{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "The Fam is $30k in credit card debt. How do I use the recent lower interest rates to best refinance for them and take the load off?", "post_id": "5e612d4cd06226001b62b94d", "reply_count": 39, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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The Fam is $30k in credit card debt. How do I use the recent lower interest rates to best refinance for them and take the load off?

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Call your local credit union and take out a personal loan. I did this to pay off all of my cc debt and got a 4% APR personal loan. The 0% APR introductory offers sound great until you incur the 4-7% transfer fee when you move your other CC balances.
In my opinion I think a personal loan is the best way to get your debt under control. Also looks better on your credit report than credit cards.

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Not if you’re a long time member

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Wow- lots of judgement here!
Sounds like your family has hit a rough patch, and aren’t just crazy spenders. Been there myself due to unemployment & it sucks!
I’d transfer to a 0% card and pay off as quickly as possible. Is the card owner employed now? Can they afford to pay off themselves now?

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The card owner is still unemployed. She can’t get the 0% card herself as a result. Would you recommend I open a new one and transfer it over?

First of all, figure out why you are in this situation. Eating out too much? Stop. Shoe buying addition? Stop. Figure it out. Make sure it doesn't happen again.

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I didn’t think it was judgmental. It makes sense to look at the cause for so much credit card debt so that it can be stopped - or not.
Refi would be great if a bank is willing to give a loan.

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You can transfer to 0% introductory APR cards and be assessed a fee of 3-5% of the transfer balance to provide immediate relief but they need to own the cards and the debt. To S1’s point, this is only a bandaid and the behavior behind the unchecked spending and lack of discipline should also be addressed or the problems will only continue to compound.

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SC1 Funny. I’m nowhere near defcon level “outrage”.

Don’t bail them out until the spending is under control. Otherwise you’ll be doing it again in a few years.

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BCG1 - how would you address the debt today if employment remains unstable and there is no emergency fund?

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Thanks everyone for the responses. I appreciate both the kindness of people defending certain assumptions as well as the practicality of people saying to address the root problem. Trust me, I’ve been trying to get my single mom re-employed for a long time but there are certain barriers that just can’t be explained over FB (one example - people in the IT space aren’t open to hiring someone with a 5 year gap on their resume). She can’t get a new 0% APR card or loan herself due to her being unemployed with no proof of future income. I’ve personally been helping pay the interest on the CC debt but the principal isn’t lowering. Her house and car have already been paid off and we’ve been managing thus far because of our minimalist spending. Hope that provides some context. I’d love to shift the convo towards actionable solutions. Possibly starting with me taking a personal loan with a low APR?

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OP - Kudos for taking care of your mother, not everyone does it without seeing it as a burden.
Rather than cards or personal loans, I’d recommend a refinance of the home that’s been paid off. Here are the specifics of how you should refinance. Mortgage rates are very low currently, so it’s a better option in the longer run.
Apply for a 7/1 or 10/1 interest only loan, there are certain minimums in terms of amount so you’ll have to consider how you handle that (bank the rest and use it to temporarily finance the payments. (If needed or use it as a reserve). The loan should not have repayment penalties and all closing costs should be rolled into the loan amount.
The loan will reduce your payment, provide some tax deductions (possibly) and give you an extended time period in which to pay it off.
I believe this is a better option than the others.
Also, if you need to co-sign, maybe you can also take a stake in the property (x% if the property is sold).
Good luck.

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CC debt is much worse than loan...

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Follow Dave Ramsey’s plan but ignore his advice about stopping retirement contributions that are matched during your debt snowball.

Also, you might consider stopping his plan at the part where he says to pay mortgage off early. I’m not sold on that part of his plan.

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SC4, what‘s your view on Ramsey’s suggestion to cut up your credit cards and only use a debit card or cash? Obviously a credit card is necessary for business expenses but they’re also useful if used responsibly for personal expenses.

Could also have them declare bankruptcy.
Put a flatscreen on that bad boy first.

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