Banks are continuing to shorten the duration of 0% balance transfer offers
Stamford, CT (PRWEB) April 29, 2009
Smart Balance Transfers, an online credit card comparison website, is less than pleased to announce that April has been a cruel month for consumers carrying credit card debt. As the recession drags on, consumers in need of a helping hand continue to get slapped in the face by their credit card companies. During the month of April, consumer complaints about credit card companies increased dramatically, as mailboxes continued to be filled with rate increase notices.
"April was truly a cruel month for consumers, "said Jeffrey Weber, President and CEO of Credit Card Depot Inc. "Credit card companies really seem to be targeting consumers with good credit - the people who can afford to pay higher interest rates, but who ultimately have done nothing to get penalized."
While interest rate increases appear to be impacting more and more consumers, the quality and cost of balance transfers continues to make 0% APR debt refinancing more difficult for consumers.
"Banks are continuing to shorten the duration of 0% balance transfer offers," Mr. Weber said. "A year ago, every major bank was offering a 0% APR for a year and many offered 0% rates for 15 months or low fixed rates for life. Today, some credit card companies are still offering 0% rates for up to 1 year, but these offers are likely to disappear very soon."
In addition to shorter introductory periods, many credit card companies are raising balance transfer fees substantially. "A year ago, a person could get a 0% APR for a full year and pay no balance transfer fees. Six months ago, it was still possible to get a 0% rate for 6 months and pay no fees. Today, most credit card companies are charging 3% balance transfer fees, and this number is slated to increase to 4% on June 1st for at least one major issuer," he said.
"All in all, consumers who have good credit and carry credit card debt need to act soon while 0% APR balance transfers are still available," said Mr. Weber. "We've all become so accustomed to these offers that we take them for granted. They really won't be here forever and they may not be here in two or three months."
"The unfortunate truth is that obtaining low interest rates becomes more difficult and more expensive every day. Consumers who wait until the last minute are likely to get shorter 0% introductory teaser durations and pay higher balance transfer fees than those who take a proactive approach. Now is truly the time to defuse the credit card debt bombs we're carrying in our purses and wallets. "
About Smart Balance Transfers
Smart Balance Transfers is a Credit Card Depot Inc website. Since 2004, Credit Card Depot Inc has provided consumers with detailed information on credit card offers to assist in the difficult process of finding a good credit card deal. Smart Balance Transfers was launched in 2007 to help consumers better understand the confusing world of balance transfer credit cards while also providing them a forum to share credit card experiences via the site's blog. For more information on current balance transfer offers, please see http://www.smartbalancetransfers.com.
About Jeffrey Weber
Jeffrey Weber is a veteran of the credit card industry and serves as the CEO of Credit Card Depot Inc as well as head writer on Smart Balance Transfers. Mr. Weber was recently quoted in the Christian Science Monitor in the article, "Obama seeks to protect credit-card users," that discusses upcoming credit card regulations.