Author Topic: How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?  (Read 2999 times)

SavingMon(k)ey

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How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?
« on: October 06, 2013, 11:57:27 AM »
I hate to say this, but I don't have enough saved up to cover my legal expenses related to immigration. This is a very frustrating thing in my financial life. I have spent so much money on this, all my savings always go to these legal expenses. That's been the case since I started working 7 years ago. This is not to say I can't become more mustachian and save more, now that I have found you all, but here is the situation I'm in right now.

I will have hopefully just two more big immigration expenses. One now in the fall, one in about 2 years. This next one showed up out of nowhere, and I did my best to save for it in the last few months. The total cost will be somewhere between $3200-$3600. I'm assuming $3600 (worst case). I called around several law offices and this one (recommended by a friend) had the best price and works with a flat fee, so no surprises. I have managed to save $900 for it, and my partner agreed to cover half of the total. That means I'm $900 short. I'm considering getting a 0% credit card to cover this (I found a few that offer 0% on purchases for about 15-18 months, and I have pretty good credit, so I think I can get one). I have a credit card right now but I would pay a shitload of interest if I ever carried a balance (which I don't).

How do I calculate what my payment will be for those 15 or 18 months, so I NEVER pay interest on any of that? If I don't use a credit card, any other ideas?

Thanks, guys!

EDIT: Just to be clear, I have never done anything wrong and these expenses are the normal expenses associated with visa applications.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 12:02:49 PM by worldstrad »

Kira

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Re: How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 12:51:58 PM »
I'm not sure what you're asking - if you never want to pay interest on it, take the amount you are putting on the card, and divide it by the number of months the card is interest free. If you are intending to pay the minimum amount at first and then later pay bigger amounts, you can call the card carrier and ask, but on a $900 charge the minimum would probably be $30 or less per month.

And for what it's worth I think that immigration expenses fall in the same category as preventative healthcare expenses - something you do now so your savings rate can be greater in the future.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 01:00:32 PM »
I'm not sure what you're asking - if you never want to pay interest on it, take the amount you are putting on the card, and divide it by the number of months the card is interest free. If you are intending to pay the minimum amount at first and then later pay bigger amounts, you can call the card carrier and ask, but on a $900 charge the minimum would probably be $30 or less per month.

And for what it's worth I think that immigration expenses fall in the same category as preventative healthcare expenses - something you do now so your savings rate can be greater in the future.
Thanks, Kira. Sorry my question wasn't clear, but basically you answered it. I just want to know what payments to expect (minimum, which seems to be really low, and so by making bigger payments I will be able to pay it all off pretty fast.) I just never use credit cards for credit, so I'm a bit ignorant on how that works.

You are right about these expenses: they allow me to keep my job and my life here, and in the near future I will be able to save that money and use it for achieving FI.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 04:30:12 PM by worldstrad »

Daleth

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Re: How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 03:39:23 PM »
You'll also want to check whether the law firm takes credit cards. Not everyone does. If not, then you'll need to do a balance transfer, but the same card that's giving you 0% on purchases should do the same on balance transfers. They charge a fee for the transfer that's expressed in percentages (3%, 4%), but it's a flat fee, not interest that accrues. In other words, if you want $1000 and the balance transfer costs 4%, then it will cost you $40 (4% of $1000), period. It won't accummulate more interest.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 04:25:14 PM »
You'll also want to check whether the law firm takes credit cards.

I already checked, and they do accept them. :)

RobertBirnie

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Re: How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 08:50:00 AM »
I personally would go the credit card route. $900 isn't a ton, and actually if the limit is big enough charge the whole thing for the points, then pay off the $1800 or so you have right now on first month.

This route has the added benefit that it's a long term investment in your credit score. And since it sounds like you've never rolled a balance over on a card, I doubt you'll have trouble paying it off.

RootofGood

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Re: How to pay for legal expenses: 0% credit card option?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 09:18:35 AM »
I would definitely consider the 0% credit card option.  We put $20,000 of a house purchase on a credit card (10 years ago) and it was a great financial transaction.

Back then I think the minimum payments were around 2% of the balance per month.  The typical card might be 4% per month now. 

On $3600 or $2700 or whatever you are borrowing, 4% monthly isn't much, and you will want to pay it off by the time the promo rate expires.  You'll get cash back or reward points and free use of the money (those savings can add up quick: http://rootofgood.com/charge-everything-on-the-credit-card-most-bizarre-financial-advice-ever/ )