I have the ability to transfer $8,000 from Credit Card #2 to another card. Unfortunately, the balance transfer offer is only for 6 months but it is at a great rate (3.9%). That can work well if I just keep shifting the funds back and forth between cards to keep that balance at a low rate.
The problem is the remaining $11,000 balance on Credit Card #2. That will remain at 13.99% until the entire card is paid off. I am really considering trying Prosper to get a loan. I was thinking I would use the loan to play in the balance transfer game, but now I am just thinking of keeping it there and paying that loan off first (it probably will be the highest interest rate of all debt but less than 13.99%). Part of me is wondering if somehow I could get the loan funded around 7 or 8%.
I've been researching more things about Prosper and found answers to a few of my big questions that I'll share here:
1.) Will applying to be a borrower affect my credit score? Having inquiries on your credit score can lower it by a few points. With my score recently increasing, I would not like it to lower. But I have discovered that the credit report that Prosper pulls on you (to obtain your public credit rating) does not affect your score! It is initiated by you - so it does no damage to your FICO score.
2.) How much does it cost? The answer here is pretty simple. The cost of the loan is just 1% of the balance funded. With requesting $11,000 my fee would be $110. That $110 would be taken from the $11,000 funded so I actually would be getting $10,890 in my account.
3.) Is there a prepayment penalty? If you pay off your loan before the standard three-year term, you will not be penalized. That is a major plus and that point should always be looked into for any loan obtained.
I did end up registering and I was approved right away to list a loan. I'm still looking into finding a group to join, and still reading lots of literature. And, of course, I still I have to make sure that I want to do this. Part of me is wondering if this is the break that I am looking for so I can get rid of the high interest balance on Credit Card #2.
As usual, what it will boil down to is learning as much as I can and then listening to my gut.
I'll keep everyone updated :)