The pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards

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KENNEWICK, WA - Most of us have credit card debit of some sort. Reporter Mackenzie Maynard looked into a way that may help people chip away at that debt.

A balance transfer credit card takes the funds from one of your credit cards and moves it to another for a lower rate in all...which may seem like a pretty good idea, but there are some things to look out for.

A lot of people make minimum monthly payments where a large portion of the payment is going to their interest rate, not really making a dent in your debt. But with a balance transfer credit card, you're able to move some of the money - if not the entire balance - to help pay it off. Mackenzie sat down with a Hapo employee to find out what you should look out for when selecting the right card for you.

"'Is there an annual fee for this card'...some are 60 dollars," said Brittney Hopperstad, a financial central manager with Hapo. "'What is the transfer rate', 'what fee are they charging', 3 percent...5 percent, just to bring it over, again after that 18 months, is it going to go up to 24 percent or another high interest that's not going to benefit you in the long run."

As a reminder, you want to be sure to keep the cards open after you pay them off. Having low balances on those cards will help your credit score.