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Balance Transfer Options

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Valued Member

Balance Transfer Options

Hi all,

Just looking for some balance transfer pointers and opinions. I've got about $2100 currently with discover and about $2500 with citi to transfer. My Fico 8 scores are pretty consistent across the three bureaus, at around 700. Income 50k. Ex has 5 inqs, TU has 5 inqs, and Eq has 6 inqs. I've obtained 4 new accounts within 2019, and refinanced my vehicle in June 2019. I do have a medical collection from 2015 that has been paid, however it still shows on my reports in a closed status. They wouldn't remove it altogether. I'd like to transfer the balances to avoid paying interest, however, my credit health is more important to me. What I mean by that is, I plan to get an apartment and a new vehicle within the next year, so if i need to leave my profile where its at and not open any new accounts so that i have the best possible outcome for my home and car, then I will pay the interest and stay put. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance Smiley Happy

Starting Score: 600
Current Score: 700
Goal Score: 750


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Message 1 of 18
17 REPLIES 17
Super Contributor

Re: Balance Transfer Options


@CreditJunkie304 wrote:

Hi all,

Just looking for some balance transfer pointers and opinions. I've got about $2100 currently with discover and about $2500 with citi to transfer. My Fico 8 scores are pretty consistent across the three bureaus, at around 700. Income 50k. Ex has 5 inqs, TU has 5 inqs, and Eq has 6 inqs. I've obtained 4 new accounts within 2019, and refinanced my vehicle in June 2019. I do have a medical collection from 2015 that has been paid, however it still shows on my reports in a closed status. They wouldn't remove it altogether. I'd like to transfer the balances to avoid paying interest, however, my credit health is more important to me. What I mean by that is, I plan to get an apartment and a new vehicle within the next year, so if i need to leave my profile where its at and not open any new accounts so that i have the best possible outcome for my home and car, then I will pay the interest and stay put. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance Smiley Happy


I don't really understand your question. If you want to transfer your 2 balances to 1 or more other accounts, and don't want to open any new accounts (rightly in my opinion), and don't want to lower your scores (also rightly in my opinion), then your only recourse would be to transfer the balances to your other existing accounts in amounts that would not exceed 28% of the limits on those accounts, but you don't tell us what you have. So tell us what your accounts are, what your limits are, what your balances are, what your interest rates are, and what balance transfer offers there are.

 

If your question is whether you should even do a balance transfer, or should instead "pay the interest and stay put".... my advice is to pay the interest (and the principal) and stay put. Just pay them down as best you can. That and time will improve your scores.


Total revolving limits 732500 (606000 reporting) FICO 8 scores: EQ 715 TU 760 EX 735
Message 2 of 18
Moderator

Re: Balance Transfer Options

It would be helpful if you list your current credit cards (and their limits) and what the APRs are on the ones with balances.  If you are unable to pay off the balances quickly and those are not currently at promotional APRs, they would accrue a substantial amount of interest.  Are you eligible to join Navy FCU?  Depending on your current APRs, you could potentially pay up to an additional $1,000 off of those balances over the next year with the same payments.


Message 3 of 18
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Balance Transfer Options

If you open 1 new bt card now, you will be fine in a year imo. All you need to do is push your target date back a month. A new card would be worth moving your balances to and one new account shouldnt destroy your profile. Of course i third the comment you should share what cards you currently have.
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2022
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Message 4 of 18
Super Contributor

Re: Balance Transfer Options

With 700 scores, you might check Discover and Citi for prequals. 

 

Yes, you read that correctly.

 

In theory, you could pay off your existing Citi balance with a new Discover account, and pay off your existing Discover balance with a new Citi account...

 

Not that I, personally, have ever done such a thing...  Smiley Embarassed

 

Unless you plan to apply for a mortgage in the next 12 months, I don't see a reason not to. 

12/01/19 Fico 8: EX 732, EQ 732, TU 755.
11/08/19 Fico 9: EX 733, EQ 740, TU no idea...
Zero percent financing is where the devil lives...

Firmly in the garden until the next pre-approval arrives!
Message 5 of 18
Valued Member

Re: Balance Transfer Options

So I have quite a few cards:
Amex ED- 0/1000
Amex gold- 0 bal
Amex cash mag-1200/2000 (0% until 8/2020)
Amex BCP- daily card, spend about 1200-1500 per month and PIF. 6k limit
Discover IT- 2100/9000 (0% until 10/4/19)
Discover #2- 0/7600
Ulta-0/5250
VS-0/5000
Cap one- 49.99/1350
Care credit-800/15k
Citi-2500/4000 (0% until 9/2020)
Tempurpedic-2500/5700

I only want to pay off Citi because I made a mistake and purchased a drink during my BT, forgetting I would be billed interest, thus making the 0% interest worthless. I’m in my early 20s so my oldest card is from 2014. I guess my concern was more or less if applying for a new card would be more beneficial or harmful for my situation. Pretty much all of the cards besides my care credit promos and the others listed, are/will be 20 something % when they expire. The only BT I have right now is 10.99% for 12 months for Citi, nothing from my other lenders
Starting Score: 600
Current Score: 700
Goal Score: 750


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Message 6 of 18
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Balance Transfer Options


@CreditJunkie304 wrote:
So I have quite a few cards:
Amex ED- 0/1000
Amex gold- 0 bal
Amex cash mag-1200/2000 (0% until 8/2020)
Amex BCP- daily card, spend about 1200-1500 per month and PIF. 6k limit
Discover IT- 2100/9000 (0% until 10/4/19)
Discover #2- 0/7600
Ulta-0/5250
VS-0/5000
Cap one- 49.99/1350
Care credit-800/15k
Citi-2500/4000 (0% until 9/2020)
Tempurpedic-2500/5700

I only want to pay off Citi because I made a mistake and purchased a drink during my BT, forgetting I would be billed interest, thus making the 0% interest worthless. I’m in my early 20s so my oldest card is from 2014. I guess my concern was more or less if applying for a new card would be more beneficial or harmful for my situation. Pretty much all of the cards besides my care credit promos and the others listed, are/will be 20 something % when they expire. The only BT I have right now is 10.99% for 12 months for Citi, nothing from my other lenders

I don't think this is true. If the drink cost $15 and your minimum payment is $120, just pay ~$150 and you're good to go. I'm almost certain I'm correct but I'll wait for one of the experts to come along and let us know.

