| August 13, 2009

Options people may consider for dealing with credit card debt

When trying to navigate through their credit card debt consumers may consider a number of options.

Two of those may be dealing directly with credit card companies and looking at credit card debt balance transfers. Reporter Jean Chatzky recently contributed some advice on Oprah.com dealing with both balance transfers and people going to their credit card companies to look for lower rates.

With regard to balance transfers, Chatzky said some are still being offered. However, transfers that really good, such as those offering zero percent introductory periods, are “few and far between.”

“They are also charging higher transfer fees – sometimes up to 4 percent or 5 percent with no cap – and the introductory periods have been cut back from a year to nine or six months,” Chatzky wrote.

As far as trying to negotiate lower rates, Chatzky said consumers should call to see if they can get a lower rate. However, they should also be careful not to indicate they are having a hard time paying the bills unless that is actually the case.

If consumers are struggling to pay their credit card debt, they should mention that to their card company when they call. According to a recent post from Consumer Reports, many card companies are becoming willing to work out a payment strategy for customers, which might include debt counseling.

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