Paypal's interest rate increases Readers have reported getting an email from Paypal in June or July saying their interest rate will be going up a lot. In the email, Paypal warns: You will pay more each month and take longer to repay any outstanding balance on your account. Not good! A poll I ran on Instagram suggested more than half the Paypal accounts in the UK may be seeing an interest … [Read more...]
Articles about credit cards
Credit cards can be really useful but they can also be dangerous - if you just tap the card it can be too easy to run up bills that will take you many years to clear. So how can you make the best use of them? The articles here look at
make sure you get the benefits - practical steps you can take so that the banks don't make huge profits from you;
what's new and what's changing with credit cards in Britain?
too much credit card debt - how can you tackle it fast?
My article on credit card affordability explains when you should make a complaint and has a free template letter to use. Some people have two credit cards from the same lender. Or two catalogue accounts from the same lender. The most common lenders this affects are: Newday - brand names include Aqua, Marbles and Fluid; Capital One - some people have been given two Capital One cards. … [Read more...]
Have you had a catalogue, credit card or store card where your credit limit was too high? So high that the monthly repayments were hard to manage and you got into more debt? Many people were originally given an OK limit, but the lender kept increasing them. You may have a good complaint that the lender was irresponsible in allowing you to borrow so much that the debt was … [Read more...]
There are two situations a credit card can increase your interest rate: if the Bank of England base rate goes up and your credit card tracks that rate; or when your credit card decides to increase your interest rate. It is important you know which is happening when your interest rate rises, as in the second case you have the right to reject this change. This also applies to store … [Read more...]
Mrs X was happy when Halifax told her in November 2022 that they were cutting the interest rate on her credit card - down from 32% to 15%. But just two months later Halifax sent another letter saying she must make higher "Recommended Payments" or she can't use the card any more. She says: Halifax want me to pay at least £102 a month, about £20 a month more than the minimum. They say this … [Read more...]
"I have three credit cards, all maxed out. I am only paying the minimum amounts each month as I can't afford more. What are my options as this will take forever and cost a lot in interest?" A lot of people are in this situation in 2023, with cost of living price rises leaving you with no spare money to make overpayments. This also applies to store cards and catalogue accounts. And many … [Read more...]
If you are serious about paying off your debt, you have to stop using it. Until your debt stops increasing, you can't make a realistic plan to clear your current debt. Trying to repay a credit card or catalogue when you are still using it is like trying to run a bath when you haven't put the plug in... Many people say they could if they wanted to, but it's just convenient. Are you sure? … [Read more...]
Do you only make the minimum payments on your credit cards? If money is tight, you may feel you can't afford more... But do you know that there is a simple alternative that will speed up debt repayments a lot, not harm your credit record and not cost you any more? Repaying a credit card with minimum payments How long does it actually take? Suppose you buy a cot and a buggy costing £1,030 … [Read more...]
UPDATE - August 2023 - Zable hikes interest rates for some borrowers Some people have been told that Zable is increasing their interest rate from 38.9% to 48.9%. The customers were told the rate was being increased to reflect changes in Zable's assessment of their credit record. 48.9% is now the "representative rate" that Zable quotes - this makes it one of the most expensive credit … [Read more...]
In February 2023, the longest 0% balance transfer deals are 30 months long, but there aren't many of them. 2017 was the high water point for 0% balance transfers - you could get deals for 43 months. Then the deals got gradually shorter and the fees edged up. With the pandemic, most deals disappeared entirely and the few there were much shorter, a maximum of 24 months. From late 2021 the … [Read more...]