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General Questions > Debt Management


Where can I cash a credit card check or convenience check?? Is there a mobile deposit I can use?

- Asked Aug 8 , 2017


You are allowed to pay for purchases with a convenience check, but simply writing yourself a convenience check and then cash it is the same as a cash advance. Both of these option can be dangerous because the interest rates are very high and they can damage your credit score if left unpaid, but it can be a useful short-term solution.

If the convenience check is one that another person gave to you, you should be able to cash it just like a normal check.


I am looking into getting a 0% intro interest credit card to pay for initial inventory in a direct sales company. I have never done anything like that before...with large sums of money on a card (roughly 7-10k) so I want to make sure I am thinking correctly. Say I charge 7000 upfront on a 15 mo. no interest card. If I pay $500/mo. so that I have a zero balance at the end of 15 months then I will owe no interest right? Basically I am just trying to spread out the amount of time I have to pay that money rather than having to have it all at once.

- Asked Mar 5 , 2016


Your strategy will work, but only if you are approved for the line of credit you want, and if you stick to your repayment schedule without any further purchases. At the end of the promotional financing period, interest will only begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balance.


I have grown a massive CC debt over the years but have maintained FICO score from 670 - 750 this past year. I am being offered several debt consolidation offers which are tempting, but fear doing so will effect my score. Also, have several cards open but not using them because of their current APRs...should I close all of them, some of them or what? Seems I recall at some time I was told closing several at the same time will also hurt my score. Do you have a maximum number of cards a person should have?

- Asked Feb 5 , 2016


There is no maximum number of credit cards that a person should have, as each credit card will improve your credit score so long as it is open and in good standing, and you have little debt. However, if having several credit card accounts open will cause you to overspend or incur debt, then it's probably best not have access to all of them.


i just filed bankruptcy last year and i don't have any credit cards. The only debt I have is 2 student loans one for $3,500 and the other for $4,500 with 10.9% interest rate. Should I try to get a credit card to pay them off? if so which one would be good for me with a 658 credit score?

- Asked Feb 2 , 2016


You will not find a credit with an interest rate below 10.9% having filed for bankruptcy last year. Your best bet is to continue paying off your student loans at their current rate. 


Bank of America has already closed 3 of my credit cards with them. Am I supposed to still be paying interest to them, since they closed them out? Thank you for your concern in this matter.

- Asked Jan 23 , 2016


Credit card issuers will typically close accounts when cardholders fail to make any charges at all for at least a year. A card issuer would not close your account just because you failed to carry a balance. In fact, banks do quite well with customers who avoid interest charges by paying their balances in full, since card issuers earn profits on merchant fees, and these customers represent very low risk of default. So to keep your accounts open, make sure to use them from time to time, even if just for very small charges. 


My credit score is 611. I have about $20,000 in old student loans ,i.e., 6+ yrs old, never been able to pay off in past. How would you suggest that I go about paying off these old debts, or make restitutions?

- Asked Jan 3 , 2016


Your unpaid student loans are definitely hurting your credit score. The best thing to do is to contact the loan providers and work on a payment plan that you can afford. You may also be able to refinance your student loans at a lower rate, or consolidate them. The most important thing is that you immediately contact the creditor and start making regular payments. 


Is it a good strategy to eliminate credit card debt by paying it off via a personal loan (through some lender connected to Lending Tree) at a lower rate?

- Asked Dec 15 , 2015


This can be a good strategy if the difference in rates is large enough. Before doing so, I would at least ask your credit card issuer if you can qualify for a lower rate, and I would also consider applying for a card with a 0% APR introductory financing offer. For example, the Chase Slate offers 15 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with no balance fee for transfers completed within 60 days of account opening. 


I have a bank card that has a 22% interest rate, and I'm looking to transfer the balance to a lower interest rate card to pay the balance down. I have $2200.00 on the card. I am auto paying $100.00 a month which is more then minimum pmt. The interest is killing me! My credit score is 590 due to some medical bills I'm paying off. If I could lower my interest rate it would help a great deal in paying off the card balance.

- Asked Dec 9 , 2015


Unfortunately, a 590 credit score is considered to be poor, and it's unlikely that you will be able to qualify for a card with a lower interest rate at this time. Your best course of action is to pay off your existing credit card balances as quickly as possible, and work with your other creditors to pay off your other debts. Your goal should be to improve your credit score over time so that you can qualify for a card with a lower interest rate. And once your score improves, you can contact your current card issuers and ask for a lower rate.


I have about 5k in credit cards balance. I'd like to take the scissors to 4 of them. Even if I can put the 3k on my main account into one with a 0% APR for a year or so, I could pay off the others. I get a 1,000/month pension at 64. I'm now 62.

- Asked Dec 1 , 2015


This seems like a sound plan. Since you are on a fixed budget, you will want to use everything you can to pay off your balances as quickly as possible, and a 0% APR balance transfer offer is the best way. For example, the Chase Slate card offers 15 months of interest free financing on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. 


