The phone rang. Being the landline I thought twice about picking it up (these days it tends to be telemarketers) but decided to do so. The chap on the other end introduced himself and said that he was from my bank and that this was a courtesy call to check that I was happy with my banking arrangements.
I let him continue.
We talked about my checking account, and our new savings account. He then moved on to ask me whether I had any credit cards, and whether I owed any money on them. Initially I was a little reserved; none of your business mate. As the conversation went on it became apparent that he was going to offer me a new credit card: one with 0% interest on balance transfers for 15 months.
Suddenly I became very interested.
I explained that the reason I hadn’t taken out a 0% interest on balance transfers card before was that I was concerned that the credit limit would be so low that it wouldn’t make it worthwhile. In fact Amy and I had discussed this on many occasions and decided to wait until the balances on the cards were at a level where we could transfer them all across.
He reassured me that, as a loyal customer “blah, blah, blah”, it was likely that I would get a credit limit that would allow me to transfer all of my existing credit card debt over to this new card.
I was in.
I was very excited about the prospect of not paying interest for 15 months. I called Amy and explained what had happened. As ever, she said “great, but let’s check the terms and conditions first”.
It’s good to be cautious, and to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
The paperwork arrived in the post and we went through it carefully.
The terms and conditions were pretty standard as were the interest rates.
There is a fee for transferring balances however we did the math and the fee was minimal compared to the interest we would be paying on the existing cards over the next 15 months. We also checked how the minimum payments were calculated to make sure that our budgeted monthly payment would be beyond the minimum. It was.
As if by magic
So I signed the paperwork and put it in the post. The only disappointment was that the bank won’t reveal your credit limit until you send the paperwork back so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. The guy on the phone seemed pretty confident that we would get a credit limit that would allow us to transfer everything over. So fingers crossed.
I then decided to do the math and see how quickly we’d become debt free, if this all worked out, based on our budgeted monthly repayments. I added up all the outstanding debt, added on the balance transfers fee, and divided by our budgeted monthly repayment.
As if by magic the calculation revealed that it would take us exactly 15 months.
Maybe, or maybe it was divinely inspired:
I don’t normally pick up the landline: but on this occasion I did.
I normally give short thrift to such callers, “I’m not interested, thank you, goodbye”: but I didn’t.
I wasn’t thinking of taking out another credit card any time soon: but I did.
The offer came at the perfect time and there’s some magic in that.
All being well I will be free of consumer debt in exactly 15 months.
I feel like we’re heading into the home straight and all is well.