You are not alone. According to recent data collected from Comet, 8 in 10 “baby boomers” have some form of debt and nearly the same ratio of “Gen Xers” are plagued by the same dilemma. And the debt owed is no minor amount. In fact, the average American now has about $38,000 in personal debt, and this figure excludes home mortgages.
Easy to Get Hooked, Hard to Escape
We don’t need to dive too much into the dynamics of what causes people and families to fall into debt as it seems as American as apple pie. Regardless of whether you feel victim to a costly life event (major car repairs, significant medical procedure, etc) or just had trouble keeping up with bills during phases of unemployment or minimum wage jobs, Americans quickly get hooked by the promises of credit card companies and then find it difficult to escape high interest rates.
Do introductory 0% APR credit cards exist?
Absolutely! Thanks to an economy that appears to be going in the right direction after the nasty 2009 recession, banks are getting more comfortable lending people money again which is a good and bad thing.
The positive of 0% APR credit cards is they usually begin with an introductory period (often 12 to 16 months) where no interest is charged on purchases. It allows individuals to transfer debt from other credit cards (that are charging very high APR) to hopefully enable some more time to get ahead on payments and the overall principle.
The biggest drawback is that 0% introductory APR credit cards can be easily mishandled. It is very easy to assume that you have a year or more to pay off the debt before interest kicks in, which only leads you to spend more instead of paying off the debt you already owe. So you have to be mindful of the pitfalls associated with these kinds of offers.
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