Many people find themselves struggling to pay down their credit card debt. Suppose you are looking for a way to manage your finances. In that case, you may wonder if it’s possible to pay off a credit card bill using another credit card. Learn about your financial options and what you can do to pay down a high credit card balance.
Pay off a Credit Card Bill With Another Credit Card
Banks do not allow borrowers to pay off credit card debt with another credit card. Most credit card issuers limit payment methods to checks, electronic transfers, and money orders. However, two payment methods allow you to make credit card payments using a second credit card.
Use a Balance Transfer
A balance transfer is when you move an existing debt balance from one credit card to another. Typically, balance transfers occur between two credit card issuers. The benefit of balance transfers is that you could save money on interest fees if the second credit card has a lower interest rate.
Understanding how credit card APRs work can help you calculate how much you will pay for borrowing money. The best interest rate a borrower can get is a zero-interest rate. Some credit card companies offer zero-interest introductory interest rates for new borrowers. An introductory rate usually lasts for a short promotional period—typically 12 to 18 months. Any monthly payments made during that time will directly affect the principal amount of credit card balances.
If your current credit card has an APR rate of 20% and a $5,000 balance, you can expect to pay $1,000 in interest fees. But what if you move debt to a balance transfer credit card with an introductory zero-interest APR rate? You can end up not having to pay anything in interest!
What Are the Cons of a Balance Transfer?
While using a balance transfer credit card seems like a great idea to pay down your credit card debt faster, you should know about some cons.
Balance Transfer Fees
You will be subject to a balance transfer fee when you transfer your credit card balance from one card to another. The cost of a balance transfer fee varies, but you can expect to pay a percentage of the total balance transfer.
The balance transfer fee typically ranges from 0% to 5%, although some credit card companies can charge more. If your transferred balance is $10,000 and the balance transfer fee is 4%, you will end up paying $400 just to pay one credit card with another.
Ongoing APR Rates
It may seem like a good idea to pay a high-interest credit card with another that has a zero-interest introductory period. However, you will be working against the clock. If you cannot pay the entire balance of your credit card before the 0% offer expires, you could end up paying more interest fees.
Many people do not bother to verify the APR rate after the introductory period because they are confident they can pay off the principal balance within a few months. However, the new card issuer can have a higher APR rate than your previous one. If your credit score is on the lower end, you may not be able to secure a good credit card APR rate.
Making too many inquiries within one calendar year can have adverse effects on your credit score. Credit inquiries account for 10% of credit scores. You may decrease your credit score by applying for too many credit cards. However, you may have to make multiple inquiries if you have a low credit score because you can be disqualified by many credit card companies.
Use a Cash Advance
A cash advance on a credit card means immediate funding to remedy a bad financial situation. Cash advances let borrowers withdraw cash from their credit line. While it may seem like good economic sense to pay off a credit card bill with cash, you may be digging a deeper financial hole for yourself.
What Are the Cons of Cash Advances?
A cash advance may offer quick financial relief. Still, you may be better off finding an alternative credit card payment method. Financial experts advise against using a cash advance from a credit card to pay another credit card. Read about some of the cons of
High APR Rates
Cash advances typically have a higher APR rate, resulting in high-interest fees. When you apply for a new credit card, you will receive multiple informative documents, including a Schumer box. A Schumer box is a table that clearly displays the rates and fees of your credit card.
You may notice that the APR rate for a cash advance is much higher than the standard APR rate for purchases. The average interest rate for a cash advance is 24.80%! If you withdraw $2,000 in cash and have to pay the average APR rate, you will end up paying $496 in interest fees!
High Service Fees
There are additional cash advance fees you may not be aware of. Your credit card issuer may charge a service fee that is a percentage of your total withdrawn amount. Most service fees are 3% to 5%, but they can be much higher. If you withdraw a lot of cash through a cash advance, you have to pay a high-interest rate and a high service fee.
Low Cash Advance Limit
Cash advances may not offer enough money to pay off an existing credit card balance. Your cash advance limit is typically far less than your total credit line. If your credit limit is $5,000, you may only be able to withdraw $1,000 from an ATM.
What To Do if You Can’t Pay Your Credit Card Bill
If you struggle to make a credit card payment every month, reconsider using a credit card to pay another credit card. Alternative options can help you save money and avoid damaging effects on your credit score.
Work With a Credit Counselor
Consider working with a credit counselor if you need help establishing a budget plan. A non-profit credit counseling company could help connect you to a certified credit counselor that provides financial guidance. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is an organization that offers free credit advice and debt management plans.
Use a Debt Consolidation Loan
If your credit card interest rates are exorbitantly high, you can try applying for a debt consolidation loan. When you consolidate debt, you can obtain lower interest rates that make repayment much easier on your finances. If you have less than perfect credit, know that there are debt consolidation loans for bad credit online.