The biggest news this week is all about debt — whether it’s using a credit card to transfer debt from one credit card to another, going into debt because you want to propose, or working through tax debts with the IRS.
In the most recent edition of Credit.com’s Best Credit Cards in America series, we look at the best cards for balance transfers.
It’s important when evaluating balance transfer credit cards that you look at the terms of the transfer first. Essentially, every balance transfer card is required to give cardholders six months before the normal interest rate kicks in. The best credit cards offer 18 months. The winner of this year’s rankings is Slate from Chase, which has no annual fee and gives consumers 15 months until they must pay the normal interest rate.
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, jewelers are quite busy helping nervous Americans select engagement rings for their special someones. With that in mind, we decided to tackle the topic of how to actually pay for the diamond ring.
Many of the nation’s biggest jewelers offer financing offers that can be good for people who are very close to having saved the full amount for their purchase, but have some slippery details that can get you in trouble. For example, the interest rates on many of these financing offers are above 20%, which is significantly higher than the current average credit card APR. Also, the 0% financing will last for six months or even 12, but if your balance isn’t paid in full by that time, the interest rate is retroactive to the purchase date.
The IRS recently announced some changes to how much it is asking taxpayers who owe them money to pay.
The adjustments to the formula may come in handy when proposing a compromise to settle the tax debt and leave it in the past. For example, let’s say your income is $4,000 a month, and your allowable expenses are $3,000 a month. The IRS will assume you can pay $1,000 a month toward the debt you owe. Under the old formula, the IRS would multiply that $1,000 a month by 48, and insist that the taxpayer come up with at least $48,000 to settle the debt. The new formula multiples that $1,000 by 12 instead. It’s a big break for some taxpayers, although there are some catches. Read the full article for more details.
Image: NS Newsflash, via Flickr