Balance transfer strategy- fee and interest free
Most balance transfers aren't free these days. At best, they'll charge a percentage of the transfer amount as a one-time fee and offer you an interest-free period. Some offers are the opposite, with the transfer itself not incurring any one-time fees but the balance is charged interest. And those are best-case scenarios.
But there is a simple workaround to get a balance transfer that is effectively free of any fees or interest.
The idea is quite simple. Let's say you purchased new furniture and now you're being charged interest for $5000. You may have just enough money for your regular monthly expenses but not enough to pay off your extra debt. Assuming you have decent credit, you can open 1 or more credit cards that offer 0% APR for a specific amount of time (usually 12-18 months). You then put all your regular expenses on that card(s). When it comes time to pay, instead of paying the minimum payment plus interest on your old credit card, you pay the full amount of that month's expenses towards the old debt. You then pay only the minimum payment of your new credit card bill(s). You won't need to pay any more than that since you have a 0% grace period.
So as an example, if you normally spend $2500 a month on groceries/tuition etc., you'd put these expenses on your new 0% APR credit cards and then use your regular income to pay off the older debt which is being charged interest.
But it gets even better than that. In the process of opening your new cards, you may have the opportunity to earn a significant welcome bonus. This is especially true if you open 2 cards. Opening more than one card can actually be beneficial to your credit score. This is because it's recommended that your total credit card balance doesn't exceed more than 30% of your total credit limit. Spreading your debt over more than 1 card allows you to maintain a lower balance on both cards.