Hello Community- my fiancee and I are in the midst of planning -- and paying for -- our upcoming wedding.
One tenet we will definitely live by is to not deplete our savings accounts as the expenses pile up.
We will be paying for expenses by paying with my Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve to accumulate points.
Initially we will pay the balance off in-full each month, until we get to a point that we will need to make a decision on what to do with the future expenses, which include either:
Transfer the balance to an 18-month no-interest card like my Citi Thank You Preferred, OR
Take out a personal loan
My current credit situation is that my 3-bureau FICO is in the low 800's, I have one auto loan (1 year old), six credit cards (with approximately 85k of spendable limit and less than 6% utilization), 3 hard inquiries (which will be down to 2 in March), and no mortgage.
Any thoughts on what would be my best approach? Updside to the balance transfer is that there will only be a nominal balance transfer fee, however the downside is that I would almost certainly need to request an increase so as to keep the utilization on the card low (meaning a hard inquiry). Upside to the personal loan is that I would have all debt consolidated onto a single card and basically would have zero credit card debt, downside is that of course, I'm paying interest. That and the new inquiry here, too.
My advice is don't start your marriage off by juggling debt. Sit down, look at your savings and available funds (NOT CC limits) and decide ob a budget that can be paid off quickly, if needed. Then follow your budget and put expenses on the cards but pay them off entirely before any interest accrues. You'll also be happier in the long run - financial strain can be a relationship killer. The wedding lasts a day but the marriage lasts much longer - make sure it's taking priority over what's effectively a celebration of consumerism.
0% APR BT offers are a way to milk more return out of your money (invest it longer), not to postpone debt you can't afford. If you aren't willing to drain savings on it, don't put it on a card. That isn't to say you shouldn't put it on a card if you can - points are good. Just don't fall into the trap of thinking 100k in credit limits means you have 100k available to spend.