WalletHub, Financial Company
In order to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt within 36 months, you need to pay $362 per month, assuming an APR of 18%. While you would incur $3,039 in interest charges during that time, you could avoid much of this extra cost and pay off your debt faster by using a 0% APR balance transfer credit card.
The average length of a 0% APR balance transfer intro period is 13 months, according to WalletHub’s Credit Card Landscape Report, and the average balance transfer fee is 2.55% of the transferred amount. Below, you can see how much you could save while paying off $10,000 over different time frames, assuming a 12-month 0% APR period, a 3% balance transfer fee, and an 18% regular APR.
Paying Off $10,000 with a 0% APR Balance Transfer Card
Months to Payoff
Total Interest Paid
Total Savings vs. Regular Card
Of course, these aren’t the only timelines that you could commit to with $10,000 in debt. To price out more options, try WalletHub’s debt payoff calculator. This calculator can also help you decide if transferring the $10,000 in debt to a 0% APR balance transfer credit card would save you money.
Getting a 0% APR credit card isn’t the only way to pay off $10,000 in debt. In fact, there are many options to consider, each suited for slightly different situations.
Ways to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt
- 0% APR Credit Card
- Personal Loan
- Debt Settlement
- Debt Management Plan
0% APR Credit Card
0% APR credit cards allow cardholders to avoid interest while paying down their debts. These cards can offer 0% introductory periods on new purchases or balance transfers for up to 20 months.
Keep in mind, however, that you may pay a fee for balance transfers, usually around 3% of the transferred amount. Also, if you decide to transfer your debt to one of these credit cards, do your best to pay it off before the typically-high regular interest rate kicks in.
Personal loans can be used to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt, assuming you can qualify for a big enough loan with a lower interest rate than your current credit card interest rate. This depends heavily on your creditworthiness.
Debt settlement is when the debtor negotiates with the creditor to pay a lump-sum that covers less than the total amount of the debt. In return, the creditor will forgive part of the debt, as well as other outstanding fees. This option is good for people who have enough money to make a large payment all at once. When taking this route, just be careful not to overextend yourself financially, or you’ll likely just end up back in debt.
Debt Management Plan
Debt management plans allow the cardholder and the lender to amend the original payment agreement by lengthening the repayment term, lowering the interest rate, and perhaps even waiving fees. Each of these modifications is meant to make the repayment process more manageable for the cardholder. Keep in mind, though, that cardholders are still expected to pay the full $10,000 with these plans.
Bankruptcy should only be used as a last resort. While declaring bankruptcy may help you clear your debt, it will also damage your credit score for years.
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Erin Baehr, Certified Financial Planner
I'd concentrate on one card at a time, while paying the minimums on the others. Focusing your energy in that one place, working hard to get that paid off, gives a nice psychological boost when the balance is gone. I typically recommend starting with the smallest balance (unless one of your other cards has a super high interest rate) and getting that paid off, then snowballing the payments into the next smallest balance, and so on. Aside from the sense of satisfaction from having a card paid off, you now have a card that you can use for an emergency or while traveling for instance, that you can pay off at the end of the month with no interest. Otherwise, purchases added to a card with a balance start accruing interest right away.
Ryan Fuchs, Financial Planner
I would pay the minimums on 2 and focus heavily on the third. In this regard, there are generally two schools of thought: (1) Pay the highest interest rate balances off first so that you pay the least amount of interest during the payoff process, or (2) pay off the smallest balances first regardless of interest rate so that you see the "fruits of your labor" and don't get discouraged. I tend to agree with Erin and suggest option #2.
(A) Write down all of your debts, balances, and minimum payments in order from smallest to largest balance. (B) Figure out what you budget allows you to put toward the debts (at least the minimum and, if possible, more than that to get them paid off as quickly as possible). Ideally, you can limit your variable expenses (e.g. eating out, entertainment, etc.) to put as much as possible toward the debts. (C) Pay the minimum payments on all but the smallest balance debt and pay the rest that you have budgeted for debt payments to the smallest balance. (D) When the first balance is paid off, keep making minimum payments on all but the smallest remaining debt, and move the money that you were putting toward the first one to the second one. (E) Repeat the process until the debts are paid.
You may pay more in interest using this method, but it will help avoid discouragement if you work on higher balances first and don't chip away as quickly. And at the end of the day, if you get discouraged and quit the process, then you will not end up clearing the debts.
Hope this helps and good luck.
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