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Bad Credit Balance Transfer Credit Card


What happens when you have bad credit and want to transfer a balance to another credit card with either a 0% APR or at least one with a lower interest than you are presently paying?

This is a really tricky issue because there are a few solutions depending on your situation. They range from just transferring a balance to a card without a zero interest deal or as a last resort, going to peer to peer lending institutions. But first, let’s go through all the scenarios for someone looking to do a balance transfer.

Scenario 1: You Have High Balance But Good Credit – This is the ideal situation. You are presently carrying a high balance and are looking to pay off your debt faster and/or lower your interest payment. For those with good credit scores, getting a

Your Credit Is Borderline Fair – mid 600s and You Cannot Get A 0% BT Deal – Do not get me wrong. You may be able to get a 0% BT deal even with a 600ish score (it really depends on what’s in your credit report). But in the event that you cannot get a 0% deal, what do you do? Well, if you have several credit cards, you could transfer the ones from the card with the highest interest rate to cards with lower interest rates. You may not get 0% and pay zero interest for a short period, but you will still end up paying a lower interest that if you stuck with your high interest card. This is probably the best course of action if you cannot get a great BT deal.

Another alternative would be to apply for a no annual fee credit card and hope to get a lower interest that you are presently paying. Then simply transfer the balance to the new card. They key question is what type of cards tend to accept folks with not so stellar credit. Well, airline and frequent flier credit cards is one route to go. Yes, you probably have to pay an annual fee. And you definitely will not get any 0% deal. The interest rate will most likely be at the mid teens. But if this is viable, transferring a balance this way is not such a bad deal. Plus, you may actually get some nice bonus miles!

Your Credit is Really Bad and You Cannot Get Approved For a regular unsecured card – If you have run out of existing credit cards to transfer your balance, then perhaps, the best alternative is not to consider credit cards at all. You would most likely already to paying high double digit interest rates. One alternative that has not been explored often enough is using peer to peer lending. There are services like prosper.com or lendingtree.com which connects you to other people who want to earn a slightly higher interest than what banks give them.

With these services, you have to tell the lender the reason you are borrowing the money and your income. Bear in mind that you are not guaranteed a much lower rate than you are already paying at the moment. But I’ve known more than a few folks who could not get approved for credit cards but have successfully gotten loans from peer to peer lending firms at much lower rates than their existing credit cards.

Summary – To conclude, you do not need perfect credit scores to get a 0% balance transfer card. But the lower your score, then the higher the chance that you have to settle for a non zero interest balance transfer deal. For those cannot get approved for a credit card, resorting to peer to peer lending firms may be a viable alternative to lowering your interest payments.

July 18, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

I see a lot of people who have sub 600 scores buried high interest rates. If you are below 600, it is very difficult to find a credit card that will allow you to transfer a balance. My advice is to make a list of yoru credit cards and find out which is hitting you the most with interest. Once that is decided, pay that card down as much as you can each month.

March 13, 2009 @ 2:49 am

I am a small self employed person.My credit score has dropped due to a couple dr. biis,I have a 20,000 balance I want to transferr.I am paying 18.99%My fico score went from in the 800 th 600sdue to Dr. bills which I am paying on,other than that there is only one other,simply wireless which was a mistake on their part,I never activated or used the phone 18 years ago.Do you think it would be worth trying to transfer?If so who do you reccomend?Thanks Sheri

March 31, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

It’s interesting and ironic that credit card companies are charging those with the lowest scores, who can least afford it, the highest interest rates. My card company raised my rate to 27%. It’s criminal.

April 6, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

Please help. I have poor credit due to being homeless a few years ago. I made the mistake of getting a Premier Bank credit card last year due to an emergency. Due to the fees that built up on this card over the year this card just is snowballing me with payments I can no longer make. I want to transfer my balance. I know this is a bad time with the economy but I have 2 choices, find out how to transfer this balance or let it go into collections because there is no way I can pay this card off. Plus, every time I make a payment they charge my card, so my balance never goes down with the interest rate. Now I can’t afford the minimum payments which are over 170 dollars a month. I don’t want to go to orchard bank. How do I get rid of this card? I can’t afford to pay the whole balance or I would.

April 15, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

I have a credit score in the 700s and just had my rates hiked to 22%!!!! It is indeed criminal, and I would love to find a credit account that would allow me to transfer 20k at a better rate.

December 4, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

My Capitalone card offers balance transfers with no fees and at the purchase rate…

Not overly impressive, but considering that I have lackluster credit, to put it mildly, I was impressed!! Capitalone gave me a $3000 Credit Card and allowed balance transfers when I had a bankrupcy three yrs. past and a score little over 600. Citi, BofA, Chase, & others did not even approve me when CapOne did…

I don’t know if they would approve me now, but its worth a try – I do think they approve you when others won’t… And they allow Bal. Transfers…

Good luck!


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