsecured personal loans typically offer between $5,000 and $80,000, but some offer lower and higher amounts. Keep in mind that you will need to meet the lender's criteria if you want to be approved for a higher amount.
- Am I eligible?
The minimum eligibility criteria will be listed on the finder.com.au review pages. Once you click "Go to Site", you can also confirm these criteria before submitting your application. It's only worth comparing loans that you are eligible for. Remember that meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee you will be approved; each application is judged on a case-by-case basis and your approval depends on your ability to afford the loan repayments.
Consolidating your credit card debt: Personal loan vs balance transfer
There are a few different ways you can pay down credit card debt. You could continue making repayments on your current credit card or you could apply for a new product to save interest, such as a personal loan or a balance transfer credit card. We compare the two latter options below to help you decide.
- Have a set repayment period to pay off your entire debt
- Enjoy a low interest rate
- Personal loans may come with more upfront fees than credit cards
- Your interest rate will be higher than on a balance transfer credit card
Balance transfer credit card
- Have a promotional period where you will pay 0% p.a. interest
- Credit cards can offer rewards points, no annual fees and other perks
- If you don't pay off the balance in the promotional period, the revert rate will likely be over 20% p.a.
- Balance transfer restrictions may apply. For example, you may not be able to transfer more than 80% of your credit limit on some cards.
What to keep in mind before you transfer your credit card debt
Applying for any form of credit is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Make sure you've compared all of your personal loan options so you are applying for the loan that best meets your needs. You can use a personal loan calculator to get an idea of what your repayments will be and see if it will be manageable on your budget.
Consolidating your credit card debt can save you money, but you should only apply after comparing your options and deciding it's the right debt management option for you to take on.