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Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...

amyamanda
New Member

Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...

Newbie here! I don't have the abbreviations down yet, but I've used the wealth of info here as a resource over the years and hope you will be willing to help me NOT waste a hard pull.

I'm paying down debt and want to lower my interest rate. I have a credit card with $7268 at 11.9% and I'd like to do a balance transfer to 0% for as long as possible, but I don't want to apply unless my odds are great. And if I should wait to apply to increase my odds, I would do that.  I'm wondering what you would do and why.

Here's my info:

TU 703/EQ 722 (Just crossed the 700 threshold on both earlier this month. I paid off some significant balances with tax refund and some other money.)

Bankruptcy (ch 7) in May 2013 and no other derogatories

Payment history 100% on time for over a decade
TU says CCV use is 22% ($7268 all on one card) - EQ says 17%

I currently have one CC with a balance, a car loan, and a mortgage.

TU says 14 total accounts (4 closed, 10 open) - EQ says 15
TU says AoA 2y11m (can't fix that now...most recent was January 2020 bank loan) - EQ says 3y11m
TU says two hard pulls: Jan 2020 and Jun 2019, both approved. - EQ says one hard pull

I refinanced three high-interest cards in January onto a secured (car) loan at 3.7%.
Remaining CC debt is at 11.99% and I'd like to get a long-term 0% (or at least a lower %) balance transfer. BT fee is fine if it is offset by interest savings over the long 0% period.

I did some research and I'm wondering if I would likely qualify for either of these cards (or NOT), or if you can recommend something similar:
- USBank Platinum - 0% for 20 billing cycles - 3% BT fee - no annual fee
- Citi Double Cash - 0% for 18 months- 3% BT fee - no annual fee (Credit Karma says I have very good approval odds?!)

I'm worried about these things and wonder if I really need to be:
- I *only* just went into the 700s in the past month
- the bankruptcy, even though it was 7+ years ago

- the short AoA (I cancelled so many old cards before I knew this was a bad idea!)

- the fact that for the ONE card that I have a balance, it's a 73% usage, even though for my overall credit, it's 21%/17%

Also, my income has remained stable even in the pandemic. I'm self-employed and have been for more than 2 years.

What do you think? What would you do? Many thanks!

 

(Edited to adjust numbers to be more exact as I'd estimated my credit card debt and it's actually a bit lower than originally stated.)

Message 1 of 41
40 REPLIES 40
M_Smart007
Epic Contributor

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...

@amyamanda, Hi and Welcome!

 

I do not have a lot of answers for you, except that anything that Credit Karma recommends is pure marketing!

So take that with a grain of salt (maybe a 1/2 a grain).

 

US Bank can be conservative "IF" you have opened more than a few accounts in the last 6-12 months.

 

75% Utilization on one card, is probably not a good idea, when wanting to apply.

 

If you are getting your AAoA from Credit Karma? ..those are Vantage scores.

Closed accounts usually are factored in for up to 10 years after closed on FICO scoring models.

You need to be getting your true "FICO" scores, Version 8 FICO is what I would be looking for.

 

I do not want to discourage you, but lenders are not exactly, handing out the candy so to speak in this environment.

 

You will most likely get some better advice, than what I have to give .. so hang in there!

 

Probably the best advice I have to give is "common abbreviations" .. I can't go to wrong on this one.

https://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/User-Guidelines-General/Common-Abbreviations/m-p/88458

 

 

Edited for my errors

 

Message 2 of 41
GApeachy
Super Contributor

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...


@amyamanda wrote:

I'm self-employed and have been for more than 2 years.

What do you think? What would you do? Many thanks!


(Before reading my suggesting, I do not know how Amex looks at BK's) ...so here goes

Since you're self employed you could try for an Amex biz card like Blue Business Cash and do a transfer.  They pull Exp.  The balance transfer to their biz card would not show up on your personal credit report.  That's about all I got too.

Good Luck!

"My Take Home Pay Don't Take Me Home"
Message 3 of 41
Remedios
Moderator

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...

@amyamanda  US Bank Platinum is a good choice if you didnt open more than one new revolving account in the past year. 

Citi probably wont give you limit high enough to handle entire BT.

 

Your utilization on one card is a bit on a high side, so you may want to pay it down as much as you can. 

 

Also, if you have other open credit card accounts,  do you have any BT offers on them? 

