How A Balance Transfer To Your Spouse Can Affect Your Credit Score
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Us Bank Visa Platinum Card
Best for long intro APR period
- This card is best for: Anyone who needs a significant amount of time to pay down a card balance. This card boasts one of the longest intro APR periods on the market.
- This card is not a great choice for: Those looking to earn extra rewards like cash back in the long term.
- What makes this card unique? The length of this cards intro APR period is rare and the balance transfer fee is on the lower side of the standard when paired with the intro APR length.
- Is the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card worth it? The value of this card is strongly based on the amount of time you need to pay down your balance. If you need more time, this card is one of the best out there. If you dont need as much time or ultimately want to cash in on rewards, another card may be a better fit.
Jump back to offer details.
How To Conduct A Balance Transfer For Someone Elses Debt
Financial institutions have two main options if you want to transfer someone elses balance to an account under your name. They are:
Transferring the balance between two peoples names
In this instance, you would transfer the debt from your partners credit card to your own credit card. Their name would be removed from the debt and replaced with yours.
This means youre the only person legally responsible for the balance. In some cases, credit card issuers will require you to add your partner as an additional cardholder before their debt can be transferred to the new credit card. Otherwise, you may simply be able to transfer the balance from any persons account to your own.
Joint accounts for the debt
Some credit cards and other loans will allow you and your partner to apply for a joint account. This option means that you and your partner would share the legal responsibility for the account and any balance that you transfer onto it.
To get a joint credit card account, both of you would provide your details when applying for the balance transfer credit card. Depending on the issuer, you may also request that your partner is added as a joint account holder after you have applied for the card.
The process of transferring your partners balance to a new card depends on which option you choose and the credit card you want to use for the balance transfer. Use the below table as a guide to which banks offer these two balance transfer options for partners.
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What Is A Balance Transfer
A balance transfer lets you transfer the balance from one credit card or store card, where you may be paying interest, to another credit card..
This can be a good way to keep track of your balance and payments with everything in one place. Plus, if youve recently compared credit cards and discovered one that charges you less interest, transferring debt from one credit card to the other could save you money.
Is A Balance Transfer Worth It 4 Questions To Consider
- When does the promotional rate end? Promotional or introductory new card rates often end 921 months after they start. To maximize your savings, determine how long the low rate lasts and how much you can pay off before it ends. Be sure to keep up with your payments, because missing one will likely cancel your promotional rate and youll have to start paying interest.
- What are the up-front fees? When transferring a balance to a credit card, generally you pay a transaction fee of 3%5% of the transferred amount. However, the long-term savings from the lower promotional rate can often outweigh the cost of this fee.
- What happens when the promotional rate expires? Once the introductory or promotional rate ends, the contractual rate kicks in on any remaining unpaid balance. Going from 0% to 15% in one month can cause your agreed minimum payment to increase, which may be an unwelcome surprise if youre not prepared. Read the fine print of the offer before you transfer.
- What are the various APRs? In general, balance transfers have one APR, while other transactionspurchases, cash advances or checkshave their own interest rates. Knowing all the APRs and noting which transaction types a promotional or introductory rate offer applies to is important when comparing offers.
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Pick A Balance Transfer Card That Fits Your Needs
Now that you know what you owe and what your APR is, its time to choose a balance transfer card that fits your financial needs. Luckily, there are lots of balance transfer offers out there.
When choosing a balance transfer card, consider APR, the length of the promotional low-APR period and any fees. These factors could all make a difference when it comes to paying down your debt.
- How long will the low intro APR last? Most balance transfer cards offer a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for a set amount of time, and typically on purchases as well. Credit card companies can change their offers, but currently, there are some good balance transfer cards with 0% intro APR offers ranging up to 20 months. Make sure that the promotional period lasts long enough for you to pay down as much debt as possible.
- How long will you have to transfer your existing balance once you have the card? You may only have a matter of weeks to transfer your balance in order to take advantage of an intro offer the amount of time you have varies from offer to offer.
- What kind of fees will you be charged? Many balance transfer cards charge balance transfer fees, typically between 3% and 5% of the amount transferred. Decide whether it makes financial sense for you to transfer the balance. Once you take into account the fee, it may be more expensive to transfer a balance than it is just to leave it on the original card.
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Pay At Least The Minimum Repayment If Not More
Its important to pay at least the minimum repayment on your balance transfer credit card but you should aim to pay back more than this to help clear what you owe.
Most credit card companies reserve the right to withdraw a deal at any time if you miss a payment, meaning you’ll be charged interest at their standard rate.
To make sure you stay on target and never miss a payment set up a direct debit to repay the minimum amount or more.
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Mikael is a Senior Business Manager at Ratehub.ca and the driving force behind our Everyday Banking Team. He knows everything there is to know about the best credit cards and bank accounts, and works closely with Canadaâs top financial institutions – from banks to credit unions – to help ensure our over 1,200,000 monthly users get matched with the right plastic. A numbers guy at heart, having worked as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, heâs found himself right at home as a personal finance expert at Ratehub.ca.
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How To Do A Balance Transfer
First, choose the card you want to transfer a balance to. If youre applying for a new balance transfer card online, youll have the option to choose to transfer a balance to the new card during the application process. Otherwise, you can speak to an agent at the issuing bank for your new card to make the transfer.
