Can I transfer credit card debt from another person? | finder.com
Can I transfer debt from my partner?

Can I transfer debt from my partner?

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Discover how to alleviate or consolidate your partner’s debt with a balance transfer.

Transferring a balance from your existing credit card or cards to a new credit card with a low promotional interest rate is a common way to deal with debt. What’s less common, though, is transferring debt to another person.

What is a joint balance transfer?

A joint balance transfer is when a balance is transferred to relieve a partner’s debt. Not all credit card providers allow this process, but there are several that give you the option to move your debt to a partner’s credit card.

There are two ways to do this: Through transferring between two names, and by creating a joint account for the debt. Transferring between accounts involves moving your balance to a new card with your partner’s name attached.

Our pick for balance transfers between two people

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

  • Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply
  • Low 14.24% variable APR on purchases and cash advances
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN
Read less
Read more
Promoted

How to conduct a balance transfer for someone else’s debt

Financial institutions have two main options if you want to transfer someone else’s balance to an account under your name. They are:

  • Transferring the balance between two people’s names

    In this instance, you would transfer the debt from your partner’s credit card to your own credit card. Their name would be removed from the debt and replaced with yours.

    This means you’re 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 person’s account to your own.

single-to-single

  • 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.

singles-to-joint

The process of transferring your partner’s 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.

Back to top

Which banks offer joint balance transfers?

Bank/Institution Types of shared accounts Balance transfer between two people’s names? Joint primary cardholders
American Express Authorized user No No
Bank of America Cosigner or joint account holder; guarantor; authorized user Yes Yes
Barclaycard Authorized user Yes No
Capital One Authorized user No No
Chase Authorized user No No
Citibank Authorized user No No
Discover Joint account holder and authorized user Yes Yes
USAA Joint account holder and authorized user Yes Yes
Back to top

How to transfer a balance from your partner’s account to your credit card

Most credit card issuers only allow one primary cardholder, so transferring the balance from your partner’s debt to your credit card is the more likely option.

While qualifications and application processes vary between credit card providers, the following steps can be used as a general guide when transferring someone else’s debt to a balance transfer credit card in your name.

  1. Compare credit cards.

    Compare balance transfer credit cards to find one that has a competitive APR and even a 0% promotional period.

    Make sure it has a credit limit that supports your balance and you can pay the debt off before the promotional period is up. Also remember that some issuers only allow you to transfer up to a percentage of your credit limit or a flat maximum amount it sets.

  2. Check the balance transfer terms and conditions.

    Make sure the credit card allows balance transfers between different account names, and check if your partner will need to be a secondary cardholder. Check the card’s disclosure statement or call the issuer for more information.

  3. Apply for the credit card.

    Provide details including your full name, Social Security number, address, driver’s licence or passport number and employment details.

  4. Include details of the balance transfer.

    You’ll need to provide details of the account, including your partner’s name and contact info, the account number, the financial institution’s name and the amount of debt to be transferred.

  5. Provide details of secondary cardholders.

    If the issuer requires your partner to be a secondary cardholder to process the balance transfer from their account to your new credit card, fill out this section of the application with your partner.

  6. Submit the application.

    You should get an initial response within a few minutes. If you get conditional approval, follow the steps outlined by the issuer to complete the application process and finalize the balance transfer.

Once this process is successfully completed, you should receive your new credit card within 5 to 10 business days, although it could take up to 21 days in some cases. After you activate the new card, the issuer will process the balance transfer.

Stay in touch with the new issuer and be ready to answer any questions or provide supporting documentation if needed to help the transfer run as smoothly as possible.

Back to top

How to transfer to a joint-primary cardholder account

With some credit cards, it’s possible to transfer a balance from a joint account, or transfer your partner’s credit card debt to a new joint credit card account. Not all credit cards or issuers allow you to have a joint credit card account, so make sure you choose a card that offers this feature.

  • To transfer a balance from an existing joint account

    Apply for the credit card and include details of the balance transfer request, including all the names of the joint account holders, the account number, financial institution and the amount of debt you want to transfer.

    You can go through this process with an individual credit card in your name, or apply for a credit card that offers joint account status for you and your partner.

joint-to-joint

  • To transfer a balance from your partner’s account to a new joint credit card account

    Find a credit card issuer that allows joint primary cardholders and compare its balance transfer credit cards. Depending on the issuer, you’ll either get joint account status immediately or apply as an individual and add your partner.

single-to-joint

See our guide on how to apply for a balance transfer for tips to improve your chances of approval.

