Does transferring credit balances affect your credit score?

I have two credit cards with equal interests rates. For the sake of simplifying payments, I was considering transferring the balance of one to the other. Other than the small transfer balance fee, is there any other downside to this or will it negatively affect my credit score? Just to reiterate, I am not opening any new lines of credit, but only transferring balances between two cards I already have.

I don’t think it should have any effect.

The only way it would affect your credit score is if you were opening a new account (but you already have both accounts) or if you were to close one of them (this would reduce your overall credit limit, increasing your utilization ratio, which lowers you score).

Would likely help the score.

One card would show the significant balance that was carried suddenly go down (carry debt and pay it off = good). The length of time on the new card would be short relative to that, and this additional activity would provide even more of a profile for paying debt.

Fairly high probability it would go up as a result. Zero chance it’d go down.


There’s one way it might ding it a little.

Your credit rating is partly based on the percentage of debt on the card to the total credit line of the card.

So if you had two cards about equally balanced, but transferred a lot over to another card, what would matter most is the credit limit of the card with the higher debt balance on it.

Now, this isn’t a BIG ding, so that’s probably balanced out by the benefits of transferring the balance in the first place (faster payment, less interest charges making it worse) but it’s good to know that is something that they take into account.

Thanks for the answers! I did think it would probably have minimal effect, I just wanted to make sure. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on credit scores, but some of it still seems pretty inscrutable to me.