Yes, you can make a partial balance transfer if the transfer card’s credit limit is less than the amount you’re planning to transfer. When you transfer a balance, you usually do so to move high-interest debt from one creditor to another creditor with a lower interest rate, often taking advantage of a 0% introductory rate at the start. With a partial balance transfer, you’ll only be able to take advantage of lower rates on the amount you transfer. The remaining balance from the original creditor will still accumulate interest at the same high rate because it won’t have moved.
It’s best to try to find a card where you can transfer your entire balance. But that won’t always be possible. Credit cards often cap balance transfers at a percentage of your available credit. And most balance transfers include a transfer fee, usually 3% or 5% of each balance transferred. WalletHub’s free balance transfer calculator can help you figure out which card is best and whether you’re better off paying a balance transfer fee in exchange for a longer 0% introductory term.
There’s no real way to determine how much your limit will be or how much you can transfer until you apply for a card. You’ll get those amounts either online immediately after you’re approved or when your new card arrives, usually 7-10 business days from the approval date. So depending on your credit line and fees, you may not be able to transfer as much as you’d like. Still, it’s good to take advantage of a lower interest rate on as much of the balance as you can.
If you do a partial transfer, you should pay at least the minimum due on the transferred balance each month. At the same time, focus on paying off as much of the remaining high-interest debt as possible. Once that debt is paid off, you can increase the size of your payments toward the transferred balance.
If your card has an introductory APR on balance transfers, any balance remaining at the end of the introductory period will be charged interest at the card’s regular APR. Aim to pay the transferred balance in full before the end of the intro rate.
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