Back to top

What is the difference between joint-primary cardholder accounts and secondary cardholders?

The difference can impact your balance transfer options — and your legal rights — when transferring or sharing debt.

Joint-primary cardholder accounts Primary cardholder accounts with secondary cardholders
Two people applied for a credit card under both cardholders’ names and have complete access to the account. One person applied for a credit card in their name but wants to share the account with a partner but without joint account status.
Both have the ability to change credit limits, request account freezes or close the account. Only the primary cardholder has control over credit limit changes, account freezes or account closure.
Both partners have regular sources of income and good credit histories. Only the primary cardholder has to have a regular source of income and a good credit history.
Both parties remain liable for all transactions and payments made on the card. Primary cardholder remains liable for all transactions and payments made on the card — even if a balance has been transferred from an account held by the secondary cardholder.
If the closure of an account is the result of a divorce or a separation, both partners might have to pay half of the debt each, no matter who made which purchases. In the event of a separation or a divorce, only the primary cardholder is liable for any balances on the entire account.
Back to top

Mistakes to avoid when transferring a balance from someone else’s card

Whether it’s your own debt or your partner’s, balance transfer credit cards can be a way to save money on interest and pay down the balance faster. But there are some risks involved.

Being aware of the following common missteps will help you make an informed decision about balance transfers for you and your partner when you want to consolidate credit card debt.

  • Applying for a card that doesn’t allow balance transfers from someone else’s account.
    Not all credit cards let you transfer another person’s credit card debt to a new card in your name. Make sure you check these details before you apply to avoid a declined application.
  • Not discussing payments with your partner.
    If your partner becomes a secondary cardholder on your account, or if you apply for joint account status, it’s important to be clear on how and when you’ll make payments. Discussing this before you apply for a new card or balance transfer reduces the risk of confusion, missed payments or other issues down the road.
  • Not checking the revert rate.
    The low balance transfer interest rate is only available during the introductory period on the card. When this period ends, any outstanding debt from a balance transfer will attract a higher standard interest rate until it’s paid off in full.
  • Not accounting for balance transfer fees.
    You might have to pay a balance transfer fee that can vary from one card provider to the next, typically between 3% and 5% of the balance being transferred.

How does a joint balance transfer affect my credit score?

Your credit score is determined by a number of factors, and it impacts your ability to get a loan or other credit cards. When you decide to take on more debt through a joint balance transfer, one thing’s for certain — your credit is affected.

Transferring debt can raise your debt-to-income ratio and your credit utilization ratio, which weighs how much debt you have compared to have much credit you have available. Both can lower your credit score and affect your ability to qualify for low APRs.

Making regular, on-time payments also will affect your credit score. It’s important to know who’s responsible for making payments and when the due date is. Some credit card companies charge high fees for late payments, and may even end a low introductory rate early.

Bottom line

While it can be difficult to get information about transferring a balance from your partner’s account to a new credit card, it’s possible under some circumstances. Understanding the different options available and the varying conditions of credit card issuers means you can find a balance transfer credit card that fits you and your partner’s debt-relief needs.

Compare credit cards for balance transfers

Name Product Introductory Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee Recommended Minimum Credit Score
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Enjoy a 60 days introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Enjoy a 0% intro balance transfer APR for the first 15 statement closing dates, then variable.
Platinum Card from Navy Federal
Platinum Card from Navy Federal
0% for the first 12 months (then 8.24% to 18% fixed)
Open a Platinum credit card, and you could save on interest with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months. After that, a variable APR between 8.24% and 18% applies. Plus, enjoy the lowest APR of all our credit cards.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 14.24% variable)
$5 or 2% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
0% for the first 18 months (then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
700
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
700
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
740
Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.
0% for the first 12 billing cycles (then 16.24% to 25.74% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
740
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus.
0% for the first 12 months (then 12.99% to 17.99% variable)
3%
670
Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days from account opening.
0% for the first 12 months (then 11.99% to 17.99% variable)
3%
670
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card.
0% for the first 12 months (then 9.24% to 17.99% variable)
3%
670
Low APR on all purchases including cash advances.
0% for the first 12 months (then 11.99% to 17.99% variable)
3%
670
Earn 5x points on gas at the pump and 3x points on groceries. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.15% to 25.15% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
580
Earn $150 in statement credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening.
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.99% to 25.99% variable)
$10 or 2% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
20,000 bonus LifeMiles after first card use
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.99% to 25.99% variable)
$10 or 2% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
40,000 bonus LifeMiles after first card use
1.99% for the first 6 monthly billing cycles (then 16.24% to 22.24% variable)
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
1% cash back to the nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations of your choice.
9.95% for the first 6 months (then 17.99% fixed)
$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Borrow up to $10,000 and get your credit score back on track.

