Credit Card Balance Transfer
Is the balance on your high-interest store card weighing down your finances? A credit card balance transfer may be the right option for you. A credit card balance transfer lets you move your debt from one account to another and moving your high-interest debt to a lower-interest credit card can be a big money-saver.
How it Works:
1. Apply for a card
Apply for a credit card with a
low-interest rate or take advantage
of a balance transfer special or
promotional rate on an
existing credit card.
2. Transfer your balance
Balance transfers can be done
at your financial institution.
Sometimes, they can also be done
over the phone or with checks
provided by your credit card issuer.
3. Pay down the balance
Once your balance transfer
goes through, you're responsible
for making monthly payments
to that account. If there is a
promotional rate, paying
down your debt before the
special rate ends, could save
you a bundle.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
A balance transfer is when you move the balance of one or more credit cards or other loan types to a new or existing credit card account.
Transferring your balance from a credit card(s) or loan with a higher interest to a credit card account with a lower interest rate can help you:
- Save money on interest: Transferring your credit card balance to a new card with a lower interest rate can save you money. Plus, some credit card issuers offer balance transfer specials or promotional rates when you transfer your balance.
- Get better terms and perks: This could include lower fees or a better rewards program.
- Consolidate your payments: Balance transfers can help make paying your bills simpler and more convenient. For example, if you transfer several balances to one credit card with a lower interest rate, you will have less payments to make monthly.
- Get a fresh start: When used smartly, a balance transfer is a good tool to help you reduce debt faster. Once you've transferred your balance, make a plan to pay down your debt quickly, before the promotional period ends.
If you want to save on interest, lower your monthly payments, or consolidate payments, it may be worth looking into a credit card balance transfer. A balance transfer, when used correctly, can be a beneficial tool to help you pay off your debt quickly and take control of your finances.
If you have any questions or would like more information on balance transfers or other strategies for debt repayment, give us a call at (850) 434-2211 and select option 2 to speak with a credit union representative in our loan department.
Before making a balance transfer, you should compare cards, offers, and choose carefully. Many credit cards will accept balance transfers, but a balance transfer only makes sense if it saves you money. Here are a few things you should look into:
- Is there an Annual Fee? A credit card with no annual fee is best for balance transfers.
- Is there a Balance Transfer Fee? If there is a balance transfer fee, will the amount you save in interest be higher than the balance transfer fee? Some cards have no balance transfer fees, but 3% - 5% of the amount you're transferring is typical. For example, if the balance you plan to transfer is $5,000, a 3% fee would cost you $150.
- What is the interest rate on purchases? If you want to transfer a balance and also plan to make purchases on the credit card, choose a card that has low APR on both purchases and balance transfers.
- Is there a promotional period? Can you pay off the balance you're transferring during the promotional period? What will the interest rate be after the promotional period ends? Balance transfer specials are typically offered for a limited time, so pick one with a promotional period that works for you. It's ideal to have your balance paid off before the promotional period ends because any remaining balance is subject to your standard APR after the promo ends. If you know or think you won't be able to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends, it's important to choose a credit card with a lower interest rate.
It's also a good idea to speak with a financial representative and look into other tools you can use to pay down your debt like a Debt Consolidation Loan or Home Equity Loan.
This depends on few things. Apply for a new credit card to transfer your balance to will result in a hard inquiry on you credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score. Also, adding a new card will affect your overall length of credit history, which can temporarily lower your score. However, a new credit card with a new line of credit could reduce your overall credit utilization and positively impact your score.
Below are a few resources to help you learn more about credit scores.
We're Here to Lend A Helping Hand
If you're ready to consider a balance transfer and don't have a credit card with Members First Credit Union of Florida, check out or credit card offers. Our credit cards have no balance transfer fees, low fixed interest rates, and rewards.
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