I read that under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a collection account will remain on your credit reports for seven years and six months from the date you fell behind with the original creditor. I was a dumb college student and charged off my first credit card back in 2008, the same year I fell behind. However, in 2012 I made a payment to the collection agency. Dumb decision, I know. But if I am reading this correctly, the date I feel behind with the original creditor was back in 2008. Does this mean the collection should no longer be on my credit report? If so, how can I report it? Any advice?

- Asked Nov 24 , 2015


First, you should obtain copies of your credit report to see how it has already been reported. If the credit account is closed, then you will have to wait up to seven years before it drops off. However, if you still have accounts that are considered active and are still reporting negative information, then you will want to settle those accounts as soon as possible. 


My credit score is fair. I wanted to get rid of 3 credit cards that are high in interest at 22.00 by transferring balances and have one payment. Is this something that I should do? And if so who can I choose as I tried applying for a personal loan and got denied.

- Asked Oct 5 , 2015


It would be in your interest to consolidate your debts to a card with a lower interest rate, but with only a fair credit score, that option might not be available to you at this time. There are credit cards with low interest rates and even those that offer 0% APR promotional financing rates for over a year. Nevertheless, these offers are typically available to those who have good or excellent credit. My advice is to focus on raising your credit score by reducing your debt and always making each payment on-time. With a little time, your credit will improve and you will become eligible for a lower interest rate card or one with a promotional financing offer.


I have a 668 credit score, but I'm over my head with 100,000. in credit card debt. the banks will not loan money to me in order to consolidate my debt. what should I do? I no collateral, but Ive been working at the same job for 19 years.

- Asked Oct 5 , 2015


$100,000 in credit card debt is a very large amount. Certainly you should be paying off the cards with the highest interest rates first, and even considering a balance transfer if you have available credit on a card with a significantly lower interest rate. Another option is to contact your card issuers and request a lower interest rate. This might not work, but it is worth a try. Finally, you can seek the assistance of a non-profit consumer credit cancelling service that can give you more detailed advice based on your circumstances.


Should I pay off credit card debt before putting money into savings?

- Asked Sep 16 , 2015


As unsecured debt that is never tax deductible, credit card debt is very expensive. In most cases, it will make more sense to pay off your credit card debt first as that will save you money on interest charges, which you can then contribute to your savings. Nevertheless, you should be sure to always have some savings that you can use in the case of an emergency or if you have an unforseen gap in your employment. 


Is it a good idea to take a loan to consolidate your credit cards and pay them off if the interest is 22 percent?

- Asked Aug 22 , 2015


22% is a very high interest rate, and you will be paying a large amount of interest charges if it takes you time to pay off this balance. If you have the opportnity to take out a loan at significantly lower rate, then it will make sense to consolodate your debt. And when less of your montly payment is going towards interest costs, you will be able to pay off your loan more quickly. In addition to saving money on interest, debt consolodation allows you to make a single payment rather than multiple payments each month. This will take less time and it will make it less likely that you will make a late payment or miss a payment.


I have bad credit and my score is below 500. I have 4 credit cards that are overdue, and it would take about $800 dollars to get them current again, and about $2,000 dollars to pay them off completely. Is there any bank or credit card company that would pay them all off so that I can have one monthly payment between $100-200 dollars a month?

- Asked Apr 28 , 2015


If you had good credit, then you could open a new account with a credit card offering 0% intro APR for a certain number of months and perform a balance transfer. But since you are overdue on several accounts and your credit is bad, that is no longer an option. At this point, your best bet is to try to transfer the balances to the card has the lowest interest rate. You will also want to be current on the card you make the transfer to, if possible.


In the future, the best strategy will be to work with your card issuers as soon as possible if you know you aren't going to be able to make a payment. But for now, all you can do is to try to get out of debt as soon as possible, and work towards rebuilding your credit history.


Here are a few helpful articles on our blog about repaying your debt and rebuilding your credit:

How much is Credit Card Debt Costing You

5 Tips to Shred Your Debt

6 Tips for Boosting Your Credit Score

Payment Showdown

A Legitimate Method for Rapid Mortgage Repayment (you can use the same method for credit card debt repayment)


I have around $4,000 of balances on two cards that charge interest. I've been pre-approved for Chase Freedom, which has 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles. Would it be a wise move for me to take Chase Freedom, transfer those balances, and pay them off at 0% APR ? Thank you

- Asked Mar 16 , 2015


Unless you are able to pay off those cards in the next month or two, you will be better off utilizing the 0% APR promotional financing from the Chase Freedom rather than paying interest on your current cards. This balance transfer offer will require a 3% balance transfer fee, so if you can pay off the cards quickly you can avoid that $120 expense. Otherwise, you will avoid interest altogether for 15 months by transfering your balance.


With any balance transfer offer, it is important to use the end of the promotional financing period as a goal to pay off your balance. The worst thing you can do is to use this offer as  a way to continue to carry the balance, or even add to it.