You can get a balance transfer card with a 650 credit score, but your options are limited given that 650 is in the fair credit range and almost all balance transfer cards require a good or excellent credit score to qualify. Most of the cards currently available to someone with a 650 score are from local credit unions. For example, the TDECU Classic Mastercard® offers an introductory APR of 0% for 12 months on balance transfers.
If you happen to be a student, you may also be able to qualify for the BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students with a 650 credit score. It has an introductory APR of 0% for 21 months on balance transfers.
It’s not a good idea to apply for a balance transfer card that requires good credit when you have a 650 credit score, as your chances of approval will be very low. Instead, it would be better to wait a few months and improve your credit until you can qualify.
It’s also worth noting that most credit cards allow you to do balance transfers to them, but this is generally not worthwhile without an introductory 0% APR. However, if you have extremely high-interest debt and your new credit card’s APR is significantly lower, you can still save money by doing a balance transfer. You can estimate how much you’d save with a balance transfer by using WalletHub’s balance transfer calculator.
No, balance transfers do not hurt your credit score directly, though transferring a balance can indirectly lead to credit score damage. When you apply for a balance transfer credit card, for example, it will generate a hard inquiry on your credit report, causing a slight dip in your credit score.
If you transfer a balance to an existing credit card account, however, there is no hard inquiry and no credit score damage. A balance transfer could still result in high credit utilization, though, and allow you to rack up more debt than you can afford to repay. Both of those things can hurt your credit score.
So, the act of transferring a balance itself won’t affect your credit, but it will indirectly alter several key components of your credit profile, from utilization to the age of your accounts. These changes might lower your score a bit in the short term. But over time, interest savings and the ability to pay off your debt faster should make transferring a balance a net positive for your credit score.
How Balance Transfers Can Help or Hurt Your Credit Score
Credit Inquiries Hurt: If you apply for a new balance transfer card, the resulting hard inquiry will likely cause a slight dip in your credit score for up to 12 months.
Lower Account Age Hurts: Adding a new balance transfer card will reduce the overall age of your accounts, which can have a slight negative impact on your score.
Increased Utilization Hurts: Keep an eye on how the transfer affects your account’s credit utilization. Making a transfer will usually add 3%-5% to your debt due to balance transfer fees. If your utilization is over 30% of your credit limit, that’s not good for your score.
Missed Payments Hurt: If you don’t continue to make payments to your original creditor while the balance transfer is being processed, your credit score will suffer. Balance transfers can take up to three weeks, or be completed in just a few days, after you make a request or apply for a card.
Reduced Utilization Helps: If you leave your old credit card(s) open, adding a new card will reduce your utilization ratio across all accounts, assuming no additional spending. The utilization on the card you transferred the balance from will drop, and it will increase on the card you transferred the debt to.
Low Interest Helps: Balance transfer cards often have 0% introductory APRs. This gives you the chance to pay off your balance faster, since the full amount of your payments will go to the principal rather than interest. This is good for your score long-term.
Less Debt Helps: A balance transfer can help you reduce your debt load. That’s important because how much debt you owe is a key ingredient in your credit score. The less, the better, since people with little-to-no debt are in a more stable position financially.
Balance transfers won’t hurt your credit by themselves. But they affect other elements of your credit that could bring your score down a little temporarily. Still, the benefits will outweigh the negatives in the long run, as long as you plan to repay most, if not all, of your balance during your card’s low introductory APR period.
Where people get into trouble is trying to use a balance transfer to support unsustainable spending habits, thinking 0% balance transfer credit card offers are always available. They’re not, and learning that the hard way is a very expensive mistake. So make sure to use a balance transfer calculator to make a payment plan.
The easiest balance transfer credit card to get approved for is the Keypoint Credit Union Visa Classic Credit Card because applicants only need limited credit to qualify. The Keypoint Credit Union Visa Classic Credit Card offers an introductory balance transfer APR of 0% for 16 months and charges a balance transfer fee of 2%. Easy approval balance transfer credit cards typically don’t measure up to the … read full answerbest balance transfer credit cards in terms of interest rates and fees, but this offer comes close.
Easy approval generally means being able to qualify for a credit card with fair, bad, or limited credit. However, balance transfer credit card options are limited for people in those credit-score tiers, so a balance transfer might not make financial sense as a result. The point of a balance transfer is to get a lower interest rate and pay off existing debt faster. It’s unlikely you’ll be offered a low enough rate until you have good credit or better, unless you qualify for membership with the right credit union.
You can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub to see where you stand. If you discover that you have less-than-good credit, you might want to consider getting a secured credit card instead. Using such a card responsibly will help you build a good enough credit score to easily get approved for a great balance transfer credit card in the future.
There is no minimum credit score to get a credit card, if any credit card will do. Some credit card companies don’t even check applicants’ credit history, and the main approval requirement is that you earn more money than you spend. So it’s certainly possible to get a credit card even if you have a very low credit score or no credit score at all.… read full answer
But there is a difference between getting approved for a credit card in general and getting one of the better offers.
The credit score needed for credit card approval ultimately depends on which specific card you want to get. Most of the time, credit card companies have a credit score tier they’re looking for, and applicants will need a score in the required tier (or higher) for a good chance of approval. The tiers are bad, fair, good and excellent.
The thing is, credit cards require scores that are a bit higher than the traditional minimum for each tier in the overall credit score range, according to WalletHub’s research. So for each credit tier, you can see a “traditional” score range and a “WalletHub recommended” score range below.
Here is the credit score needed for a credit card at each level:
One way to estimate your credit card approval odds is to check for pre-approval. Many major issuers will allow you to check for free. It won’t hurt your credit score. And you’ll get a pretty good idea of your chances. Plus, if you’re not sure what your score is yet, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub. You’ll also get personalized credit card recommendations with high approval odds.
Just remember that having a qualifying credit score does not guarantee credit card approval. The credit card application process takes many other factors into account. Payment history, existing debt and income play big roles, too.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by WalletHub. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.