Are you considering a balance transfer but have no idea how long it will take?
Perhaps you are looking to shift through some of your credit card debt and want a balance transfer to shave your interest rates and make some headway but have no idea where to begin or how long it will all take.
Whatever your reason is, we understand how stressful and confusing the world of credit cards and balance transfers can be, especially if you are new to it all.
It leaves even the best of us with headaches and numbers running behind our eyes, feeling tired and frustrated.
Well, no more! Today we are here to find out how long a balance transfer takes and answer your other burning questions about balance transfers.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
What Is A Balance Transfer?
Let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! A balance transfer allows you to transfer the balance from your existing credit or store card to another card.
Typically, this is done when your current credit card has high interest rates that you incur when you don’t pay the full balance on your credit card.
Transferring your balance to a card with low or zero interest rates can help to save you money in the long run. Instead of adding interest every month, you can focus on paying off your balance only, cutting down your debt as you go.
Most cards will offer a 0% balance transfer and then low or no interest for a set amount of time, for example, 12 or 18 months. After this time, you can again make a balance transfer.
Moving your balance around like this can help avoid incurring interest charges while hacking away at debt and improving your credit score.
Now that we have covered what a balance transfer is let’s look at how long they usually take!
How Long Does A Balance Transfer Take?
Let’s get straight into it! Typically, a balance transfer will take five to seven days, but it can take much longer depending on the card company.
Some credit card providers like Barclays will take up to 21 days for the balance transfer.
The timeline for the balance transfer should be clearly stated when you apply for the balance transfer. It’s always best to allow plenty of time for the balance transfer, just in case there are any bumps along the road.
Now, you might be wondering why there is such a time difference between these balance transfers? It’s mainly down to the way balance transfers are done as credit card companies approach them differently.
Some companies complete the transfer electronically and are usually the fastest. They will still consider the application carefully, meaning that your credit and financial situation will be checked.
The new credit card company needs to check that you’re able to make repayments – it’s usually a quick process and nothing to worry about!
Other companies will issue balance transfer checks directly to the account holder, which you then mail to the other credit cards you are paying off.
This process takes a little longer while you wait for the post and the decision to be made, but the credit card company will update you regularly.
A balance transfer can take a little longer at busier periods, so it’s best to allow at least three weeks, but note that it can take up to six weeks.
You can find out how long a balance transfer will take on the credit card company’s website or comparison sites.
Sites like Experian let you filter balance transfers by how long they take, too, so you can find one quickly when you need it!
Is There A Fee On Balance Transfers?
While you can find some credit cards that come with a 0% balance transfer fee, they aren’t always available. In these cases, there will usually be a 3% or 5% balance transfer fee.
For small amounts, that won’t be a lot, but if you are transferring a larger sum, the fee can mount up!
When considering if a balance transfer is worth it for you, work out how much the balance transfer fee will be. Usually, it works out as less than the current interest rate your credit card is charging, meaning that it’s worth having a balance transfer.
However, if there are only a few months left on your credit card to pay the debt, it’s not usually worth paying the balance transfer fee.
Instead, it might be worth speaking to your current credit card provider to see if they can do anything to adjust your interest rate to help get the balance cleared; after all, it’s in both of your best interests!
It’s worth checking on comparison sites to find credit cards with no balance transfer fees and 0% APR. for the ideal balance transfer card; you want a 0% APR introductory offer and lower APR than your current card.
Ideally, you will want a 0% APR period of over six months to allow you to cut through your balance without the extra interest being added on.
And just like that, we have come to the end of our balance transfer journey today. As you can see, a balance transfer will take roughly five to seven days. It can take a little longer depending on the card issuer, but this should be made clear to you when you apply for your balance transfer.
Most people will receive their balance transfer in less than 21 days, allowing you to save money on interest charges and get your credit card balance reduced quicker than before. Remember that if you encounter any difficulties or are worried about your finances, speak to a financial advisor or another expert.
They can offer you tailored advice and help to consolidate other debts and alleviate some of your stress. Remember that you don’t need to worry about money alone; there is always a way out and people to help.