GOALS: Garden til APR 2020 and 800 Club


SEP 2019: EX 791, TU 797, EQ 800
JUN 2019: EX 788, TU 794, EQ 779
DEC 2018: EX 777, TU 783, EQ 799

|| AmX Cash Magnet $25K || NFCU CashRewards $20K || Macy's $20K || Discover IT $18.7K || NFCU CLOC $15K || NFCU Platinum $12.5K || AmX ED $11.5K || CitiCostco $7K || CitiDC $6.3K ||
Message 7 of 18
Super Contributor

Re: Balance Transfer Options


@CreditJunkie304 wrote:
So I have quite a few cards:
Discover IT- 2100/9000 (0% until 10/4/19)
Discover #2- 0/7600


I only want to pay off Citi because I made a mistake and purchased a drink during my BT, forgetting I would be billed interest, thus making the 0% interest worthless. 

No, no, no.  

 

The use of the Citi card is not a terminal mistake.  Your payments will be applied first to the lowest APR up to the minimum payment amount. The minimum payment is applied to the zero percent tranche. Then additional payments during the same payment cycle over the minimum payment are applied to higher APR balances, until those higher balances are cleared, then steps down to apply payments to the lower APR again. 

 

Just pay the minimum payment, plus an additional $100 and that should take care of it. You could even do that right now, before the next statement prints. 

 

To confirm this, look at your statement and note that there are several rates applied to different sets of balances. One of those balances is Purchases with a specific APR, another balance is your 0% Balance Transfer.

 

You have NOT lost the zero percent on the BT balance.  

 

Take a BT from Discover card #2 to your bank account, then pay off Discover #1. That should about cover it.  

 

And if TempurPedic is merely “Deferred Interest” be SURE to pay that completely before that Deferred period ends.  

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 8 of 18
Moderator

Re: Balance Transfer Options

@CreditInspired  is correct.  (Edit: And @NRB525 - it took me a while to write that.  LOL) You merely lose your grace period on new purchases.  Just pay at least the minimum payment plus new purchases and interest; you would only accrue pennies of interest on the new purchase and as long as the payment was appropriate it would only be for one cycle.  Was this a BT on an existing Citi card or a new one?  Citi usually has 0% introductory purchase APRs along with 0% BT offers, so this might be a completely moot point.  Regardless, do not pay off that BT in full!  If you opened a new BT card with a 3% fee just to move that balance, that would have cost you $75 in fees to avoid a few pennies in interest.  Smiley Wink

 

The utilization on Cash Magnet (60%), Citi (62.5%), and Tempurpedic (43.9%) are probably dragging your scores down a bit, but utilization has no memory and that will come down as you pay them off.  At 0% it's free money that's letting you pay other things off or down, so I would concentrate on that rather than scores. 

 

Is the Tempurpedic also at 0%?  If there's any interest of signifigance on that, I would consider BTing that to Discover #2 (although from my understanding of your last post, there may not be any BT offers available on that card?).  Same for the Care Credit.

 

Have you received a CLI on any of your Amex cards in the past 181 days?  If not, it would be helpful to ask for $18,000 on your BCP and if granted (they will counteroffer if needed) consider moving some of that limit to the ED.

 

You otherwise seem to be in good shape other than the Discover card's expiring offer.  So basically four options here:

  • Apply for a new BT card, such as Chase Slate (if you have an offer for it that will override 5/24 rule), Bank of America BankAmericard, or a card with a BT offer from Navy FCU (if eligible) or PenFed (everyone is eligible, but you may need to pay a 1-time fee to join an organization).  Move the Discover card balance there, and if possible, anything else you are currently paying interest on.
  • Move your Discover balance onto other cards with their standard BT rate and fee (yeah, like 1x.xx% or 2x.xx%) and then BT other balances back to the Discover card if there is a BT offer available on it.  If you are unable to pay down the balances quickly, do the math and that would still likely save you money.
  • Move most of your Discover balance onto Citi with your current BT offer that would still save you money, but you will have very high utilization and possibly a further temporary score drop due to it.  Certainly don't go above 90% of the limit, though.
  • Just eat the interest on the Discover and pay it down as quickly as you possibly can.

Also, to help with your utilization, in addition to the Amex question I posed earlier, have you asked for CLIs from Discover, CapOne and Citi (the latter only if their website says "a credit report will not be requested") lately?  Those would all be soft pulls (notice that Citi language, though), including Amex, and you have nothing to lose and possibly some points back if you get some yeses.


Message 9 of 18
Valued Member

Re: Balance Transfer Options

Wow thankkkkkk you for the clarification! See, I would love to use discover for a balance transfer but I’ve never been given an offer, other than at account opening. And that card is actually my oldest at 5 years. Tempurpedic was just recently opened in August, and that’s 0% for 4 years (very generous) but it will only take maybe 6mo-1 year. I would have had the discover #1 balance paid long ago, but car repairs came knocking.
Starting Score: 600
Current Score: 700
Goal Score: 750


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Message 10 of 18
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