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New Credit Cards

October 6th, 2023 at 08:41 pm

When I posted my credit card balance a few people in the comments gave some really good ideas and tips for us to help us get out of debt faster. One of them was to open new credit cards with 0% interest offers and do balance transfers. And yes, while to do that the math makes sense, the reality is I don’t trust myself not to fall back into bad habits.

We are working hard to get out of debt right now and I think we are making decent progress and making better and wiser financial choices. However, our change is still too new for me to trust it. Years ago, we did open a new credit card for the balance transfer offer. We transferred a huge chunk of the balance and proceeded to charge our old credit card right back up to the limit. Then we had two huge credit card bills to pay. I would like to think we are more disciplined now, but I’m actually not sure. I would rather pay the interest on our credit card debt, as much as it sucks, than end up with more debt, more payments, and more feelings of despair.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for our debt payoff. It’s faint and only a pinprick, but it’s there. When I post our next debt payoff, we will have paid off around 50% of our credit card debt from its highest point ever (and paid it down in 18 months) and be at our lowest point of credit card debt in 6 years. I’m willing to take the loss on interest to ensure ultimate success.

Full disclosure, we did just open a new credit card. Our daughter is traveling internationally (and I may be too, but more on that later) and she didn’t have a credit card. Getting a credit card is not like when I was 18, most kids can only get a secured card and nothing with travel benefits. I opened a new card with her as an authorized spender that she can take to Europe with her and she won’t have to pay any foreign transaction fees on her purchases. She has budgeted for the trip and will be able to pay the bill in full when she returns. She is using my credit to help build her credit.

Another reason I don’t want to open (anymore) credit cards is because there is a very good chance we are looking to move and buy a new house in another state in the very near future. We don’t want our mortgage affected in any way and are trying to keep our credit as good and clean as possible. We don’t want to have so much open credit that it dings us or that we have to pay (even) higher interest rates.

I think I have said this before, I am a credit card company’s favorite customer. I charge high balances, but always, always make payments on time. Because of this, I have great credit. According to the three main credit bureaus, I have “very good” and “excellent” credit scores. I am working to keep my credit scores and ratings, but get rid of all the debt! 

We decided we would rather be safe than sorry. I know it's all based on out own discipline or lack thereof... but we don't want to chance it.

4 Responses to “New Credit Cards”

  1. Amber Says:

    I say do what works best for you. For me, I know that it’s easy for me to rack up CC debt, so I wouldn’t open a new card to transfer the balance.; however, I would work my tail off to get it paid off as quickly as possible throwing everything I had at it.

    I think you’ll be fine

  2. Lots of Ideas Says:

    I am probably someone who suggested balance transfer, and I hope I included the caveat ‘if that feels safe to you.’

    For me, using my credit cards are a money making proposition - I pay every bill I can on a card credit and earn about $400 per year in rewards. But I have never paid a dime of interest - I am credit card company’s worst customer - they pay me to use them!

    I hope building your ‘credit discipline’ muscle helps you get strong enough to benefit from your cards.
    If you haven’t already, it might be worth calling to ask for a lower interest rate based on your years of reliable paying.

  3. mumof2 Says:

    Have you tried opening new cards with 0% and then cutting up all your cards so you can't use them....once paid off lower the limit that is reasonable and get a new card....that way you don't have the interest but also can't use either of them...would that work?

    Good luck on whatever you choose to do...we only have CC debt which should be gone by end of can be hard not to use when things pop up

  4. rob62521 Says:

    You are smart to know what would work for you and if the temptation of having more credit cards could be too much, I agree, don't! And you said you see a light at the end of the tunnel. Good for you!

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