If you’re feeling generous and have deep pockets, it’s possible to execute a balance transfer to move someone else’s debt to your own credit card. There are specific ramifications of this move, however, so don’t proceed without analyzing the pros and cons carefully. Once you feel comfortable assuming the debt, the process of transferring the debt is surprisingly simple. Credit card companies usually appreciate it when consumers move debt around.

Step 1

Assess your finances to make sure you can handle the additional debt. Even if your plans include the other person making payments on the debt, by transferring it to your own credit card you will take over legal responsibility for it. If the other person doesn’t make the payments and you can’t afford to make them, your credit rating may suffer a significant hit.

Step 2

Contact your credit card company to initiate the balance transfer. Provide account information for the account from which you want to transfer the debt, including contact information of the account holder, the account number and the amount you wish to transfer. Most credit card companies have a standard form for completing this process, or you might execute the transfer on your credit card company’s website.

Step 3

Advise your friend to continue paying the minimum payment on his credit card until you get a notice indicating that the debt has transferred successfully. Failure to make a minimum payment might damage your friend’s credit rating. Your friend should also receive a final statement indicating the transfer.

Step 4

Assume the payments of the new debt on your credit card with the first statement you receive that indicates the new balance. If you have a separate agreement with your friend for paying you money to pay down the debt, collect this separately to enable you to make payments without affecting your monthly budget.