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BT to get cards to zero balance

Valued Contributor

BT to get cards to zero balance

The subject of getting card to a zero balance has come up from time to time and I think most agree it is difficult to get cards you use to a zero balance across all 3 CRA's due to the reporting schedule/habits of various lenders.  So to accomplish this I am thinking about doing balance transfers to clear out all CC balances.  If I do this, the 0% bT card (Discover IT) will be over 70% utilization.  I have about 22 cards reporting balances right now even though most balances are less than $50, they are still reporting balances which I think is holding my scores back.  EQ 727, TU 738, EX 741.  Overall my utilization is 5%.......just having a lot of small balances reporting is frustrating.  Should I do the BT or just work at eliminating the numerous CC balances over the next few mos.  I plan to app for a vacation home early 2015 and want the best scores I can get.

8 REPLIES
Frequent Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance

It sounds like you have due dates all over the place. I have all mine set to the same due date but one. That way, I can let zero balances report on the 21st and use the one with a statement date of the 5th until I know they have cycled. If you can afford to pay them off, I would work on aligning due dates instead of doing BTs. 


FICO SCORES: TU 769; EX 790; EQ 790 ***Gardening indefinitely***



Frequent Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance

Paying the bt fees for small transfers seems expensive to me. It only really matters when you app for your vacation home. If it was me I wouldn't worry about it until a couple months before I was ready. I would then only use one card any pay off the rest with my paycheck to consolidate the utilization.
06/26/2014 - Gardening until 7/1/15
NFCU NavCheck 15k, cashRewards VS 14k, nRewards 14k
Amex BCE 15k, CapOne Quicksilver MC 3k, USAA Platinum MC 2k, Discover It 1k
Jared 5.1K, Zales 5k, Lowe's 15k, Home Depot 5k
New Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance

even though the APR is 0%, isnt there a BT fee? something like 3% or $10 min for EACH balance transfer?

 

if it were me, i would just make sure the balance was 0 as of the statement closing date on each card. whatever the balance is as of the statement cut date is what gets reported on your CR.

 

 

 

 

Edit: as another has mentioned, it would help if you align your due dates. for example, i make the due date on all of my cards the 1st of the month. this means that the statement cuts out by the ~4th of each month, and i can plan accordingly to have them show a 0 balance by the 4th of the month.

Valued Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance

I do have due dates all over the place and that may very well be the problem.  I have cards reporting zero balance on one CRA and a balance on another  CRA for the same account. .  Seems the prolem is when various lenders report to the CRA's..........something you have no control over.  Changing due dates may help.  I do have some high interest store cards Lowes and Home Depot with balances that would put my Discover IT over 40% ..........shouldn't I at least transfer those balances?

Frequent Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance

If your paying the interest on those store cards absolutely transfer the balances.
06/26/2014 - Gardening until 7/1/15
NFCU NavCheck 15k, cashRewards VS 14k, nRewards 14k
Amex BCE 15k, CapOne Quicksilver MC 3k, USAA Platinum MC 2k, Discover It 1k
Jared 5.1K, Zales 5k, Lowe's 15k, Home Depot 5k
Established Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance

If the balances are less than $50 I would just pay them all off as the due date comes along before hassling with a balance transfer.

Super Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance


ecxpa wrote:

I do have due dates all over the place and that may very well be the problem.  I have cards reporting zero balance on one CRA and a balance on another  CRA for the same account. .  Seems the prolem is when various lenders report to the CRA's..........something you have no control over.  Changing due dates may help.  I do have some high interest store cards Lowes and Home Depot with balances that would put my Discover IT over 40% ..........shouldn't I at least transfer those balances?


If you're carrying balances on those stores cards (actually accruing interest, not just reporting a balance, two different things) then definitely BT those, store card APRs are usually outrageous unless you get a 0% offer on them for a large purchase. 



Super Contributor

Re: BT to get cards to zero balance


barbaralee wrote:

If the balances are less than $50 I would just pay them all off as the due date comes along before hassling with a balance transfer.


I dont think it is a hassle. as i just did what the op is talking about. all i had to do was put in my credit card number. for discover bt at least. and the amount i wanted to transfer. Boom. all done. I had due dates two three times each week. it was becoming a night mare. even if i only owed 5 dollars. always making sure never to be even close of being late. so with the bt.

i beleive it did cost about.35 dollars to transfer about 6 cards onto 1 . as some store cards were charging interest. so complete. now just have balance on 1 card. and can take my time to pay off since 0 percent for 15 months. also. had to sd the other cards and to stop the meter from clicking. currently im at around 8percent util. before. 26 percent.  so its nice. goal 1 percent util. no more excursions . as i realized the credit cards can really hurt you if not careful..