Filling Out the Application

You’ve chosen your perfect card! Okay, there’s actually no perfect credit card, but you’ve chosen one you think is a very good match for your needs.

It’s really pretty easy to fill out an online application. If you’re concerned about security, you can confirm you’re on a secure website. Look at the address bar (that’s where the link is at the top of the screen). You’ll see “https” instead of just “http” at the beginning of the address. The “s” signifies that it’s a secure site.

You’ll also see a padlock icon before the link. These are all signs that you’re entering personal information on a site that’s secure. This doesn’t mean that the site can’t be hacked into by an outsider, of course.

If you’re applying online, just follow the card issuer’s instructions for completing the application. Some allow you to indicate you want to make a balance transfer during an online application, but others might request that you call customer service after you’re approved and receive your new card.

Your credit limit

Okay, this amount is very, very important. Remember the $10,000 we keep talking about? If your credit limit is at least $10,000, then you’re all set. But what if it’s only $7,000?

You can make a choice to transfer $7,000 into your new credit card account and continue to pay on a $3,000 balance on your old card. You’re still coming out ahead because now you’re only paying a higher rate on $3,000 instead of the full $10,000.

You always have the option of using another balance transfer card to transfer the rest. But this can really impact your credit score in a negative way, so you need to give it careful thought. This is discussed further in Section 6.

Transferring multiple balances

The first thing to do is to get organized. Make a list of your balances and the APRs by credit card.Here’s an example:

You have a $10,000 total credit card balance and a $7,000 credit limit on your new balance transfer card. You want to start with the card with the highest APR.

Credit Card A
$5,000 / 17.99% APR

Credit Card B
$2,000 / 14.99% APR

Credit Card C
$3,000 / 11.99% APR