This Dark Horse Tool Could Help You Battle Debt

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The best method for paying down debt is the one that works for you. For some people, turning it into a game helps them zero out; for others, it's snowballing or consolidating. For more than half of Americans, though, one good option may be completely new to them.

Investing in a new piece of plastic may sound counterintuitive for those who are trying to pay down their balance, but the balance transfer card can help you do just that. The premise is pretty simple: As an incentive for signing up for the card, the creditor may offer a 0 percent interest rate, sometimes for up to 21 months. If you can take a significant bite out of your debt load during the introductory period, you'll have shaved off what you owe without scrambling to cover interest payments too.

If it sounds too good to be true, you're not wrong in one regard. It does pay to be skeptical, and in this case, you'll need to read the fine print on fees. Any balance transfer card will probably not only have an initial fee for opening the account, but each transfer might incur a fee on the order of 3 percent to 5 percent per. Given a large enough transfer and that could be a couple hundred dollars you're giving up.

It may be worth it, though. If you can hustle enough to pay down your debt during the introductory period, and you're able to manage the card's fee structure, you could make a significant dent in your debt load in no time.