 

Would you please  list the cards you already have to avoid redundant suggestions. That would be very helpful 

Message 4 of 41
Remedios
Moderator

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...


@GApeachy wrote:

@amyamanda wrote:

I'm self-employed and have been for more than 2 years.

What do you think? What would you do? Many thanks!


(Before reading my suggesting, I do not know how Amex looks at BK's) ...so here goes

Since you're self employed you could try for an Amex biz card like Blue Business Cash and do a transfer.  They pull Exp.  The balance transfer to their biz card would not show up on your personal credit report.  That's about all I got too.

Good Luck!


Is Amex even offering BTs now? 

They totally removed it from ED card, so I'd look before wasting app if this is applicable across all their cards. 

Message 5 of 41
blindambition
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...

Amex has basically stopped BT for the moment. Citi would most likely give low limit, with 3% fee. As stated, US Bank is INQ/Acct sensitive.

Id try paying down card some. Then take a shot at a CU card not known to be conservative.

Message 6 of 41
amyamanda
New Member

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...


@M_Smart007 wrote:

75% Utilization on one card, is probably not a good idea, when wanting to apply.

I don't know any way around it at this point -- I thought consolidating onto one card was a good thing. No? So I'm just looking to transfer the one balance to a new card, assuming I get a card with a high enough limit. Any suggestions?

 


@M_Smart007 wrote:

If you are getting your AAoA from Credit Karma? ..those are Vantage scores....You need to be getting your true "FICO" scores, Version 8 FICO is what I would be looking for.

 Yes, I'm taking this info from CK. Sorry if this is super basic, but is there a free way to get FICO Version 8?

Message 7 of 41
amyamanda
New Member

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...


@Remedios wrote:

 

Also, if you have other open credit card accounts,  do you have any BT offers on them? 


How would I know if I did? Should I call and ask?

 


@Remedios wrote:

Would you please  list the cards you already have to avoid redundant suggestions. That would be very helpful 


Yes, thanks for the prompt:

- EZCard (through my bank) $10000 limit, $7268 balance, 11.99% APR
- Capital One Quicksilver One $3250 limit, $0 balance, 26.24% APR
- Barclaycard Rewards $2000 limit, $0 balance, 25.99% APR
- Ollo $3000 limit, $0 balance, 26.24% APR
- Synchrony/Paypal $4300 limit limit, $0 balance 
- Synchrony/Care Credit $2000 limit, $0 balance
- Synchrony/Home limit $2000, $0 balance
- Synchrony/Sweetwater $4000 limit, $0 balance

Thanks!

Message 8 of 41
KLEXH25
Valued Contributor

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...


@amyamanda wrote:

@M_Smart007 wrote:

75% Utilization on one card, is probably not a good idea, when wanting to apply.

I don't know any way around it at this point -- I thought consolidating onto one card was a good thing. No? So I'm just looking to transfer the one balance to a new card, assuming I get a card with a high enough limit. Any suggestions?

 


@M_Smart007 wrote:

If you are getting your AAoA from Credit Karma? ..those are Vantage scores....You need to be getting your true "FICO" scores, Version 8 FICO is what I would be looking for.

 Yes, I'm taking this info from CK. Sorry if this is super basic, but is there a free way to get FICO Version 8?


Go to CreditCheckTotal.com for a $1, 7-day trial. Cancel before the 7 days and then rinse and repeat. Note, this will only give you your Fico 8 scores, when a lender may use another score. This might be a good tome to invest in a 3-B report for all 28 of your scores. If you do a subscription, it will be cheaper and you can always cancel before they charge you again. 

The individual utilization on each card is just as important as your aggregate utilization. This will be a factor in approvals. Who do you currently bank with? Knowing the balance and limit of each card you have will also be helpful. 





Message 9 of 41
amyamanda
New Member

Re: Help me understand my odds for a 0% balance transfer...


@blindambition wrote:

As stated, US Bank is INQ/Acct sensitive.


How sensitive? What should my goal be?


@blindambition wrote:

Id try paying down card some. 


To what level would you pay it down?


@blindambition wrote:

Then take a shot at a CU card not known to be conservative.


I didn't realize CUs did 0% balance transfers. One of my cards is a local CU card and my car-secured loan is through the other local CU. Can you point me towards something that would be in the category you're recommending?

Thanks so much.

Message 10 of 41
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