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2008-06-02 04:30:51

Recent Changes in the Balance Transfer Credit Card Market

Balance transfer card deals are of great use for those customers who would like to eliminate their heavy debts. But the past months brought some serious changes in the credit card industry, and the segment of balance transfer deals is no exception.

Just a year ago, card issuers have a certain number of plastic money deals offering no balance transfer fee. Now, you can hardly find such a card, as almost all companies have pulled these balance transfer cards from the market. All the more so, balance transfer card providers toughen credit requirements for applicants. Learn more about recent trends on the balance transfer credit card market!

Today, if you carry a high-rate and want to eliminate it with the help of a balance transfer card with 0% intro rates, it will be rather problematic to find the right card. First and foremost, there is a tendency of cutting intro periods on these cards. Today, it's more essential than ever to read the terms and conditions of your credit card agreement.

The number of credit issuers offering no balance transfer fee on balance transfer cards has decreased significantly over the past few months. Meantime, the overall fees associated with balance transfers have raised dramatically. It's worth saying that a couple of years ago lenders charged a regular 3% of each balance transfer capped at $75. Thus it would have cost you no more than $75. Today, you will be charged $300, as most lenders eliminate this cap. What's the reason for these moves?

In the light of the current credit crunch, we must accept the fact that lending organizations are getting stricter about credit application requirements. These days, lenders prefer to deal with the customers whose credit is near to perfect. Increasingly, card issuers are altering the terms and conditions on their credit products - they raise credit card fees, cut credit card limits, not to mention interest rate hikes that have become a general occurrence in the industry.

Back to our parents' days, balance transfer cards with 0% intro rates simply did not exist. You could count on introductory rates that amounted to three or seven percent. Severe competition in credit card industry resulted in better credit offers and multiple 0% intro APR deals. Now that credit card companies have hard times, they limit the number of credit offers with alluring terms.

When it comes to balance transfers, companies get extremely cautious about the borrower and his/her credit profile. Most balance transfer cards are issued for customers with good or excellent credit. By all means you can find balance transfer deals for average credit, but interest rates on these deals will be higher compared with good balance transfer cards.

Anyway, if you are bothered with your high-rate balances, you'd better act quickly to benefit from 0% balance transfer deals until they're available. Fixed-rate balance transfer cards can also be a good choice for those who want to reduce their heavy debts during a long-time period.

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