Q: I racked up almost $5,000 in credit card debt while in college. Can I transfer the balance to a credit card with a low rate and improve my credit?
Don't assume that you've been approved for a new card and stop paying your current card issuer. You should continue to make payments to your current issuer until you receive written notice that you've been approved for the balance transfer. Upon approval, the new card issuer will pay the amount of the balance transfer to your prior card issuer.
If you don't get approved for the card, just continue to pay down your debt and make payments on time. With persistence, your score will start to rise.