Be sure to read the cards fine print and understand the terms and conditions of the card youre transferring a balance to. Things to look for include:
- Is there a balance transfer fee?
- How long are the terms of any introductory low or zero-APR offer?
- Whats the cards ongoing interest rate after the intro period expires?
Be aware that you wont actually find out how much of a credit limit youll have on the new card until after you apply. This is important because you may not get approved for a line of credit as large as the amount youre looking to transfer.
Set A Reminder For The 0% End Date
To avoid reverting to the standard interest rate, it’s important to repay your balance in full before the 0% introductory balance transfer offer comes to an end.
So, it’s worth setting up a direct debit based on the monthly amount needed to repay the debt within the 0% and set a reminder of when the deal ends to give yourself enough time to make other arrangements if you dont manage it.
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What Is A Credit Card Balance Transfer
A credit card balance transfer is where you move an existing credit card or loan balance to another credit card account. Usually, there is a fee to transfer a balance. Balance Transfer offers on credit cards typically feature a low introductory or promotional interest rate for a limited period of time. Importantly, these introductory or promotional rates are temporary. If the balance is not paid in full by the time the introductory rate ends, the unpaid promotional balance will accrue interest charges at the standard APR on the account.
If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance by the due date each month or you have a 0% promotional APR on purchases.
See Which Credit Card Providers Will Allow You To Take On Your Partner’s Debt Or Transfer Your Debt To Your Partner
In this guide
If your partner is paying high monthly interest rates on their card debt, you might be able to help save them money, especially if you have a good credit score. By transferring their balance to a credit card offering a low or 0% balance transfer for an introductory period, you could pay off your partners debt faster and do so without accruing unnecessary interest.
While some credit card providers in the UK will only let you make a balance transfer from debt in your name, others will allow you to transfer a balance from someone else but are likely to charge you a balance transfer fee for the privilege. Ultimately, the balance would become your responsibility.
This guide will help you figure out your options, the providers that allow balance transfers from someone else and the steps necessary to transfer a credit card debt from your partner to find the best way to deal with debt.
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Who’s Responsible For The Debt Once It’s Been Transferred
Once the transfer has been made, the debt will be in your name. This means you are legally responsible for repaying it.
This does not mean that you have to pay off the debt by yourself – you can ask the person whose balance is being transferred to give you money to pay off the balance each month.
Before you take on their debt, you should agree how much they’ll pay you every month. Or, get them to set up a direct debit to pay the minimum amount directly to the card company.
Keep a written record of the agreement and every payment that is made. You may have to refer to it should any problems arise later.
Balance Transfer Credit Cards
If youre paying a higher rate of interest on other credit or store cards, you could save money with one of our 0% interest on balance transfer credit cards.
A balance transfer lets you switch high interest credit card debt to a card that charges you a lower rate of interest, often 0% for an introductory period though you may pay a transfer fee. By bringing down the overall cost of what you owe, a balance transfer card could help clear outstanding balances sooner.
Remember, to keep a 0% introductory rate you must pay at least the minimum payment on time each month.
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Choose The Balances To Transfer
How to transfer credit card balances to another card? First, a consumer should make a list of all credit cards, including the balances and interest rates charged on those unpaid balances. Choose one or more cards with the highest rates, and transfer those balances to save on interest.
The balance doesnt have to be in the consumer’s name to qualify for a transfer, so if someone’s new spouse has a high-interest credit card balance and they have excellent credit, a 0% APR balance transfer offer can pay off an old balance and help a couple start over together with lower debts.
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Check Your Current Balance And Interest Rate
Before you do a balance transfer, empower yourself with information about your current situation.
Review your credit card balances and interest rates. Your credit card interest rates are typically expressed as an annual percentage rate, or APR. Youll need this information so you can pick an appropriate card for a balance transfer.
Ultimately, you want to find a balance transfer card that can accept the amount you want to transfer and has a lower interest rate than youre already paying on your debt.
How To Apply For A Balance Transfer Credit Card
The process to apply for a balance transfer credit card is similar to applying for any other type of credit card. First, determine which card might be the best fit for your goals. You can then typically apply online or in-person at the issuing bank where applicable. Youll be required to provide your name, a U.S. address and your Social Security or ITIN number. You may also be asked to provide your income and housing costs. This information, along with a hard credit pull, will factor into how much a credit limit youll be granted on a new card.
How Do I Find The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card
When shopping for a 0% balance transfer credit card you should consider the length of the 0% period and the size of the balance transfer fee.
Some cards dont charge a balance transfer fee but others charge up to 4% for each balance transfer you do, so if youve got multiple cards you want to clear, the costs can add up.
In general, the longer the deal lasts, the higher the fee will be. This means it can be worth avoiding the longest deals if you feel confident that you’ll be able to repay the balance within a shorter time frame.
A simple way to find the best deal for you is to take the total amount you have on your credit cards and store cards and divide this by what you can afford to repay each month.
The answer will give you your ideal 0% period, which you can use to help you shop for a card on Which? Money Compare with the smallest balance transfer fee.
So if you had £4,000 worth of debts and could afford to repay £150 a month, you would need a card with a 0% period lasting at least 27 months.
Use the calculator below to quickly find the best 0% balance transfer term for you.