badcredit

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.

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 16th, 2018
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 25 months
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
finder Exclusive: Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest for 25 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
13.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 24 month balance transfer offer, plus complimentary international travel insurance.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 15 months
12.49% p.a.
$58 p.a.
Save with a 0% p.a. introductory rate on balance transfers for 15 months with no BT fee. Plus a low 12.49% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 16 months
13.74% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a competitively low annual fee and purchase rate.
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Get up to 18 months interest-free on balance transfers and save with a low $30 annual fee. Plus, up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus points in the first 3 months with a $64 first year annual fee. Plus, the chance to win 1 million Velocity Points.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
12.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% p.a. for 14 months balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Offers a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Citi Simplicity Card
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes every year.
Citi Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 10,000 monthly bonus reward Points for 20 months (200,000 total), enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer, plus, a $49 first year annual fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with $64 first year annual fee and 0% p.a. balance transfer offer. Plus, the chance to earn 1 million Velocity Points. Ends 31 Oct 2018.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, a 18 month balance transfer offer and special offers from Visa Entertainment.
Suncorp Clear Options Standard Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
12.74% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Receive $100 cashback when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 6 months and a 0% p.a. for 12 balance transfer offer.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
Receive purchase and balance transfer offers of 0% p.a. for 13 months, a low ongoing rate and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a long-term balance transfer, $0 first year annual fee, complimentary travel insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers 26-month balance transfer, $0 annual fee for the first year, complimentary travel insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
BankSA Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 16 months
13.74% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low variable purchase rate.

Compare up to 4 providers

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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Important Information*
Qantas Premier Everyday

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

0*

*$49 p.a. after first year

Westpac Low Rate Card

Interest rate

13.49

Annual fee

0*

*$59 p.a. after first year

ANZ Low Rate

Interest rate

12.49

Annual fee

58

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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

    • finder 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

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