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Balance transfers?

Frequent Contributor

Balance transfers?

Ok, this may be a stupid question so please fogive me! But I am a newbie to credit cards. I have 2 unsecured for $500 each and 2 secured for $500 & $200. What exactly is a b alance transfer, and what are the pros and cons? I didn't know anything about the limits/utilization until I started reading in here. I was just racking them up to nearly the limit and making several payments within a month. I didn't realize that when the billing cycle closes, it would report the balance from that day, so my utilization is super high(68%). Is it a good idea to transfer a balance, and how does it affect me? Thanks for your input!

Message 1 of 15
14 REPLIES
Mega Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

BT's are only good if your get a low rate or 0%, judging by the cards you currently have I don't think they would offer good BT's. What are your scores currently? INQ's?



EQ FICO 548 3/3/16
Message 2 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

Well according to CreditKarma, I have 23 recent inquiries....terrible, I know. Last one was Monday, so I am trying to "garden" for now. It's really hard!  According to CK my score is 566, but last time I checked TU on their website, it was 617. and I am sure EX & EQ are in the mid-high 500s. My scores suck, I know. But I am trying to clean up my credit. I had a BK discharged in 09, and knew nothing about rebuilding credit until recently. I have cards with Cap1, Wells fargo, and NFCU. I have one auto loan, and a few collections that report as either paid, settled, or included in BK. And 2 judgements that I tried to have removed but now they just report as included in my bk ch 7. 

Message 3 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

Oh and a couple of charge offs, one from Univ of Phx and the other from global payments, but it was also incl in my BK, for some reason isnt reporting correctly. 

Message 4 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

Balance transfers are good for those who are carrying a large balance that is currently being charged interest, especially if they can only afford the minimum payment because you would be paying out A LOT just to cover the interest on the balance. You would take that balance, and move it to a 0% interest card and pay what you can (hopefully be able to pay it off within the 0% window) and not be charged interest saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

In my wallet: Amex PRG & Zync, Amex BCE (19.2k), Chase Freedom (5k), PSECU Visa/PSL (20k)
Current Scores: Equifax: 738 (Fako) TransUnion: 721 (Fico) Experian: 717 (Fico)
Disclaimer: I am by no means a financial advisor. My posts are based on opinion, experience, and/or knowledge.
Message 5 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

Oh Ok thank you. I don't think I have any 0% cards. I think they are all between 17-26%, but I am not totally sure.

Message 6 of 15
Super Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

Sorry to sort of hijack the thread, but i had a question about BTs too.

When you do a bt, and the card has a bt fee, does the card you're transferring from, or the card you're transferring to charge the fee?
Message 7 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

Just wanted to add that you can't balance transfer  one card to another card if they are both from the same lender/bank.  I was approved with the same utilization as you have on a visa from Johnson bank they offer the card through Elan Financial got a visa with a 12 month BT at 0% fee was 3 or 4% 1,000   low 600 score when approved 7-14-12

 Elan is tied to US Bank some how. 

Message 8 of 15
Super Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

I think LS was able to BT from one barclaycard to another, but it may vary by lender.
Message 9 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: Balance transfers?

I want to get another cc, even if it is a low limit. But I am getting denied left and right. I know my scores are terrible but I see people with similar scores getting approved for huge limits. I know each situation and credit report is different, but I know people with worse credit than me who are getting credit more places than I am. Can't get any store cards. I am currently banking with Wells, and have been for about a year. I tried to open an account at local CU's and everyone denied me because check systems is reporting a US bank account ($900) from years ago that I included in my BK, and a CU collection ($800) that was Settled almost a year ago. I don't know where to go for credit, or if I just need to be slapped in the face so I can stop trying.

Message 10 of 15