Shrink Your Debt (Maybe) With Zero-Interest Credit Cards

Taking stock after the holidays can be unpleasant. After all that treating yourself and others, it's not hard to worry how you're going to make up for it. For some, paying off some debt may be possible with a surprising bit of advice: more credit cards.

It all comes down to cutting down on interest payments, and for that, if you have good credit already, consider changing over to a zero-interest credit card. The "good credit already" part is a key, if unfair-seeming, part of the equation. Zero-interest cards are generally available only to those with a credit score of at least 670, but the debt hack may also be possible on cards with lower-than-usual interest rates. You'll also need to be able to pay an initial balance-transfer fee; it may be steep, but it also might be the best choice in the long run.

One good thing about paying down debt with this trick is that it generally gives you a hard deadline. Like most credit cards, zero-interest cards will give you a grace period or an initial deal to sweeten the pot. If you have six months or a year to pay down a few thousand dollars interest-free, that's an easy, external way to map out your plan. Even if you're not in a position to clear out all your debt, getting rid of as much as you can during this period could set you on the path to progress. Finally, no matter what your situation, auto-pay is a cardholder's best friend.

According to CNBC, "CreditCards.com recently surveyed 100 credit cards for their balance-transfer offers and found that 38 offer zero percent interest and 41 offer lower-than-average rates. For all deals, the typical introductory period is 12 months, although the range is six months to 21 months." The end of the year is a satisfying moment for big decisions and changes, but it's always the right time to put a dent in your credit card debt.