Maybe cut your 'credit' card interest cost by 1/3 ... or more???
Suppose you wanted some goods at a store but, lacking cash to pay for it, you accepted their generous suggestion that they'd be glad to issue you one of their "credit" cards and that you could "pay" for the item using their card.
Did they happen to mention that, the minute before you used that card, you had no debt - but the minute after you used it, you were in debt?
A so-called "credit" card is actually a "debt" card - it provides you with a really easy way of getting into debt, almost without really realizing it.
Did they happen to mention that the rate of interest that you'd be paying on that debt would be, usually, in the neighbourhood of 28%? That is, for every $100. of debt, you'd have to pay them annual rent of $28.00 (if the debt ran for a whole year, which, of course, they don't allow).
Not my idea of a good way to fly.
Suppose you were to apply for a regular credit card and be accepted.
The annual rate of interest that they usually charge on unpaid balances is about 18% - i.e. 10% less than store-issued cards charge: a reduction in your rate of over a third.
To calculate the difference if the full amount of such a debt ran for, say, 5 years, enter "1.28 X (debt amount)" or 1", then press "=" 5 times, enter amount into "M+". Press current "Clear". Enter "1.18 X (debt amount)" or 1", then press "=" 5 times, enter amount into "M-", then press "M Recall" to get yourself a surprise, I'll bet. Your cost, if you were paying equal amounts monthly - which you wouldn't, as monthly required payments would reduce as the amount owing did - would be about half that.
Call the 800 number for the store-issued card people and ask them whether they charge a penalty for paying off balances early (almost always not: but there will be administrative and possibly other fees if their offer was for 0% for a specified period) and whether there's a fee for balances transferred out (usually not, I think - but, if they do, quite likely the company that's to be assuming the balance will pay it).
If you check around, you may find that one or other of the regular card companies may be offering a 0% rate on transferred balances (for a limited period, of course - after that the rate rises to their usual level).
Changing from paying 28% a year to 0% (for a period of almost surely less than a year) ... is a whole lot better than to a rate of 18%.
But be careful - usually the new card agreement provides that your total payment goes toward paying off that transferred balance before anything can be used to pay either interest or principal on new purchases.
Let's say that your period of no interest was to be for 6 mos., that you transferred $1,000. of earlier debt in to the new card and paid it off over the course of those 6 mos. And had paid no interest relative to that balance.
However, suppose during that period you'd charged $1,000. of new purchases on that card. That increasing balance would have been sitting there with no payments made, but accruing interest at their regular rate, throughout those months.
Which means that, once again, your whole balance owing is accruing interest fee at their regular rate.
So, while I suggest that you avoid putting new purchases on that card, to avoid the interest charges on them, if you had another regular card and charged those items on them, you'd likely be paying about the same rate, so it would be about as broad as it is long.
My strong suggestion is that you try strenuously to avoid charging new non-essential stuff on either one of them until the debt is paid, making a serious effort to avoid buying things until you can pay cash for them.
Don't forget - if you can avoid buying a $185. item for a year, you'll have $18.00 cash in your pocket that you can use to buy something else, rather than having lost it to interest. You were making monthly payments throughout, so the whole amount was owing for only one month.
If you follow the principle of, "I just have to have it *now*!!" - the stores and credit card companies will be glad to accomodate you ... for a (stiff) price.
About half of the people who use regular "credit" cards pay off their balances owing in full each month - so they pay no interest at all.
I like them apples better.
If you have any questions about these issues, come to ask - someone will have a useful answer for you, I'm sure.
I hope that you have a really happy, creative, innovative time through the rest of spring.