How to Complete a Balance Transfer
Completing a balance transfer is a very simple process that does not take a great deal of time. In fact, if you are completing a balance transfer with a new credit card, it can be a part of your application process.
The first step toward making a balance transfer is to complete the paperwork provided by the credit card company. This should be included with your application. If you are interested in making a balance transfer to a credit card you already own, you can call the customer service department to ask for this paperwork. In many cases, the representative can take your information over the phone and get the balance transfer started right away.
Another option with a credit card you already own is to complete a balance transfer check. Many credit card companies will include these with your monthly statement. In this case, you only need to write a check to the credit card company you wish to pay off and the amount you wrote the check for will be transferred to the other credit card.
Whether you are completing a balance transfer to a new credit card or to an old one, be sure to check into any applicable fees. Also, find out what the interest rate will be on the amount transferred. You don’t want to end up losing money in the process due to fees and high interest rates!
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Making a balance transfer with your credit card can be a good way to save yourself some money when it comes to finance charges and to consolidate your bills. Nonetheless, there are a few things you should keep in mind when considering a balance transfer.
First of all, make sure you continue to pay on your old card until the balance transfer is complete. If you fail to make your payment on time and the balance transfer is not effective in time, you will be assessed late fees and it will look bad on your credit record. Also, make sure the credit card you transfer to offers a better interest rate than the card or cards you are currently using. Ideally, you should find a card with an introductory 0% APR.
In addition to the introductory APR, you also need to take a look at the long-term APR. If you don’t think you will have the card paid off when the introductory period ends, you need to make sure the credit card has a reasonable APR. Also, inquire about balance transfer fees. While many cards will allow new applicants to complete balance transfers for free, this is not always the case. These fees can be quite high, so don’t bother with a card that expects you to pay them.