Buyers' Guide - Credit cards for repaying debts

Interest-free balance transfer deals are a great way of clearing credit card debts. Let Moneywise's Buyers Guide show how to pick the right one for you.

If you have a credit card that you can't pay off straightaway, it's worth switching to one that doesn't charge interest on balance transfers.

To make the biggest savings look for the longest interest-free period. You may get as much as 18 months, but deals come and go so check price comparison sites.

Next, find out how much you need to earn to qualify for the card.These days most card providers are pretty choosy so you may not get the deal you really want.

Be careful about applying for too many cards. If you're turned down several times it could damage your credit score.

You normally have to pay a fee to transfer your debt. This can be up to 3% of the debt and you'll be charged interest on them from day one.

Whatever you do, pay off your bill before the deal runs out, or arrange another balance transfer, otherwise interest charges will quickly wipe out your savings.

Alternatively look for a 'life of balance' card - these charge a low rate of interest until your balance is cleared - no matter how long that takes.

With either option be careful about spending on your card - check the interest charged on new purchases, the terms may not be so favourable.

Finally be careful about transferring your balance too often as there may come a time when you don't qualify - and then you could really end up struggling with your debts.