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Credit score needed for the Discover it Balance Transfer

You will need good to excellent credit to be approved for the Discover it Balance Transfer


The Discover it Balance Transfer card comes with a lengthy zero-interest balance transfer offer and cash back rewards. Read on to learn how you can qualify.

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The Discover it® Balance Transfer card boasts a lengthy zero-interest balance transfer offer along with rotating cash back rewards, making it a solid balance transfer credit card for consumers looking to pay down balances without sacrificing cash back earnings.

By owning this Discover card, you get access to an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months – as well as a 0% intro APR on new purchases for the first 6 months. What’s notable about this card is that the variable APR (the interest rate you’ll be charged after the introductory period) is quite reasonable compared to other balance transfer cards, ranging from 13.49% to 24.49%

In terms of rewards, the Discover it Balance Transfer earns you 5% cash back (after activation) on everyday purchases in specific categories each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1%), plus 1% cash back on everything else.

To start paying down debt and earning cash back rewards with the Discover it Balance Transfer card, the first step is to apply. Before applying, it’s beneficial to evaluate your credit and determine if you have a good chance at approval. Read on to learn what credit score is needed to qualify and other factors impacting your application.

What credit score is needed for the Discover it Balance Transfer?

The Discover it Balance Transfer card is for consumers with a FICO credit score in the good to excellent range. This means your credit score will need to be between 670 and 850 to qualify for this card.

However, your application is more likely to be accepted if you have an excellent FICO credit score (between 740 to 850), so it’s helpful to raise your score as much as possible before applying. This will also help you get a variable APR on the lower end of the card’s range after the zero-interest period is over.

Even though having an excellent credit score will make qualifying easier, other factors besides your overall credit score are considered. These include level of income, payment history and revolving credit.

What can I do if my application is declined?

If you’re denied for the Discover it Balance Transfer card, the first step is to evaluate the specific reasons your application was denied. The lender is required to provide this information, which will offer insight into which areas of your credit management and score need extra attention. You can also determine if there are any errors on your credit report, which is more common than you may realize. If this is the case, it’s important to fix those errors immediately. Contact the credit card company and ask for a reconsideration after correcting those errors.

You can also consider applying for a different card if your application is not accepted. The Citi Double Cash® Card is a great option if you’re interested in cash back rewards but still want a balance transfer offer. The Citi Double Cash Card’s zero-interest period is the same as the Discover it Balance Transfer card – 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, followed by a higher variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49%. Additionally, the card offers up to 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% as you buy and another 1% as you pay off your purchases.

If your application was denied because your credit score just isn’t high enough, and you’re still set on owning the Discover it Balance Transfer card, keep reading to learn how to improve your score.

How can I improve my score to get this card?

If your score isn’t where you want it to be, it can be improved. It’s helpful to understand and evaluate each factor affecting your overall score to adjust your credit management. Payment history and credit utilization are the most important factors, followed by length of credit history, new credit lines and credit mix. Knowing where you stand in each sector makes it easy to prioritize where your credit needs the most attention and improvement.

Because it makes up 35% of your overall credit score, payment history is extremely important. Any missed payments that are 30 days or more past the due date can substantially lower your score, sometimes up to 100 points. To sustain and boost your credit, you will need to show lenders that you have a long history of on-time payments.

Another great way to show lenders you maintain your available credit well is to keep your credit utilization low. Credit utilization makes up 30% of your overall credit score, so it’s the second most important factor in determining your total credit score. You can calculate your credit utilization ratio by dividing your current balances by your overall credit limit. Try not to overspend, and keep your revolving utilization below 30%, or as low as possible, to boost your credit score.

While payment history and credit utilization are the main components of your credit score, length of credit history is also an important factor, making up 15% of your FICO score. Keep credit card accounts open and paid off – even those you no longer use. Diversifying types of credit accounts and avoiding applying for or opening multiple new accounts in a short time period will also help improve your overall score. If you don’t have many lines of credit, try slowly opening up a variety of loans, such as different credit cards, auto loans or even a credit-builder loan.

Bottom line

The Discover it Balance Transfer card is a great option for those looking to both pay off debt and earn cash back rewards. To be approved for this card, a FICO credit score in the good to excellent range is needed. This means you’ll need a score between 670 and 850 – but having an excellent credit score will both improve your chances of qualifying for the card and ensure lower interest rates after the introductory period ends.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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