Why you should pay down credit card debt before it's too late

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - If you've dragged some old credit card debt into 2018, you may be looking to lose it. Some financial advisors say the easiest way to do that is to open a new credit card, but you have to be very careful that you don't dig yourself in deeper.

Credit card interest rates are expected to increase this year. That’s why you should make paying off any outstanding balances you have a top priority. Right now, there are several cards where you can transfer your current balance to a card with zero interest. The tricky part is that the cards will eventually start charging interest. You have to pay off your debt before that time period. 

Consumer Reports highlighted some of the best balance transfer cards available. The Chase Slate Visa card offers borrowers 15 months to pay off your debt with no interest. Transferring your balance won't cost you anything up front. After 60 days, you will be hit with a 5 percent transfer fee. Still, that is likely less than you will be paying in fees and interest if you stick with your current card. 

You can always ask  your current card company for a lower rate. If they see you've been making regular payments and you've had the card for a while, they may be willing to work with you.

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