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Transfer Balance Tips: What Happens When You Transfer a Balance to a Credit Card?

Here at UMe, we can help U with your financial goals and get you on the road to financial success. (Helping is our favorite!) If you’re looking for a smart way to gain control of your debt and pay it off faster, a credit card balance transfer can be an effective way to achieve that goal. 

We can show you how a balance transfer works and the steps needed to make the transfer. But what exactly happens when you transfer balances on credit cards? How long does it take? What happens to old credit cards after balance transfers? How do you know everything is going smoothly?

When you transfer balances on credit cards, you move the debt you owe on one or more account(s) over to another account, usually a credit card with a more manageable, better interest rate. This allows you to consolidate your credit card debt with one source, which means having just one monthly payment to keep an eye on to get yourself — and to keep yourself — on track.

As with all your financial needs and wants, we’re here for U! Keep reading to learn the answers to all of your questions about what happens when you transfer your balance(s) to a credit card.


How Long Does a Balance Transfer Take?

While it’s a pretty easy process, and typically does not take too long to accomplish,  implementing a balance transfer is not simply checking a box and moving on. A transfer could be completed in as little as three to seven days. However, depending on your card issuer, it could take up to six weeks for the transferred balance to appear in the new account.

This is why you have to make sure to monitor your accounts to ensure the transfer goes through and, even more important, continue to pay at least the minimum balance on your old credit card until the transfer is complete. It’s important to do so to keep your account(s) in good standing and your credit score in tip-top shape.

When you work with UMe to make a credit card balance transfer, you are working with your (favorite) local credit union. That means the best service in Burbank and beyond. We will work with you directly to help make the transfer as quickly and smoothly as possible.


How to Track a Balance Transfer

Tracking a balance transfer is as easy as keeping an eye on all your accounts — both your original account (or accounts) and the new one. Honestly, it’s a good idea to do that regularly anyway!

Before, during, and after the transfer, make sure you log in to your credit card accounts frequently. You can usually do all this tracking online or using a mobile app. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll also want to double-check your original credit card(s) and make sure you continue to make minimum payments until everything is finalized. 

Track With UMe

When you do a credit card balance transfer with UMe, you can use our many online options to keep an eye on your account and monitor the transfer. With UMe online banking and mobile banking, you are never far from your account. 


Steps to Track a Balance Transfer

Let’s make keeping track of a credit card balance transfer easy by taking a look at the important milestones along the way. After all, knowing is half the battle!

1. Initiate the Process

The first step is to apply for a balance transfer credit card, get approved, and initiate the transfer. To do this, you should contact the balance transfer card company with the request. With UMe, you can do this online, over the phone, or in person! 

You will need to provide account numbers from the card(s) you want to transfer as well as the amount you want to transfer.

2. Ensure Balance is Transferred

Remember, a balance transfer can take a few days. At UMe, it usually takes three to five business days, but it can take longer if we have to mail out a paper check. Remember, U must still make payments on your old accounts during this period, if your due date is within that window of time.

A new credit card issuer (A.K.A. The balance transfer card issuer) will usually post a payment directly to your old account for the amount approved. That amount, plus any applicable fees, will show up on your new account.

UMe Pro Tip: We believe in FREE transfers at UMe! That’s why we don’t charge you a balance transfer fee! Some institutions will charge between 3% and 5%. Not us! Our transfers are fee-free! Because U matter to Me (to all of us) at UMe.

3. Follow Up With Old Account

Before you consider the balance transfer all set and all done, you must ensure that there is a zero balance on your old credit card. If you made a purchase that overlapped with the transfer, you may still have a charge on your old card. That amount must be paid off to avoid late fees!

What should you do with that old account anyway? Well, that’s up to you. Even with a zero balance, the old credit card account will still be considered open until you specifically request that it be closed. While keeping the card may be good for your credit score, this will not be the case if you run up a large balance again in the future. Make sure you’re making the right decisions moving forward, to stay financially on track.


What If a Balance Transfer Is Delayed?

Does it seem as if your balance transfer request is taking too long? If it appears that the transfer is delayed, do not hesitate to contact the issuers — of both or all of your old and new credit cards — for updates.

At UMe, you can reach out to us anytime and we’ll give you a full and transparent update on your transfer. Our local member service team is happy to help U! It’s why we’re here!

And not to sound like a skipping record, but remember to keep making payments on your original credit card until your balance transfer is complete and your original card shows a balance of $0.

After a Balance Transfer: Best Practices

Congratulations! You’ve completed the credit card balance transfer! Now what? There are some best practices to follow to ensure the credit card balance transfer was the right first step toward paying off your debt.

Don’t Use the Balance Transfer Card to Shop

Your balance transfer credit card is not just another credit card! This is a credit card with a purpose and that purpose is to help you control your debt and on your way to being debt free.

UMe Pro Tip: If you make purchases with your balance transfer card, you only end up adding to your debt. The transfer is intended to consolidate your debt and get you on track. It’s not supposed to add to your debt. Do your very best to refrain from using it for any purchases. 

Set Up Automatic Payments

If you set up a credit card balance transfer with UMe, we will discuss the option of automated payments with U. After a successful balance transfer, setting up automated payments can be a welcome relief! One less thing to worry about and you’re doing well by your credit history and your credit score.

UMe Pro Tip: Make sure you are paying at least the minimum amount on the card each month. This is another reason automated payments are a smart move. Just set it and forget it!

Start Budgeting

If you’re working to get out of debt, a credit card transfer can be exactly the helpful tool that can be the answer for U! But setting up a budget to keep you on track in the present — as well as future U — is even more important!

UMe has tons of resources to help you start budgeting! From calculators to financial education to reliable service, we can help U get budgeting! Check out our blog posts for zero based budgeting, envelope budgeting, budgeting for couples, and even budgeting for gig workers!


Credit Card Balance Transfers With UMe

If you’re working to get debt free, a credit card balance transfer with UMe can be a great start! But that’s not the end of the process for U+Me.

At UMe, we are here for U every step of the way. You work, shop, and live in and around Burbank. So do we! UMe local service can help you make wise decisions and set you up for financial success — from credit card balance transfers to mortgages, auto loan services to financial advisors and beyond!

Learn how to transfer your credit card balance in five easy steps! Other questions about getting debt free? Reach out to us today!


Disclaimer: U matter to Me (all of us) at UMe — and that’s why we do our best to deliver helpful information on our blog. Please note the following: (1) UMe Credit Union works hard to make certain that the information we post here is as accurate as humanly possible. But as you know, information can change and evolve quickly. While we try to update the blog on a regular basis, the content of some older posts may not be correct or up-to-date. (2) Some destinations on the World Wide Web that we link you to will exist on external websites. UMe Credit Union does not officially endorse any connected sites, nor do/did we compensate or get compensated by any entities to be featured in our posts (unless otherwise noted). (3) Everyone’s situation is unique and we advise you to consult with our personal bankers or your finance, tax, or legal professional for advice individualized to you!