At a Glance
Personal loan balance transfers are practical if the credit card or balance transfer card you’re transferring to has a lower interest rate than the original loan. Most credit card companies allow this type of transfer, provided it’s not coming from one of their own products.
There are also plenty of other factors to consider. In this article, you’ll learn:
How to choose the best balance transfer option
The key elements you want to look at when evaluating balance transfers are interest rate, intro terms, and balance transfer fees. If your credit score is in the “good” range or better, you should have plenty of options available to you.
Many credit card companies offer a 0% introductory interest rate for balance transfers. Before signing up, note the term of that interest rate. The offer may expire after as little as six months and then go up.1 Make sure you can pay the full debt during the introductory period.
Another option is bundling your personal loan with any credit card debt you’re carrying and applying for a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans classify as balance transfers and will give you the ability to pay off all debt while being charged a lower interest rate.
How to not waste time with affiliate credit cards
Certain credit card companies and banks don’t allow personal loan balance transfers and only take on debt from other companies or institutions. Be sure to read credit card user agreements, which should outline company policies on balance transfers.
The language of a credit or loan agreement may seem monotonous and unnecessarily complex. Don’t make the mistake of thinking those documents are boilerplate, then sign them without reading. Review terms and conditions thoroughly before submitting an application.
How to calculate debt payments with introductory interest rates
You’ll save on interest payments when you do a balance transfer. To achieve the overall goal of paying off your debt, you may need to increase the amount of your monthly payments. This is another calculation you’ll want to do before you transfer your loan balance.
Keep in mind that introductory interest rates eventually expire. If you don’t pay off the full debt during that introductory period, what will your remaining balance be? What’s the new interest rate after the first six/twelve months? Do the math so there are no surprises.
How to apply for a personal loan balance transfer
After you’ve selected the credit card you want to transfer your personal loan debt to, the rest of the process is simple. Fill out the application, submit, and activate your card when you receive it. Make sure you print copies of everything for your records.
Continue making loan payments until you get confirmation that the transfer is complete. You should have online access to the original lender. Take your payments off autopay if you like, but keep making them as long as a balance shows on the lender dashboard.
Follow these tips and you’re well on your way to living debt-free.