Why moving credit card balances to other companies to get lower rates is a mistake: Dave Ramsey

When people have problems with debt, it's the result of this

Editor's note: Money expert Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including "The Total Money Makeover." His radio show "The Dave Ramsey Show" is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Each week he answers a question about personal finance in his "Dave Says" column. 

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Dear Dave,

I'm just starting to pay off my debts. How do you feel about moving credit card balances to other companies in order to get lower rates? It seems like that would help me get out of debt faster.

Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

I get what you're saying. It might help speed up the process a tiny bit, but the habits that got you into debt in the first place won't change just because you've switched credit card companies.

MY 4 PERSONAL FINANCE 'BABY STEPS': DAVE RAMSEY

What you're talking about is an easy way to lower the interest rates — temporarily, in most cases — but it doesn't keep you from taking on more debt.

Getting out of debt, and gaining control of your finances, is all about changing the person you see in the mirror.

Many people think they've really done something to solve their debt problems when they do this. But you’ve got to remember that getting out of debt, and gaining control of your finances, is all about changing the person you see in the mirror.

You've got to make a commitment to getting out of debt, staying out of debt, and sticking to a written, monthly budget — that means keeping track of every, single dollar and living on less than you make.

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In many cases, when people have problems with debt it's the result of unwise lifestyle and financial choices.

But guess what?

When you change, interest rates don't matter nearly as much. And when you shift your mindset about money, that will make a difference in a way that changing credit card companies and chasing lower interest rates can't!

— Dave

Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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