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Do balance transfers affect your credit score?

06 December 2019

A balance transfer is when you move existing debt from one card to a new credit card. Although this moves money from one card to another, this process would not reduce the amount you owe. The main benefit of a balance transfer is to get a lower interest rate, save money on finance charges and pay off what you owe faster.

How long does a balance transfer take?

A balance transfer could take a number of weeks to appear into the account of your new balance transfer card. This is very dependent on the lender that you are using and the amount of money being transferred.

Can a balance transfer card affect my credit score?

Any change in your credit use can affect your credit score. By opening a new credit card, this creates a file on your credit history which in some cases can impact your credit score. You should be aware that making  frequent applications for credit cards and other forms of credit in a short time  can temporarily affect your credit score.

Do you have to close a credit card after a balance transfer?

Whilst you transfer your existing balance you will need to keep your old credit card account open. Once the transfer has been completed you can then cancel your old the credit card if you wish. You would need to contact your previous lender to close your old credit card as this would not happen automatically when the transfer is complete.

How to apply for a balance transfer card

There are a number of ways you can apply for a balance transfer credit card. With many lenders, an application can be completed online or in branch. To take a look at credit cards we offer, visit our dedicated page.

What you'll need

In order to open an account you will need the following information:

  • Information about your income and outgoings each month.
  • Your previous addresses from the last 3 years.
  • The account number and sort code of your main bank account.

Approval for a balance transfer credit card is normally subject to status and based on a credit check and an assessment of your personal circumstances.

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