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Can I transfer a personal loan balance to a credit card?
Moving a high-interest loan to your card could be a snap.
You can certainly move your personal loan balance to a credit card. The big catch however is your credit card options – not many issuers allow transfer of personal loan debt.
If you’re looking for the right issuer for the job, Bank of America, Citibank and Discover are three providers to turn to when you’re looking to save on an existing personal loan by moving the debt to a new card.
How to apply for a personal loan balance transfer
Bank of America, Citibank and Discover allow you to transfer debt balances from credit cards, store cards, lines of credit and personal loans to a new credit card.
If you’re eligible, you’ll follow a general series of steps to apply online and transfer your personal loan balance:
- Find your card. Compare a range of credit cards and choose the one that suits your financial needs.
- Apply. Click the button indicated to start your online application.
- Complete the application. Submit the details of your balance transfer request, including:
- The account holder’s name.
- The debt type, such as a credit card or personal loan.
- Your account number.
- The amount of debt you want to transfer.
- The creditor’s name.
- Submit your application. If you’re approved, you receive your new credit card and welcome materials by mail, often within 10 business days.
- Activate your card. Follow the provider’s directions to activate your card and start the balance transfer process.
- Confirmation. To avoid fees, continue making minimum payments on your old debts until you receive confirmation of your successful transfer.
- Make payments to your new card. If possible, commit to paying off your debt before your introductory period expires so that you can avoid high interest charges.
Some providers offer balance transfers for existing customers. Learn more by logging in to your online account or calling the number on the back of your card.
What are the benefits of transferring a personal loan balance to a card?
Using a low- or no-interest balance transfer credit card to pay off existing high-interest loan debt can be a smart move.
- You can save money.
Balance transfer cards give you a chance to bypass unnecessary interest on your existing loans over a set low or 0% APR introductory period.
- You can pay off your personal loan debt faster.
Paying low or no interest on your transferred debt means that more of your repayments go directly toward your loan’s principal, rather than to accumulating interest. The more quickly you chip away at your principal, the faster your debt disappears.
- You might qualify for longer balance transfer offers.
You’ll find balance transfer cards offering introductory APRs for upward of 24 months. Depending on how much you owe and how much you can afford to repay each month, you might do away with your debt before the promo period expires, avoid excessive interest charges altogether.
- You can pay down your debts with one payment.
If you’re juggling several balances, you may be able to consolidate them onto one credit card — and one monthly bill. Plus, you’ll deal with one ideally low APR for all of your debt.
Compare cards that let you transfer personal loan debt
Types of cards that Bank of America, Citibank and Discover offer to transfer a personal loan
Bank of America, Citibank and Discover provide a range of credit cards that allow you to transfer personal loan debts, each with perks to fit your spending habits and budget.
- Rewards credit cards.
These cards offer rewards points and frequent flyer miles for each dollar you spend on new purchases. However, many rewards card don’t extend the introductory period to new purchases. To do away with your personal loan debt quickly, commit to paying off your balance transfers before focusing on earning points.
- $0 annual fee credit cards.
Bank of America, Citibank and Discover all offer cards with no annual fees. While these fees may not sound like much, every little bit helps to maximize your savings when transferring your personal loan to a new card.
- Low-rate credit cards.
Discover provides cards at low standard variable APRs for purchases and ongoing APRs after the balance transfer period ends, which not only help you save on new transactions but also soften the blow for remaining balances after your intro rate reverts.
- Premium credit cards.
Not many premium credit cards offer this feature on a regular basis, though some may offer it as part of a limited-time offer.
How can I make sure I’m eligible to transfer my personal loan to a credit card?
Requirements vary among cards, but most card providers require you to meet key criteria before transferring a personal loan:
- Meet eligibility for the credit card.
Look over the application to make sure you meet the minimum age, residency status, preferred credit score, minimum income and any other criteria the provider specifies.
- Transfer your loan from an eligible bank.
Most balance transfer cards won’t allow you transfer existing debt if it’s from the same bank or provider you’re applying with. That means you won’t be able to transfer a Citi personal loan debt to a Citi credit card. The debt you transfer must also be in the name of the primary account holder for the new credit card.
- Ensure your debt doesn’t exceed the balance transfer limit.
Most cards limit how much you can transfer. Discover and Citi allow transfers up to your available credit, while others may allow transfers at up to 80% of your credit limit.
What should I be wary of when transferring my debt?
A balance transfer credit card can save you money and time when paying off debt. But you’ll want to keep an eye out for potential drawbacks.
- The revert rate.
At the end of your introductory period, the low promo APR for balance transfers reverts to a standard variable APR. Know what that standard APR is, and work to pay off your balance before it applies.
- Using your card for new purchases during a balance transfer offer.
With most cards, the standard purchase APR applies immediately to new charges, and any repayments are first allocated to new debt before applied to your balance transfer debt. If that happens, you could end up carrying new balances until after the introductory period expires.
- Balance transfer fees.
Many cards offered by Bank of America, Citibank and Discover charge a fee for each balance you transfer. It’s typically a percentage of the amount being transferred. Make sure your total transfer including the fee is less than the maximum amount you’re allowed to transfer.
- Who you can transfer balances to.
You often can’t transfer debt between two accounts within the same bank. Make sure that your transfer is eligible before signing up for the card.
To save the most on your existing debt, look for the longest introductory period at the lowest APR you’re eligible for when shopping for a balance transfer credit card. Start by comparing your balance transfer options.
Common questions about transferring a personal loan to a credit card
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