N/A

3%
670
This card offers the same low rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)
$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
720
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
7.9% for the first 90 days (then 12.15% to 17.99% variable)
670
Enjoy perks and save money while gaining points with every purchase.
10.99% for the first 6 months (then 25.24% variable)
3%
580
2% cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.

N/A

$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Establish credit history - with responsible use you may be upgraded to an unsecured credit card.

N/A

$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Helps establish, strengthen and even rebuild your credit.

N/A

$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
300
Get worldwide purchasing power and flexibility as you work to build or re-establish your credit history.

N/A

300
Take control and build your credit with responsible use.
Aspire Platinum Mastercard®
Aspire Platinum Mastercard®
0% for the first 6 billing cycles (then 8.9% to 18% variable)
$5 or 2% of the transaction, whichever is greater
580
Enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 6 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

Back to top

Balance transfer calculator

Your current credit cards:

Amount Owing

APR

Card 1

Card 2

Card 3

Card 4

Card 5

Card that you are transferring to:

Intro APR

Intro Term (months)

Ongoing APR

Balance Transfer Fee

Annual Fee

Your monthly repayment
$500

 
 
Critical
At this rate, you will not pay off your debt.
 
Recommended
At this rate you will pay off your debt during the card's intro period

At that rate you will not pay off your debt. You will need to make higher repayments.

Months that it will take you to pay off your debt:

With a balance transfer
12 months

Without a balance transfer
15 months

Money saved transferring debt to a balance transfer card:

Savings = $1,000

By moving forward with a balance transfer credit card and transferring the maximum amount, you could be saving $1,000 on fees and interest charges.
You will save an infinite amount of money as you will not pay off your debt on your current cards at that rate.
In this case, a balance transfer card is not the best option. You might want to consider a personal loan to help consolidate your debt. You can find out more here.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, the results should be used as indication only. Certain assumptions have been made around the repayments made. This calculator is neither a quote nor a pre-qualification for a credit card
Back to top

Frequently asked questions

Back to top

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    alexNovember 27, 2017

    I have a Citi credit card it gives me the option to transfer to a checking account in the balance transfer tab can I do a balance transfer from my credit card to my daughter checking account with Citi even when my name is not on her account because it gives me the option to put in a account information?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoanneDecember 27, 2017Staff

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are a comparison website and general information service.

      This page listed which banks offer joint balance transfers. Citi does not allow balance transfers between two people’s names or Joint primary cardholders. Should you need further information about the option that allows you to put in an account information, you may need to reach out directly to Citi’s customer care service.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

  2. Default Gravatar
    YesicaJuly 10, 2017

    When I apply for a credit card at chase bank can I transfer the money on the credit card to another person account?

    • finder Customer Care
      AnndyJuly 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Yesica,

      Thanks for your question.

      I would like to confirm, are you referring to depositing money to another person’s bank account using your credit card?

      Kindly note that you can’t directly transfer money from your credit card to another person’s bank account. But you could try getting a money transfer service.

      With a money transfer service, you can send money to a bank account or for cash pickup, and be paying it through your credit card. However, please note that this type of transaction may attract cash advance interest. Chase and these companies offer money transfer services.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  3. Default Gravatar
    WillApril 24, 2017

    When transferring a credit balance between two people, is this considering giving or receiving income for either party?

    For example. Jane owes $4000 on her credit. She transfers the balance to her mom. Is this like receiving $4000 from her mother?
    Say for tax purposes or reporting income for child support?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlAugust 4, 2017

      Hi Will,

      Thanks for your question.

      Assuming one’s credit card debt through a balance transfer can be considered as a gift provided that no payment is expected from the cardholder. Based on IRS gift tax guidelines, generally, the person who receives your gift will not have to pay gift tax because of it. Also, that person will not have to pay income tax on the value of the gift received. Instead, the gift tax will be paid by the donor, the mother in this case, if the value of the gifts given to a person exceeds the annual exclusion of $14,000.

      I hope this has answered your question.

      Kind regards,
      Liezl

Go to site