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.
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. 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.
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.
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 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.