What if I have bad credit and can’t balance transfer?

Bad credit can make it hard to get approved for a balance transfer credit card but you do have other options. Here's what you need to know.

Last updated:

While balance transfer credit cards can help you consolidate and pay off debt, you usually need to have a good credit score and a steady income to apply and get approval. So if bad credit is stopping you from getting a balance transfer at the moment, you can use this guide to learn about your options so that you can get your credit score and your finances back on track.

Are there balance transfer credit cards for bad credit?

There are no balance transfer credit cards designed especially to suit people with bad credit. So, while you can still apply for a balance transfer credit card regardless of your credit score, you're less likely to get approved if you have a bad score.

This is because a bad credit score usually means you have negative listings on your credit history, such as late payments or defaults. These details can indicate you have trouble managing debt, which also means lenders are less likely to approve your balance transfer application. On top of that, rejected applications can have a negative impact on your credit file, so you should only apply for a balance transfer credit card when you meet the eligibility requirements and are likely to receive approval.

How to increase the chances of balance transfer approval

Four things you can do if you're unable to get a balance transfer

If your balance transfer application was declined or if you don't think you're eligible to apply yet, here are four other options you can consider to help pay down your debt and improve your credit score.

  1. Get your debts in order

    Instead of applying for a credit card or balance transfer when you have bad credit, focus on repaying your debts and repairing your credit file first. Look at exactly how much you owe on your credit cards or other accounts and list out how much interest you're charged for each debt. You can then reorder the list and prioritise paying off your high interest debts first. Once you have an idea of how much you owe and how much you need to repay, you can start looking at your debt consolidation options.

  1. Talk to your current bank

    If your debt is making it hard to pay your credit card off on time, let your bank or credit card company know. They may be able to offer you a payment plan or some other options to help you pay down the debt. Over time, this could also help you improve your credit score and increase your chances of getting approved for other credit cards.

  2. Consider a debt consolidation loan

    If you're unable to apply for a balance transfer credit card, another option is to get a personal loan to consolidate your debts. There is a wide range of debt consolidation loans available, which can help you combine your debts on a single account. This means you'll only need to make one repayment per month and deal with one set of fees. Making these repayments on time can also help improve your credit score by showing that you are managing your debt responsibly.

  3. Look at short term loans

    Also known as a "payday loan", this is another option if you have bad credit and need cash quickly. The requirements for these loan are different to those of credit cards and the funds are often available in a few days. However, payday loans usually have high fees and short repayment terms. Before applying, consider the fees and the period in which you'll need to repay your balance to calculate whether you can afford the loan. Otherwise, you could end up in more debt and hurt your credit score even more.

While a balance transfer credit card can help you save on interest during the introductory period, it's more important to focus on paying off the debt for good. So if you have bad credit, considering a range of options based on your circumstances will help you find one that works for you.

Balance transfer credit card comparison

Rates last updated October 17th, 2019
$
% p.a.

Your search criteria didn't return any products. Click to reset your filter options and search again
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 22 months, with a 1% balance transfer fee. Plus, a reduced $64 first year annual fee.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 9 months
0% for 9 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 first year annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 13 months
0% for 13 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
21.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus $0 first year annual fee.
BOQ Low Rate Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
13.49% p.a.
$55 p.a.
A no-frills card offering 0% on balance transfers for the first 14 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a competitive purchase interest rate.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
BOQ Platinum Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 1,000 bonus Q Rewards points monthly when you meet the spend requirement, a 12-month balance transfer offer and $0 first year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% for 14 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months and on balance transfers for 6 months. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a yearly annual fee refund when you spend $6,000 and 2 lounge passes per year.
Westpac Low Rate Card
2019 Winner
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 16 months
13.74% p.a.
$59 p.a.
A no frills, low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 16 months, with no balance transfer fee.
Qantas Premier Everyday
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$29 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 42,000 bonus Qantas Points (7,000/month) when you spend $1,000/month for the first 6 months. Plus, complimentary insurance covers.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
11.99% p.a.
$45 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers, plus a low variable purchase interest rate of 11.99% p.a. on purchases.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Get a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and a 14-month balance transfer.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate for up to 18 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase interest rate.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and competitive purchase rate.
BankSA No Annual Fee
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Offers a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and an ongoing $0 annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne No Annual Fee Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and no annual fee for the life of the card.

Compare up to 4 providers

Images: Shutterstock

Back to top
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    IanOctober 29, 2017

    I have a credit card debt with Coles and I wish to balance transfer to allow me to get on top off it and it off what institute can I approach? Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchOctober 29, 2017Staff

      Hi Ian,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      You can also have a look on this page for helpful information and compare your options.

      You may click the name of your preferred card to know more details and you may click the green “Go to site” button to submit an online application through their official site.

      Best regards,
      Rench

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 17th, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee Product Description
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points (20,000/month) when you spend $1,500/month for the first 6 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
Latitude Low Rate Mastercard
9.89% p.a.
$69 p.a.
Offers a competitively low interest rate and annual fee, plus up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 22 months, with a 1% balance transfer fee. Plus, a reduced $64 first year annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

Ask a question
Go to site