If you have a credit card with a zero balance, should you close it? Would cancelling it improve or harm your credit score? This is important to get right if you are trying to clear your debts as fast as possible or if you are hoping to get a mortgage soon. It also applies to catalogue accounts. Here are the main arguments for and against closing the credit card: Four reasons to … [Read more...]
Articles about credit cards
Credit cards can be really useful but they can also be dangerous - if you just hand over that piece of plastic it can be too easy to run up bills which 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 whats changing with credit cards in Britain?
too much credit card debt - how can you tackle it fast?
Do you only make the minimum payments on your credit cards? If money is tight, you may feel minimum payments are your only option, but do you know how much they are costing you and how long it will take to pay it all off? And do you know that there is a simple alternative that will speed up debt repayments a lot and not cost you any more? Read on! How long does it take to clear the … [Read more...]
For two years the 0% balance transfers on offer have been getting slowly less good. March 2019 has now seen a big drop in the length of the table-topping deals: now the two longest 0% offers are both 29 months; just a month ago in February 2019 the longest was 32 months; a year ago there were 37 month deals on offer; back in May 2017, you could have got a 43 month deal. At the … [Read more...]
A reader has a very common situation: I have £12,000 of debt on a couple of credit cards and a catalogue. Is a loan the best way to sort this out as soon as possible? It's not possible to answer that without a lot more details... but let's explore the options and see what makes some ways better for some people. Why do you want to do this? There are three main reasons: you are fed up with … [Read more...]
You have the A level grades - well done! There are now just a few weeks to get organised for uni in September 2018. What should your top priorities be for managing your money? And what should you avoid? Living on a student loan is hard You will probably get more money in your bank account than you have ever had before. But most students find it harder to manage than they expected. It’a not … [Read more...]
Are you facing a debt problem? Don't feel guilty, with prices going up more than wages and benefits being cut, millions of people will be in this position in January 2019. So if you can't pay all your bills and debts this month, what should you do? Here is a practical list - starting with things you shouldn't do, as they will make your life harder next month! Don't panic Many of the … [Read more...]
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing a definition of persistent credit card debt and a set of actions credit card lenders will have to take with people who are in persistent credit card debt for 18 months or more. Recent news highlights why the FCA is worried about credit card debt. In June 2017, £67billion is owed on credit cards in Britain and that is increasing at 9% per year. … [Read more...]
Here is a simple way to think of your credit cards and catalogue accounts using the traffic light colours. It's meant as a warning signal that you may have problems in the future. If you are in difficulty with bills or debts now, it's too late for this early warning to help... have a look at your possible options and get some debt help now! Red - Amber - Green First you need to compare the … [Read more...]
Have you had a catalogue or a credit card where you were given a high credit limit? So high that the minimum repayments were hard to manage without borrowing more? Many people were originally given sensible limits, but the lender kept increasing them. This approach can also be used for overdrafts if your limit was increased. Thousands of people got refunds from payday loan complaints in … [Read more...]
A reader asked: "I've seen advice to improve my credit rating after a Debt Management Plan by getting a "bad credit card" and repaying it in full every month. Would it be a good idea to get two of these cards? I don't want to borrow any money, just to get a better credit score." This is a good question! Let's start off by looking at why getting a bad credit card such as Vanquis is often … [Read more...]