Balance transfers can be an intimidating thought for many people in debt. They are an unknown for many people and may seem like there is a catch somewhere they are missing. Why would credit card companies give up their high interest rates for lower ones when they already have consumers in their net?

If you are smart about doing these transfers they can be a very helpful tool. There are some things to be aware of when getting into balance transfers.

1. The better your credit score is, the better offers you will get from credit card companies. All of the offers will be at a lower interest rate for a promotional period of time.

2. Some will be longer promotions than others. Depending on how much debt you have and how much you can afford to pay off you may want to take a slightly higher interest rate for a longer pay off promotion.

3. Make sure you know how much you need to pay each month in order to pay the amount off before the promotional period is over.

4. If you do reach the end of the promotion and you have not paid off the transfer amount, look into doing another transfer before the promotion is up to avoid the high interest rates that come after the promotional period.

5. When looking to make the transfer, know there is a small fee of usually $5 or 3% of the transfer amount and know that you cannot transfer from one card to another within the same bank.

6. Not all credit cards are available for transfers. There is always the option to have the credit card company transfer the money directly to your bank account so you can pay off the credit cards that way, but make sure you pay what you need to, so you are not just borrowing money and not taking care of your debt.

Balance transfers are a great tool for paying down your debt, you can set up a budget to pay off the amount with little to no interest and be debt free in a much shorter amount of time! This process ensures that the bills you will be paying each month will go straight to paying off your principal amount, not just getting buried in interest and making no dent in your debt amount each month.