25 things vanishing in America, part 2: 0% Balance transfers

You may still be offered 0% balance transfers if your credit score is above 720, but those offers are dwindling rapidly. Most offers I've seen lately have been for 6 or 12 months at interest rates as low as 1.99% and as high as 11.99% and I have a top credit score. Talking with folks who have good to fair scores, they seem to be having trouble getting balance transfers for less than their purchase interest rate.

As credit defaults rise, expect credit card interest rates to rise as well. Many credit card companies are pulling back dramatically and some are pulling out.

The Obama administration is trying to free up more cash to unfreeze the credit markets, but so far fear rules the day. Banks do not want to take on any more risks and instead are lowering people's credit limits and increasing credit card interest rates.

The 0% balance transfer may come back in the future when credit markets stabilize, but don't plan your money management around the ability to get 0% interest balance transfer.

Lita Epstein has written more than 25 books including the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Improving Your Credit Score."

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